Mingyu Feng
Ph.D. Dissertation, and Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Presentation

Department of Computer Science
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

E-Mail: mfeng 'at' cs.wpi.edu


I am now a Research Scientist at Center for Technology (CTL) in Learning at SRI International .


I graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Department of Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Aug., 2009. My advisor is Prof. Neil T. Heffernan. I received my B.S. in Computer Science from Tianjin University in 1999, and M.S. degree in the same field from Tianjin University in 2002. I joined Department of Computer Science at WPI for a Ph.D. in 2004. Before that, I was a software engineer in Beijing, China.

My research goal is to create educational technologies that dramatically increase student achievement. Towards this goal, currently my primary interests lie in the areas of intelligent tutoring systems, particularly, student modeling and educational data mining. I have also worked in the area of cognitive modeling, and psychometrics as well. I am most interested in user modeling and innovations in assessment, and related computing technologies. The title of my Ph.D. dissertation is Towards assessing students' fine grained knowledge: Using an intelligent tutor for assessing.

I have been a primary member of the ASSISTment project. We developed a web-based tutoring system that assesses at the same time. After analyzing 1000 students' data of using the system, I developed metrics measures response efficiency that accounts for the trials it takes students to come up with an answer to a problem, the time they take to correct an answer if it is wrong, help-seeking behavior (e.g. the number of hints they request), and their performance on the sub-steps (called scaffolding questions). My results show by taking into consideration student-system interaction information that has been ignored by traditional assessment approaches, we can reliably improve the prediction accuracy of student proficiency. This work was well received and was nominated for best student paper award at the International Conference on World Wide Web. And the editor from User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction (UMUAI) journal mentioned this is UMUAI's first "accept pending minor revisions" in quite a few years.

I am used to work in multicultural environments. Due the interdisciplinary nature of my research, I have strong collaboration with researchers from Computer Science, Psychology (education psychology and cognitive psychology), Statistics, and Psychometrics. I have also worked with subject-matter experts and school teachers.

My research has contributed to the design and evaluation of educational software, has developed computing techniques to address problems in user learning, and has produced basic results on the tracking student learning of mathematical skills. I have authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications, including 11 conference papers, 1 book chapter, and 8 journal papers, with another 2 papers in submission.


Research interests:
Research and development experiences:
Research Projects:

Book chapters

Journal papers

Strictly peer reviewed conference papers (Percent acceptance rate in the 30s or below)

Poster papers in pretigious conferences (percent acceptance rate in the 50-60s%)

Workshop and less stringently reviewed venues

Other articles

Professional Service:

mfeng at cs.wpi.edu
Last modified: Apr. 22nd, 2010