Neil Heffernan is the "WILLIAM Smith Dean's PROFESSOR" of computer science at WPI. He developed ASSISTments, a web-based learning platform, with his wife Cristina Heffernan.
Neil Heffernan: Director of Learning Sciences and Technologies Program at WPI
Neil Heffernan: Creator of ASSISTments
Dr. Heffernan and his wife Cristina Heffernan founded ASSISTments in 2003. In 2019, The ASSISTments Foundation was formed to promote the use of ASSISTments across the nation.
Today, ASSISTments assists thousands of students across the country to improve their math scores. To learn more, visit ASSISTments. The What Works Clearinghouse gave us the highest ranking possible. We are one of a three intervention for math for middle school with strong evidence.
What does ASSISTments look Like? Here are two videos that explain.
Neil Heffernan: Scientist
Heffernan is an active researcher in the fields of 1) artificial intelligence and education, 2) educational data mining and 3) learning analytics. In order to support research in these fields, Dr. Heffernan created the E-TRIALS Testbed, a tool that allows ASSISTments to be used as a platform to do science and support evidence-based practice.
Additionally, Heffernan has been hosting educational data mining competitions like this one on in collaboration with Our Nation's Report Card.
Heffernan was asked to give the keynote to the Artificial Intelligence in Education 2020 Conference where he explained ASSISTments and his vision for crowdsourcing.
Neil Heffernan: Teacher
For over a decade Dr. Heffernan has been teaching one undergraduate AI class (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence: CS 4341) and one graduate course in his area (rotating between the three course listed below).
He rotates through these three graduate classes, teaching one each year:
Special Topics: Online Learning Infrastructure (CS 525) (Last taught Fall 2020, next expected to be taught in 2023-24, probably Fall semester)
Artificial Intelligence for Adaptive Educational Technology (CS 568). (Last taught Fall 2021, next expected to be taught in 2024-25)
User Modeling, which focuses on educational data mining (CS 565). (Last taught Fall 2022, next expected to be taught in 2025-26)
He teaches at the undergraduate level this class:
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (CS 4341) (last taught Fall 2019, A Term).
I was excited to help host workshops at L@S on AB Testing (June 1st), and at AIED/EDM on Causal Inference on July 27th.
New Press, August 3rd on our TeacherASSIST called "A crowdsourcing approach to homework help" by Jill Barshay. More details here