Curriculum Vitae

Jacob Howard

[email protected]

Work and Research Interests

I am a software developer and physicist, with a strong background in computing and mathematics.

My doctoral work focused on studies of the Higgs boson decaying into τ-leptons as part of the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. A large portion of my research was also devoted to development of high-performance computing optimizations for the ATLAS data acquisition and processing pipeline.

Prior to my doctorate, I worked on software and hardware integration for a Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiment at UC Berkeley. I also have extensive experience with development in enterprise environments, as both a full-time and freelance employee. I have a broad yet in-depth working knowledge of a variety of software technologies, spanning server, desktop, mobile, and web platforms. I particularly enjoy working on performance-critical software with challenging requirements.


University of Oxford – D.Phil. (Ph.D.)
Particle Physics
Measurements of the Higgs Boson in the H→ττ Decay Channel
2010 – 2015

University of California at Berkeley – B.A.
Double Major in Physics and Pure Mathematics
2005 – 2008

Grants and Awards

National Physical Science Consortium Graduate Fellowship
2010 – 2015

Springboard Accelerator Program (London)

1st Place – Startup@Berkeley Hackathon


The ATLAS collaboration
Search for the Standard Model Higgs boson produced in association with a vector boson and decaying into a tau pair in pp collisions at √s=8 TeV with the ATLAS detector
Phys. Rev. D, 93, 092005

The ATLAS collaboration
Evidence for the Higgs-boson Yukawa coupling to tau leptons with the ATLAS detector
Journal of High Energy Physics, 4, 117

The ATLAS collaboration
Evidence for Higgs boson decays to the τ+τ final state with the ATLAS detector

Emeliyanov, D. and Howard, J.
GPU-based tracking algorithms for the ATLAS high-level trigger
Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 396, 1

Lee, A. T. et al.
Polarbear: Ultra-high energy physics with measurements of CMB polarization
AIP Conference Proceedings, 1040, 66

Research and Professional Experience

2019 – Present

Independent Consultant and Developer
2016 – 2018

Graduate Student
ATLAS Experiment, CERN
2010 – 2015
  • Developed high-performance GPU-based detector data decoding and hit clustering algorithms for the ATLAS trigger
  • Validated H→ττ event reconstruction and Boosted Decision Tree model
  • Compared performance of Matrix Element Method and Boosted Decision Tree analyses in the H→WW decay channel
  • Commenced development of GPU-accelerated matrix element integration
  • Developed a parallel, high-performance Python/C++ analysis framework for the ATLAS (V)H→ττ analyses
  • Optimized τ-lepton trigger identification and selection criteria
  • Optimized (V)H→ττ event selection criteria
  • Calculated QCD scale uncertainties for jet-binned (V)H→ττ analyses
  • Evaluated signal and exclusion significances for the (V)H→ττ analyses

Lead Software Developer
2010 – 2012
  • Developed iOS application for punchlist management and reporting
  • Developed Python backend and web application to support punchlist management and reporting
  • Designed, developed, and maintained company website
  • Managed Linux server and database infrastructure

Freelance Software Developer
2009 – 2011
  • Developed C#/ASP.NET authentication plugin for integration with central authentication server
  • Developed custom C++ Windows credential provider for YubiKey tokens

Research Assistant
Experimental Cosmology Group, UC Berkeley
2008 – 2009
  • Integrated telescope pointing control with data acquisition systems
  • Developed cryostat temperature and cycle control software
  • Designed and implemented control software for frequency-multiplexed SQUID/bolometer readout system
  • Designed and implemented real-time data acquisition, analysis, and visualization system for monitoring telescope sensor array
  • Constructed precision IRIG-B timestamp propagation electronics for telescope, detectors, and control computer
  • Constructed synchronization pulse electronics for hardware systems
  • Designed network architecture for high-bandwidth data acquisition

Software Developer
Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
2006 – 2009
  • Developed C#/ASP.NET web applications and services for Windows domain account and computer management
  • Maintained and developed for Microsoft SQL Server instances
  • Managed Linux research cluster and benchmarked its performance
  • Supervised junior developers

Software Developer
Institute of Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley
2006 – 2007
  • Developed C#/ASP.NET web applications and services for dataset and publication distribution
  • Maintained and developed for Microsoft SQL Server instances
  • Maintained legacy PHP and ColdFusion applications
  • Maintained organization website
  • Provided general IT support