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

14) Heffernan, N. (2022, March 29) The key to better edtech is better feedback. SmartBrief.

13) Heffernan, N. (2022, March 29) To improve ed tech, focus on feedback. District Administration.

12) Heffernan, N. (2022, February 7). Heffernan: Some Say the U.S. Has Lost the AI Race to China, but There’s Still Time to Catch Up — If We Start Teaching Data Science & Literacy in Schools. The 74 Million.

11) Heffernan, N. (2021, August 13). Let's Use This Moment to Bring Quality Tutoring to Every Kid Who Needs It. Education Post: Better Conversation. Better Education.

10) Heffernan, N., Heffernan, C. (2021, March 22). Distance learning can be deep learning: Here are three central insights we think drive learning in distance learning scenarios. District Administration.

09) Heffernan, N., Heffernan, C. (2021, March 21). Commentary: Short Tutoring Sessions on Demand, Chatbots to Help with Homework Problems -- Innovations That Could Get Students Back on Track. The 74 million.

08) Hinkley, W., Heffernan, N., Bouygues, H.L. (2020, March). The Benefits of Using Pencil and Paper in Math: New Study Shows That Students Writing Down Math Problems Increases High School Math Outcomes. Reboot: Elevated Critical Thinking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspapers and Magazines Features & mentions

42) Government Technology. (2021, December 20). "2021 in Ed Tech: AI, Data Analytics Were Top Priorities" by Brandon Paykamian.

41) Daily Advertiser. (2021, September 12). "Pandemic fuels growth in e-learning as students, adults learn skills online" by Leigh Guidry.

40) EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education. (2021, September 10). "Chatbots Allow Educators to Delegate Repetitive Tasks and Focus on Teaching" by Suchi Rudra.

39) EdSurge. (2021, April 2). "Can an XPrize for Learning Science 'Lure' New Types of Researchers Into Education?" by Jeffrey R. Young.

38) Analytics India Magazine. (2021, March 24). "In Conversation with Neil Heffernan, Professor of Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute" by Sejuti Das.

37) The Hechinger Report. (2020, August 3). "Proof Points: A crowdsourcing approach to homework help" by Jill Barshay.

36) Edutopia. (2020, March 12). "The Difference Between Productive Struggle and Spinning Your Wheels: Identifying when students are repeating problems but not actually progressing towards mastery can help educators refine their instructions" by Laura Lee.

35) ELearningInside. (2019, November 26). ASSISTments Has Won Over $25 Million in Grants with Next to No Business Structure or Marketing" by Henry Kronk.

34) Education Week. (2018, June 5) "How Do We Know If Ed Tech Even Works?" by Britt Neuhaus, Phil Oreopoulos & Thomas J. Kane. 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."

33) U.S. News & World Report. (2017, September 25). "3 Lessons Learned from Education Technology Research." U.S. News and World Report picked up MIT's review of all Ed Tech in which MIT researchers called ASSISTments one of the two most promising interventions in the U.S.

32) Scientific American. (2014, July 15). "Scientists Bring New Rigor to Education Research" by Barbara Kantrowitz. 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 most relevant paragraph is highlighted here.

31) New Scientist. (2015, December 30). "Hate exams? Now a computer can grade you by watching you learn" by Aviva Rutkin.

30) TED Ideas. (2014, September 3). "There no app for good teaching" by Laura Moorhead.

29) Open Mic On Education. (Sept 1, 2014). Video Interview with Alan Rudt.

28) New York Times Magazine. (Sept 14, 2012). "The Machines are Taking Over" by Annie Murphy Paul.

27) Columbia University Teachers College Magazine. (2012, May 17). “Pushing the Right Buttons” by Joe Levine. (features ASSISTments).

26) Walpole Times. (2012, February 16). "Walpole teachers get an 'assist' from homework software" by Veronica Hamlett.

25) Hometown Weekly. (2012, February 17). ASSISTing Students in School Proves to be Beneficial by Lindsay Budnik.

24) The Daily Grafton. (2011, January 23). Grafton Students Get a Hand from ASSISTments.

23) MetroWest. (2011, Oct. 3). Homework program catches on in MetroWest by Scott O'Connell.

22) Boston Globe. (2011, May 5). A gift born from peril. by Yvonne Abraham.

21) The Two Towers. (2011, April 5). Professor of the week- Neil Heffernan: Exploring frontiers of education with cutting edge technology.

20) (2011, March 3). Web-based tutor gives math class a new feel.

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

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

17) Education Week. (2010, January 21). 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.

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

15) Worcester Telegram citation for award from School Committee.

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

13) Worcester Telegram & Gazette. (2008, January 10). New WPI System.

12) Worcester Telegram & Gazette. (2007, August 23). WPI projects win NSF grants: Work on science education, tiny sensors receive funding by Jacqueline Reis.

11) 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.

10) Worcester Business Journal. (2007, June). WPI Tutor Program is Money in the Bank by Matthew Brown.

09) Telegram & Gazette. (May 26, 2007). WPI receives $2M ‘assist’ for tutoring.

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

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

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

05) 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.

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

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

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

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

Podcast, Radio, and Television

07) Interviewed on the Campus Technology Insider Podcast by Rhea Kelly - December 14, 2021 - Listen.

06) Interviewed on the TeachThought Podcast by Drew Perkins - February 13, 2021 - Listen.

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

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

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

02) 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:

01) "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.