Vincent Toups

Personal Information

Name:Jonathan Vincent Toups
Profession:Data Scientist, Software Engineer
Other Hats:Computational Neuroscientist, Writer, Artist, Physicist
Location:The Triangle, North Carolina

About My Career Goals

I am a scientifically trained data scientist and software engineer looking for ethical and intellectually stimulating application of my broad background and experience.


I am a technical professional with broad educational and work experience. While I presently work as a data scientist (and engineer) whose primary responsibility is the analysis and visualization of a large variety of types of data. I have also worked as a full stack software engineer responsible for both back end and front end software development. I have a doctorate in physics. My doctoral research was interdisciplinary, however, located at the intersection of biophysics, machine learning, and neuroscience.

I've analyzed data sets (from initial contact all the way to final results) from a large variety of sources of a variety of sizes in a variety of languages.

I am a game designer and developer - my first commercial game was released last year. It is about 10,000 lines of Scheme. Almost the entire game engine is implemented from scratch, including pathfinding (and associated data structures), AI, various Object Systems (including an ECS-style game engine). I also contributed significant, low level, cross platform code to the open source framework with which the game is written.

In the course of my professional life I have acquired significant skill with the following programming languages, listed in order of competence: R, Scheme, Javascript, Java, Scala, Scheme/Racket, Matlab, Common Lisp, C, Python, Lua, Bash. I enjoy learning new languages and paradigms.

I am proficient in or familiar with the use of the following tools and systems for software development and data analysis: AWS, R, Node, Bower, Browserify, Hive, SQLite, Emacs, Unix (linux, OSX/BSD), Matlab, git, LaTeX, HTML, HTTP, REST and others. I have also worked with RDF/Triple Store Technology. I have used Tableau but I very strongly prefer writing my own interactive visualizations in Javascript.

As a data scientist I've got the experience of a physicist, which means I've picked up a hodge-poddge of techniques as needed. I have particular experience with information theory, metric space analysis, unsupervised clustering, regression and classification. I very much enjoy the creative work of building the right visualization. My preference is for interactive visualizations written using Javascript and HTML5, sometimes using D3, often not.

As a physicist, I continue to be interested in the history and philosophical foundations of physics. As a programmer I am interested in purely functional and strongly statically typed languages. As a game designer, I'm interested in the intersection of the mathematical or technical structure of games and the emotional experience of fun. As a software engineer I'm interested in minimalism and rigor.

I understand monads and can explain in pretty simple terms why the philosophical interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is so challenging. I speak a little French.

Employment History

Data Scientist/Engineer
Responsible for the development of data analysis pipelines, the construction of statistical models, and the creation of various reports and visualizations covering a broad range of data. Particliarly focused on creating repeatable, reliable data science in a context where source data may be constantly changing or intermittently reliable.
Software Engineer
Full stack software engineer supporting and modernizing an internet-of-things control application. Responsible for bug fixing and feature development covering things as diverse as the web application front end all the way down to the Java subsystem dealing with RF messages which underlay the application. Also wrote simulator code for the distributed objects and worked on things like populating testing databases with simulated data.
Software Engineer
Responsible for both server and client side development of a rich data management application using Common Lisp, Javascript, and occasional Java. Responsible for the design of an MVC framework for generic typed object creation and editing.
Postdoctoral Researcher (Neuroscience, Chemometrics)
Pursued research towards the analysis of chemical information from Fast-Scan Cyclic Voltammetry in awake and behaving animals. Developed data analysis tools to simplify the analysis of multiple chemical signals from a single electrode.
Graduate Researcher (Computational Neuroscience)
Studied the flow of information in visual system neurons by developing data analysis tools to automatically find and categorize evidence of grazing bifurcations in the state-space of populations of neurons.
Researcher Assistant (Surface Science)
Responsible for miscellaneous laboratory tasks in a surface science lab (maintenance of vacuum systems, construction of experimental electronics, some programming in LabView.)


UNC Chapel Hill, Physics Department
Doctorate (with MS) in Physics. Research covered the analysis and modeling of neural data for evidence of grazing bifurcations and their implication for information processing in the brain.
Louisiana State University, Physics Department
Bachelors of Science (Physics)


  • The possible role of spike patterns in cortical information processing. Tiesinga PH and Toups JV. (2005) Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 18, 275-286.
  • Methods for finding and validating neural spike patterns. Toups JV, Tiesinga PHE. (2006) Neurocomputing, 69, 1362.
  • Finding the Event Structure of Neural Spike Trains. Toups JV, Fellous JM, Thomas PJ, Sejnowski TJ, Tiesinga PHE, . (2011) Neural Computation (23) 1-40


  • The Death of the Corpse Wizard (Digital Game). Vincent Toups, Stephen Guidry, Bill Harlow, Andrew Toups (2016)
  • Clocks (Digital Art Work). Vincent Toups. (2015-Present) Hunt Library Media Wall.
Additional work in the "Clocks" series is available here: The Death of the Corpse Wizard is available here: I've also done a series of lectures on generative art and music for the Iron Yard. They and other source code-related material are available here:

In the course of work and education I have presented talks and posters at a variety of conferences, mostly pertaining to neuroscience. I was a "Scholar of Tomorrow" Fellow at UNC Chapel Hill and received the "Outstanding Graduate In Physics Award" at LSU. Details can be furnished upon request.

Please contact me for references.