Mission - Vision - History

ASSISTments - driven by A passion for education


To improve education through scientific research while not compromising student learning time.


In classrooms everywhere, continuously improve teaching and learning thought the use of validated educational research findings and applied technology.


ASSISTments was born to address the needs uncovered by Neil and Cristina Heffernan while they were teaching middle school math in the 1990’s. Realizing the potential of educational technology, the Heffernans created an online tool that could give teachers data about their students. Their working partnership began with Neil’s dissertation project, the online tutor Ms. Lindquist (based on Cristina’s maiden name). Once Neil earned his PhD and began his time at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Neil and Cristina began to develop ASSISTments, which provides both assistance to students and assessment data to teachers!
Since Neil and Cristina created the platform, ASSISTments has flourished. ASSISTments has received over $25 million in federal and philanthropic funding. ASSISTments now supports 50,000 students who completed 12 million math problems in 2018! In April of 2019, the ASSISTments Foundation was created to support the development and deployment of ASSISTments. The ASSISTments team hopes to leverage the new nonprofit status to increase marketing efforts, form new relationships with schools and cultivate a larger community of teacher and student users. Neil and Cristina will continue to grow ASSISTments, and offer it for free, to improve the education of students everywhere!

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