Skip to main content

Core Faculty

Neil Heffernan

Neil Heffernan

Office: Unity Hall 388
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5569
Neil T. Heffernan enjoys doing educational data mining and running the ASSISTments system. ASSISTments helps schools teach better. It’s a web service hosted at WPI that allows teachers to assign nightly homework or daily class work. Students get instant feedback while teachers get live reports. Professor Heffernan enjoys supervising WPI students in creating ASSISTments content and features. He has  6 dozens paper in educational data mining, and 20+ papers in comparing different ways to optimize student learning. ... View Profile
Erin Ottmar

Erin R Ottmar

Associate Professor
Office: 100 Institute RD
Erin Ottmar is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Learning Sciences at WPI. She received her BA in psychology and elementary education from the University of Richmond. After college, she spent several years teaching in Ecuador and Japan. In 2011, she received her PhD in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science from the University of Virginia. After graduate school, spent 3 years as a post-doctoral research scientist at the University of Richmond. ... View Profile
Adam Sales

Adam Sales

Assistant Professor
My research in applied statistics focuses on methods for causal inference using large, administrative datasets, primarily with applications in learning sciences and social sciences. I have developed and worked on methods combining machine learning with design-based analysis of randomized trials and matched observational studies, principal stratification and mediation analysis using log data from intelligent tutoring systems, and regression discontinuity designs. ... View Profile
Stacy Shaw

Stacy Shaw

Assistant Professor-Social Science
Stacy Shaw's research focuses on understanding creative thinking in mathematics, how anxiety and other threat experiences affect mathematical cognition and reasoning, as well as how classroom experiences can affect performance and learning in STEM. Recently she has become interested in the role of rest for academic achievement, burnout, and student wellbeing. She graduated with her Ph.D. ... View Profile
Jacob Whitehill

Jacob Richard Whitehill

Associate Professor
Office: 100 Institute RD
My research interests are in applied machine learning, computer vision, data science and their applications to education, affective computing, and human behavior recognition. My work is highly interdisciplinary and frequently intersects cognitive science, psychology, and education. Before joining WPI, I was a research scientist at the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning at Harvard University. In 2012, I co-founded Emotient, a San Diego-based startup company for automatic emotion and facial expression recognition. ... View Profile
Joseph Beck

Joseph E. Beck

Associate Professor
Office: Fuller Labs 138
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6156
Joseph Beck, assistant professor of Computer Science, has been at WPI since 2007. His research focuses on educational data mining, a new discipline that develops techniques for analyzing large educational data sets to make discoveries that will improve teaching and learning. His work centers on estimating how computer tutors impact learning. He established the first workshop in the field and in 2008 was program co-chair of the first International Conference on Educational Data Mining. ... View Profile

Associated Faculty

Ivon Arroyo

Affiliate Professor
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6715
Gillian Smith

Gillian Margaret Smith

Associate Professor-Computer Science
Office: Fuller Labs B24
Gillian Smith, an award-winning game designer, joined WPI in 2017. Her interdisciplinary work merges technical research in AI and HCI with creative practice in textiles and games, with a view towards addressing social issues and broadening participation and perspectives on computing. Their research interests are in computational creativity, game design, computer science education, and the intersection of traditional crafts and computation. ... View Profile
Erin Solovey

Erin Solovey

Associate Professor
Office: FL 232
Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6936
My research is in human-computer interaction. One focus of my research is on next-generation interaction techniques, such as brain-computer interfaces, physiological computing, and reality-based interaction. I design, build and evaluate interactive computing systems that use machine learning approaches to adapt and support the user’s changing cognitive state and context. I also investigate novel paradigms for designing with accessibility in mind, particularly for the Deaf community. Much of my work also explores effective human interaction with complex and autonomous systems and vehicles. ... View Profile