Hello.  My name is John Howard.  I am a computer scientist and biometrics researcher.  I hold a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the 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, and testing human machine interfaces.  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 a Principal Scientist at the Maryland Test Facility, one of the largest AI testing labs in the U.S.  My main areas of focus are on performance testing and how we understand and measure the equitability of biometric systems.  I am also the editor of ISO 19795-10, a (draft) international standard on fairness in biometric systems, and serve as a Fellow at SMU’s AT&T Center and on the IEEE Biometrics Council’s Committee on Societal Impact and Social Good.  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 activities and 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