Dr. Justin Jacobs '03
2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement
Dr. Justin Jacobs had hoped in his younger years to become math teacher. Then came the 9/11 attacks at a critical time in his college career, leaving him with images that forced him to question what he could do to help prevent such tragedy from ever happening again.
Then a junior at Carroll, he took a talent for numbers and later sought work with the government, leading to a position as an applied research mathematician for the National Security Agency / Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) within the United States Department of Defense. Today, he utilizes statistical analysis in support of military operations. His specialty is in timing infrastructure and geolocation, allowing him to identify and analyze the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). His work also protects other interests that depend on the GNSS architecture, such as wireless networks, Internet timing stability for data packet transfer, and location services for military components.
Dr. Jacobs works with military units abroad to analyze and advise based on signals intelligence. His solution could make the difference in predicting and avoiding an attack. He considers his work a mission of community service.
In 2014, Dr. Jacobs received a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering and praise from President Barack Obama. It is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers in the first five years of their independent research careers. President Obama acknowledged Dr. Jacobs' work for his research and development of geolocation algorithms.
"With unwavering commitment to scientific excellence and technological advancement, you (Dr. Jacobs) are helping carry this tradition forward and keeping America on the cutting-edge of innovation and discovery," President Obama said.
In addition to his government position, Dr. Jacobs also started his own company in 2014, Squared2020 Statistics. He provides statistical consulting and maintains a blog focused primarily on sports analytics, crime analytics, and statistical methodology for business development. He has provided for the prediction of player statistics for the Philadelphia 76ers, delivery of spatiotemporal analytics research to the Charlotte Hornets and distributional analysis on crime data in conjunction with SpotCrime, a city and county crime map web engine showing crime incident data down to neighborhood crime activity.
Dr. Jacobs is currently employed as Principal Research Statistician for Data Science and Cyber Analytics at Sandia National Laboratories; a Federal Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) housed out of the Department of Energy.
Dr. Jacobs graduated from Carroll in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science. He went on to earn his master's degree in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005, a master's degree in statistics from University of Maryland- Baltimore County in 2008, and his doctoral degree in statistics also from UMBC in 2014. He is married to fellow Carroll graduate April (Meyer) Jacobs '04 and they have two sons, who are 7 and 3.