Neil Heffernan

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Dr. Neil Heffernan
Born 1970
Residence Worcester, Massachusetts
Nationality USA
Citizenship USA
Alma mater Carnegie Mellon University (PhD)
Scientific career
Fields Computer Science, Learning Sciences
Institutions Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Academic advisors Kenneth Koedinger, John Robert Anderson

Neil T. Heffernan (born 1970 in Worcester, Massachusetts) is a professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is known for his role in the development of the ASSISTments service, which helps students learn mathematics even as it assesses their knowledge, and which is used by over 50,000 students a year in the US.[1][2] He is widely published in intelligent tutoring systems, and educational data mining. His work gained prominence when a New York Times Magazine story by Annie Murphy Paul featured ASSISTments and Heffernan's research with the tool.

Early life and education[edit]

Heffernan obtained a bachelor's degree in History and Computer Science at Amherst College, and a doctorate in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. His doctoral advisers were Kenneth Koedinger and John Robert Anderson.


Heffernan then worked as Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, establishing the strong Learning Sciences research group in the Computer Science Department at WPI and the Learning Sciences and Technology graduate program at WPI.

Awards and memberships[edit]

Neil Heffernan and his research group has repeatedly won "Best Paper" awards at scientific conferences in those areas, including the Marr Prize for Best Student Paper at the 1997 meeting of the Cognitive Science Society,[3] and the James Chen award for the Best Paper of the Year in the journal User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About ASSISTments - TeacherWiki". 2015-11-18. Archived from the original on 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  2. ^ "WPI Receives $2 Million Award to Develop an Intelligent Tutoring System That Can Improve Math Education" ACM TechNews. May 23, 2007
  3. ^ "Annual Conference : Awards of the Cognitive Science Conference". Cognitive Science Society. Archived from the original on 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  4. ^ "UMUAI Ten Year Anniversary Issue". Retrieved 2010-05-27.

External links[edit]