John W. Sheppard, PhD, FIEEE

Contact Information

Dr. John W. Sheppard
College of Engineering Distinguished Professor and RightNow Technologies Fellow
Director, Numerical Intelligent Systems Laboratory
Department of Computer Science
EPS 363
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
V: +1 406 994 4835
F: +1 406 994 4376
E: john dot sheppard at cs dot montana dot edu

Biographical Sketch

Dr. John Sheppard was the inaugural RightNow Technologies Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Montana State University and currently holds an appointment as College of Engineering Distinguished Professor in the Computer Science Department at MSU. He also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. In 2007, he was elected as an IEEE Fellow "for contributions to system-level diagnosis and prognosis." Prior to joining Hopkins, he was a Fellow at ARINC Incorporated in Annapolis, MD where he worked for almost 20 years. Dr. Sheppard performs research in Bayesian classification, dynamic Bayesian networks, evolutionary methods, and optimization. In addition, Dr. Sheppard is active in IEEE Standards activities. Currently, he serves as a member of the IEEE Computer Society Standards Activities Board and is the Computer Society liaison to IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 20 on Test and Diagnosis for Electronic Systems. He is also the co-chair of the Diagnostic and Maintenance Control Subcommittee of SCC20 and has served as an official US delegate to the International Electrotechnical Commission's Technical Committee 93 on Design Automation.


  • BS, Computer Science (magna cum laude), Southern Methodist University, 1983
  • MS, Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University, 1990
  • PhD, Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University, 1997


  • College of Engineering Distinguished Professor in Computer Science, Montana State University
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Computer Science, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Lecturer, Computer Science Program, Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals, The Johns Hopkins University

Professional Activities

  • IEEE Fellow
    • IEEE Computer Society
    • IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society
    • IEEE Standards Association
  • IEEE Computer Society Liaison to SCC20
  • Member-At-Large, IEEE Computer Society Standards Activities Board
  • Co-Chair, IEEE SCC20, Diagnostic and Maintenance Control Subcommittee
  • Technical Program Chair, IEEE AUTOTESTCON 2001, 2007, and 2011
  • Technical Program Chair, IEEE International Workshop on System Test and Diagnosis, 1998-2000
  • Co-Editor in Chief, International Journal of Prognostics and Health Management
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement

Research Interests

  • Machine Learning
  • Data Mining
  • Bayesian Networks
  • Neural Networks
  • Deep Learning and Deep Feature Extraction
  • Evolutionary and Swarm-based Methods
  • Factored Optimization Methods
  • System-Level Fault Diagnosis
  • System-Level Fault Prognosis
  • Measurement Uncertainty

Courses Taught

  • Montana State University
    • CSCI 246: Discrete Structures
    • CSCI 446: Artificial Intelligence
    • CSCI 447: Machine Learning: Soft Computing
    • CSCI 500: Seminar in Machine Learning
    • CSCI 547: Machine Learning
    • CSCI 548: Reasoning Under Uncertainty
    • CSCI 550: Data Mining
  • Johns Hopkins University
    • 600.335/435: Artificial Intelligence (Homewood)
    • 600.475: Machine Learning (Homewood)
    • 600.735: Seminar in Machine Learning (Homewood)
    • 605.421: Foundations of Algorithms (EP)
    • 605.445: Artificial Intelligence (EP)
    • 605.746: Machine Learning (EP)
    • 605.747: Evolutionary Computation (EP)

Current Graduate Students

  • Stephyn Butcher, ABD (PhD Advisee)
  • Alan Cleary (PhD Committee)
  • Kaveh Dehghanpour (PhD Committee
  • Doug Galarus (PhD Committee)
  • Rollie Goodman (MS Advisee)
  • Richard McAllister (PhD Advisee)
  • Benjamin Mitchell, ABD (PhD Advisee)
  • Logan Perreault (PhD Advisee)
  • Janette Rounds (MS Advisee)
  • Shane Strasser (PhD Advisee)
  • Leah Thompson (MS Advisee)
  • Monica Thornton (MS Advisee)
  • Hasari Tosun (PhD Advisee)
  • Scott Wahl, ABD (PhD Advisee)

Prior Graduate Students

  • David Albert (MS, 1999)
  • Anthony Arnone (MS, 2010)
  • Seth Berardinelli (MS 2015)
  • Stephyn Butcher, ABD (MS 2002; PhD Advisee)
  • Patrick Donnelly, (MSE 2008; PhD 2015)
  • Nathan Fortier (MS 2013; PhD 2015)
  • Karthik Ganesan Pillai (PhD Committee)
  • Houston King (MS, 2014)
  • Benjamin Mitchell, ABD (MSE 2008; PhD Advisee)
  • Shane Strasser (PhD Advisee)
  • Liessman Sturlaugson (MS 2012; PhD 2014)