Lunchtime lecture: John Sheppard

Don’t miss this Friday’s lunchtime lecture! This Friday (Mar 15) from 12:00 to 1:00 in SS 362:

Sittin’ With the Doc of the Bayes: Multidisciplinary Research in Probabilistic Learning at MSU

Dr. John W. Sheppard

Professor, RightNow Technologies Fellow
Director, Numerical Intelligent Systems Laboratory
Department of Computer Science
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT


Advances in models and algorithms incorporating probabilistic reasoning have brought artificial intelligence from simply solving “toy problems” to now being able to tackle large, complex, real-world problems. For example, within the Numerical Intelligent Systems Laboratory (NISL) at MSU, we are currently working with large aerospace corporations and the US Department of Defense to tackle problems related to diagnosing and predicting future failures in aircraft systems using probabilistic graphical models. During this talk, we will discuss several of the ongoing research projects underway in NISL and highlight some of the multidisciplinary aspects of this work. Current projects include, not only system health management and prediction for aerospace systems, but scenario analysis and decision support for the US Geological Survey, semantically-driven knowledge discovery for financial reporting, and musical instrument classification.

Biography: Dr. John Sheppard was the inaugural RightNow Technologies Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Montana State University and currently holds a position as Professor and RightNow Technologies Fellow. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a BS in computer science from Southern Methodist University as well as an MS and PhD in computer science from Johns Hopkins. 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 reinforcement learning. He is the director of MSU’s Numerical Intelligent Systems Laboratory with nine PhD students and two MS students. The lab is engaged in funded research in the areas of machine learning and ontology-guided data mining in system-level fault diagnosis, prognosis, and model maturation. 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.


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