Computer Science Post-Doc/Research Scientist for a Machine Learning/LLM Role with the ASSISTments Project

Thanks to several new funding sources from the Institute of Education Sciences, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education, Prof. Neil Heffernan is able to fund a full-time post-doctoral position. The position will support and advance research across several funded projects with Dr. Neil Heffernan ( 

In addition to research, the position will be expected to actively learn and assist in grant writing. Because WPI's policy restricts postdocs from serving as Co-PIs, Dr. Heffernan hires postdocs with the "Research Scientist" title so he can list these individuals as Co-PIs for NSF proposals. This experience will give you a competitive advantage on the job market; the last three postdocs in this role had one or more funded NSF proposals on their CV when they moved on from WPI.

The initial appointment is for one year, renewable based on mutual interest and continued funding. If you have questions, please send them and your CV and cover letter to Formal applications must be submitted via WPI and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until filled. 

In 2003, Professor Neil Heffernan and Cristina Heffernan created ASSISTments, a free online math homework platform. In 2019 the husband-wife team formed The ASSISTments Foundation (TAF), a non-profit to scale-up ASSISTments. Today, Neil Heffernan directs AI research via the platform with his lab at WPI, while Cristina Heffernan is the Executive Director of the non-profit organization (which employs 23 people including teacher-trainers and software engineers). This research position is based at WPI, but will closely communicate and coordinate with those at TAF. All grant funding is based on a strong partnership between WPI and TAF.  

The ASSISTments platform itself is a responsive online learning platform that is teacher-paced and evidence-based. ASSISTments is unique in that it supports teachers and students while also supporting researchers who seek to understand pedagogy and learning. The system is one of few available K-12 math tools proven effective through rigorous randomized controlled research.  

The ASSISTments Project at WPI is a collaborative one that leverages ASSISTments to support researchers to create and test interventions to better help students. New infrastructure (i.e., software features), funded by IES, NSF, the U.S. Dept of Education, and various philanthropy, is being developed to reduce the cost and increase the volume of studies conducted by educational researchers using ASSISTments. 

The primary responsibilities of this role will include the following:



Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. This is typically a paid salary position. If you have any questions, please contact Angela Kao at