Top Media Mentions

The New York Times Magazine - September 16, 2012. Read Annie Murphy Paul's story about the origins of ASSISTments.

Here & Now - June 21, 2011. Listen to Robin Young's interview with Dr. Heffernan.

The Boston Globe - May 5, 2011. Read Yvonne Abraham's column about how Dr. Heffernan brain tumor inspired him to create ASSISTments.

Opinion Pieces

Heffernan (November, 2019) Are teachers misusing homework? Beyond the question of whether or not to assign it. New York Daily News.

Heffernan(2019, Oct 9th) Persistence Is Not Always Productive: How to Stop Students From Spinning Their Wheels. EdSurge.

Heffernan, N. (July 28t, 2019) How Can We Know If Ed Tech Works? By Encouraging Companies & Researchers to Share Data. Government Funding Can Help The 74 Million. Published July 28th, 2019.

Heffernan, N. (February 2019). Don't eliminate homework. Make it more effective. Phi Delta Kappan International.

Heffernan, N. (May 2018). Ed Tech Does Help Close the Achievement Gap — When It Supports Teachers. The 74 Million. Published May 29, 2018.

Heffernan, N. (2016). Researchers need to collaborate to address the challenges facing schools. The Brookings Institute. Published Thursday, October 8, 2015.

Heffernan, N. (2012). Ensuring Homework’s value. Boston Herald. Opinion. Published Saturday, May 12, 2012.

Newspapers and Magazines

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

Edutopia: They did a story on the paper we did about when student seems to be putting in effort but not succeeded (we call them "spinning their wheels").

ELearningInside - This reporter was interested in where did ASSISTments come from. And how to grew out of a university with no marketing.

Education Week - This opinion piece argues the US should study more to learn what works. They end with "We already have promising evidence that some programs, when paired with thoughtful implementation and supports, can have powerful impacts. For example, randomized evaluations found that ASSISTments—a virtual math-homework support—significantly improved math scores despite only being used for about 10 minutes several days a week. Students with low prior math achievement benefited the most."

US News & World Report - US News and World Report picked up MIT's review of all Ed Tech. MIT researchers called ASSISTments one of the two most promising interventions in the US.

Scientific American - Read about ASSISTments' ability to give an early warning system to schools about who is likely to lose interest in STEM or who is at danger of not going to college.

The New Scientists -Hate exams? Now a computer can grade you by watching you learn. January, 2, 2016 by Aviva Rutkin

TED Ideas - There no app for good teaching - Sept 14, 2014 by Laura Moorhead.

Open Mic On Education - Sept 1, 2014 - Alan Rudt Video.

New York Times Magazine - Sept 14, 2012 - ASSISTments was the focus of a three page story entitled "The Machines are Taking Over"

Columbia University Teachers College Magazine - May 17, 2012 - ASSISTments was featured in an article called “Pushing the Right Buttons” by Joe Levine

Walpole Times - February 16, 2012 - "Walpole teachers get an 'assist' from homework software" by Veronica Hamlett

Hometown Weekly - February 17, 2012 - ASSISTing Students in School Proves to be Beneficial by Lindsay Budnik

The Daily Grafton - January 23, 2011 - Grafton Students Get a Hand from ASSISTments

Metro West - Oct. 3, 2011 - Homework program catches on in MetroWest by Scott O'Connell.

Boston Globe - May 5, 2011 - A gift born from peril. by Yvonne Abraham.

The Two Towers - April 5, 2011 - Professor of the week- Neil Heffernan: Exploring frontiers of education with cutting edge technology. - March 3, 2011 - Web-based tutor gives math class a new feel.

ScienceDaily - Feb. 14, 2011 - Year-End Test Scores Significantly Improved in Schools Using Web-Based Tutor

The Ellsworth American - January 18, 2011 - "Learning Curve" by Cyndi Wood from Bangor, Maine.

Education Week - January 21, 2010 - Data Mining' Gains Traction in Education by Sarah D. Sparks. This made the front page of EdWeek. This article talks about the Education Data Mining Conference Heffernan helped start. It also cites the work of Heffernan’s colleague Ryan Baker.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette - June 3, 2010 - Homework Helper: Web program gives students, teachers a jump on class assignments by Priyanka Dayal.

Worcester Telegram citation for award from School Committee.

Boston Globe - January 10, 2008 - U.S. gives $1.5 million for science tutoring.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette - January 10, 2008 - New WPI System.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette - August 23, 2007 - WPI projects win NSF grants: Work on science education, tiny sensors receive funding by Jacqueline Reis. In the News - July/August, 2007 - Intelligence Tutors Make the Grade talked about ASSISTments and other Intelligent tutoring systems. IEEE Intelligent System by Mark Ingebretsen.

Worcester Business Journal - June 2007 - WPI Tutor Program is Money in the Bank by Matthew Brown.

Telegram & Gazette - May 26, 2007 - WPI receives $2M ‘assist’ for tutoring. by Telegram & Gazette Staff.

ACM TechNews - May 23, 2007 - WPI Receives $2 Million Award to Develop an Intelligent Tutoring System That Can Improve Math Education.

Transformations - Fall 2006 - Assessing the Odds by Michael W. Dorsey.

The Worcester Educator - Spring 2006 - Professor’s preparation program adds up to better MCAS math scores by Gretchen Weber.

U.S. News & World Report - November 11, 2005 - Enter the Computer Tutor: PCs Can Help Kids Pass No Child Left Behind Tests. by Angie C. Marek.

Telegram & Gazette - December, 2005 - Schools, sponsors teaming up for TV ads by Jacqueline Reis

Telegram & Gazette - August 11, 2005 - WPI asst. profs awarded grants by Mallary Jean Tenore.

Telegram & Gazette - May 23, 2005 - Assistment’ makes the grade by Jacqueline Reis.

Telegram & Gazette - January 14, 2004 - Pupils to get online help with MCAS by Clive McFarlane.

Radio and Television

Interviewed on National Public Radio by Robin Young of the Here and Now show - June 2, 2010 - Listen.

Interviewed on WDIS-AM out of Norfolk, MA by Dan Collier - June 2, 2010 - Listen.

Dr. Heffernan gets coverage by WPI: A short clip by WPI's TEAM Worcester featuring the ASSISTment system. Archived at:

580 AM, WTAG interview by Greg Byrne - August 11, 2005 - This is a 55 second audio clip of an interview about how my $900,000, NSF CAREER award is going to impact Massachusetts 8th and 10th grade math students. Archived at:

"Professor Neil Heffernan makes huge impact," NECN Nightly News - May 23, 2005 - A two minute clip showing students at Forest Grove Middle School, and their math teacher, using and talking about the Assistment System. Archived at: