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WPI researchers in learning sciences are pioneering educational technologies that have the power to revolutionize the nation’s education system. Faculty and student researchers combine sophisticated computational methodology with strong theoretical frameworks in the learning and social sciences to investigate topics such as instructional technologies, learning with visualizations and simulations, learner characteristics, human-computer interaction, and machine learning. The end goal is to improve learning in real time to keep America competitive. 

Learn Graspable Math

Professor Erin Ottmar is a cognitive psychologist who is interested in how students learn and how technology can be used to make teaching and learning more effective. Based on her studies, she develops, designs, and tests innovative classroom interventions, like Graspable Math, that respond to the way students actually think and how they naturally approach problem solving. Teachers and students use the information to improve many aspects of classroom learning.

Photo of the Heffernan's at WPI.

Two separate multimillion dollar grants have been awarded to education researchers studying the impact of ASSISTments, a free web-based learning platform developed at WPI that was previously shown to boost student scores on standardized math tests by approximately 75 percent. The grants will build upon the prior trial to provide a “deeper dive” on ASSISTments.


May 04, 2020
Teacher Preparation Program, Teaching & Professional Development, The STEM Education Center, Social Science & Policy Studies


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ASSISTments, a free online learning tool, is helping thousands of teachers confidently transition seamlessly between online & in-person classes.
September 10, 2020
Neil Heffernan and Cristina Lindquist Heffernan alt
ASSISTments developers Neil Heffernan and Cristina Lindquist Heffernan
May 23, 2019

Great Minds at Work; See Yourself Here

WPI is a collaborative community where faculty and staff celebrate new ideas, respect different opinions, and foster professional and personal growth. We believe the potential for individual innovation and impact is made even greater by the opportunity to collaborate with—and to be challenged by—other great minds. Join us; view our current job openings.