Skip to main content

Korinn O.

PhD, Learning Sciences & Technologies

When Korinn first began at WPI in 2013, she only intended to get her master’s degree. But Professor Neil Heffernan saw something more, introducing her to his team as “my newest Research Assistant and PhD student.” Since then, Professor Heffernan has become a mentor to Korinn, continuing to push her work to new heights and providing unwavering support for her advancement. "It’s seeing the big picture and embracing that concept that’s been so helpful," Korinn says.

And he’s not the only professor at WPI with whom Korinn has crafted a special connection – Professor Erin Ottmar quickly became a powerful mentor and friend. With a new perspective, Erin spun everything Korinn had learned during her time at WPI on its head, helping her to assess problems in new and unusual ways, coaching her to think critically, and reminding her of her progress. On the toughest days, when Korinn told Erin, “I don’t get this,” Erin redirected Korinn to her strengths. “Yes,” she said, “but you are thinking about it the right way.”

The relationships forged with these two mentors have helped Korinn find success in researching best practices in technology-driven education. 

Korinn Ostrow

Manchester, CT

Faculty Mentor

Neil Heffernan, Director, Learning Sciences & Technologies and Professor, Computer Science

Erin Ottmar, Assistant Professor of Social Science & Policy Studies

  • Winning a second place prize in the Graduate Research Innovation Exchange in her first year of study
  • Personal growth and expansion of critical thought, success in research and publication, and using that success to travel the world
  • Traveling with her husband Sam
  • Spending time with her dog Louie
  • Music and fine food
  • Yoga at WPI

Off campus, I’m often writing conference and journal submissions, or conducting literature reviews.


Once I’m on campus, I usually have plenty of meetings to fill my day, working with fellow students to develop research ideas for various team projects.


Sometimes I’ll need to pack up for attending out-of-town conferences to promote my individual and team-based work in places like Vancouver, Madrid, Washington D.C., and Edinburgh.

If you aren't afraid of hard work, WPI provides the environment, support services, and curriculum to help you meet challenges and personal goals you never would have thought possible.
Each time I pass a group of new students touring campus I want to shout, ‘Come here! Say yes! WPI is wonderful!
The team-based environment in Professor Heffernan’s lab has helped my work excel through collaboration with computer science majors and expert programmers.