This past year, I was the lead developer of the Assistment project, an intelligent-tutoring system built by undergraduate and graduate student at WPI, with significant research support from Carnegie Mellon. For more up-to-date information on the project, check out the blog at http://assistment.blogspot.com. Assistment was a Java-based web application, however with inconsistent vision and design turned into too large of a project for it's own good, and was virtually unmaintainable. Talks were going on in Oct/Nov about redesigning the entire site, which was around the time I was proposing a user interface design for the entire site. Inevitably, I suggested we move the entire site to Ruby on Rails ... and after that suggestion Darren Torpey and I set off to create this prototype. In early January I demoed the first prototype of the new Assistment, a, looking to recruit new people and built the team, while getting it ready for prime-time. We released 0.7 in July, and will release 0.8 beginning of August. 5-6 new people have come into the lab, working on effort calculations, content feedback, calculator support (my first idea!), content versioning, and a slew of other cool things that would have never been possible in the old system. Assistment is a poster-child for all stale Java applications in dire need of redirection, and I will be publicizing it (in the near-future) in the Rails communities as a testimate to Rails' productivity and scalability.

I still retain my Assistment responsibilities remotely, so don't expect this to be the last about Assistment that you hear from me! Assistment can be found at http://assistment.org/. For those early adopters, you can find the new implementation at http://assistment3.cs.wpi.edu/. Again, the Assistment blog is http://assistment.blogspot.com/; let us know what you think! ~Jimmy