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.
Professor Heffernan also Directs the Learning Science and Technologies Graduate Program. He is always interested in working with new students in solving these problems, and says ASSISTments has been created by WPI students for the world. Professor Heffernan's goal is to give ASSISTments to millions across the US and internationally as a free service of WPI.
In the News
The Worcester Business Journal reported that WPI received a $895,000 grant from the Department of Education to provide six fellowships to graduate students looking to pursue studies in artificial intelligence. The program, called Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAAN), comes in anticipation of a decrease in artificial intelligence professionals in the field. GAAN will train students in the artificial intelligence field, and connect them with colleagues in academic, industry and government settings.
Forbes noted an online math tutoring system developed by WPI researchers in this article. Computer Science Professor Neil Heffernan created ASSISTments, which will be part of a study looking at the impact of interest-focused algebra problems on student success and connectedness with STEM careers, Forbes reported.