Hello.  My name is John Howard.  I am a data scientist and biometrics researcher.  I earned my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Bobby Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University.  My thesis was Biometric Pattern Recognition Models for Identifying Subject Specific Match Probability, advised by Dr. Delores Etter.

My research interests are in biometrics, computer vision, machine learning, testing human machine interfaces, pattern recognition, and statistics.  I enjoy working with the R programming language, specifically the dplyr and ggplot packages.  I am a steadfast advocate for the concepts of reproducible research and think workflows that involve LaTeX, knitr, and/or RMarkdown are extremely powerful.  However, I also enjoy more generic software engineering like using golang and docker to deploy microservice architectures on platforms like Kubernetes.

I am currently the lead data scientist at the Maryland Test Facility, where I do biometric related research.  My main areas of focus are on performance testing and specifically how we measure, understand, and communicate the equitability of biometric systems.  In my free time, I also do consulting work and enjoy teaching.

I try to update my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles regularly with news and thoughts about  these topics.  If you find these interesting please follow along.  You can also find a list of upcoming events I will be attending or speaking at here.


  • Ph.D. 2015

    Computer Science

    Southern Methodist University, Lyle School of Engineering

  • Masters of Science 2010

    Computer Engineering

    Southern Methodist Univeristy, Lyle School of Engineering

  • Bachelors of Science 2009


    Southern Methodist University, Dedman College

  • Bachelors of Science 2009

    Computer Engineering

    Southern Methodist University, Lyle School of Engineering

Professional Experience

  • Present2018

    Member, M1.3 (Biometric Data Interchange Formats) and M1.5 (Biometric Performance Testing and Reporting) Committees

    International Committee for Information Technology Standards

  • Present2014

    Principal Data Scientist

    Scitor Corporation // Science Applications International - Annapolis Junction, Maryland

  • 20142012

    Senior Research Scientist

    Scitor Corporation - Annapolis Junction, Maryland

  • 20122010

    Software Engineering Leadership Development Program

    Lockheed Martin, Missile and Fire Control - Dallas, Texas