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.







I excited to be hosting both a NeuroIPS and a AAAI Workshop. There is an open call for participation or the AAAI workshop! Submit your best work!

New Press, August 3rd on our TeacherASSIST called "A crowdsourcing approach to homework help" by Jill Barshay. More details here

Neil Heffernan: Director of Learning Sciences and Technologies Program at WPI

Heffernan directs the Learning Sciences and Technologies program at WPI. The program is currently hiring multiple tenure-track faculty.

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.

ASSISTments: a proven ed-tech Tool

Today, ASSISTments assists thousands of students across the country to improve their math scores. To learn more, visit ASSISTments.

On September 27, 2019, WPI was awarded $8 million from the U.S. Department of Education to scale ASSISTments. To support this and Dr. Heffernan's 17 other currently funded projects, ASSISTments is hiring people to join the team.

Neil Heffernan: Scientist

Heffernan is an active researcher in the fields of educational data mining and 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.

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:

  • Artificial Intelligence for Adaptive Educational Technology (CS 568). (Last taught Spring 2019, next expected to be taught in 2021-22 [term tbd])

  • User Modeling, which focuses on educational data mining (CS 565). (Last taught Spring 2020, next expected to be taught in 2022-23 [term tbd])

  • Special Topics: Online Learning Infrastructure (CS 525) (Available Fall 2020, next expected to be taught in 2023-24 [term tbd])

He teaches at the undergraduate level this class:

  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (CS 4341) (last taught Fall 2019, A Term).