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Originating during World War II as a response to tactical problems relating to the optimal operation of weapon systems and to operational problems relating to the deployment and employment of military forces, Operations Research (OR), also known as Operations Analysis (OA), has since evolved to a full-scale scientific discipline that is practiced widely by analysts in industry, government, and the military. It is the development and application of mathematical models, statistical analyses, simulations, analytical reasoning and common sense to the understanding and improvement of real-world operations. Improvement can be measured by the minimization of cost, maximization of efficiency, or optimization of other relevant measures of effectiveness.

The benefit of exploring this course of study at NPS is that the approach to teaching OR blends a balanced mix of modern technology with the best practices of traditional education. Computing technology is coupled with individual guidance and a superlative faculty in order to give each student a career enhancing educational experience. Each student learns computational methods and develops skills to identify relevant information, formulate decision criteria, and select alternatives. This education enhances performance in all duties throughout a military career including operational billets, technical management assignments and policy-making positions.

The Operations Research (OR) program at the Naval Postgraduate School is a world-class curriculum designed to teach students the science of helping people and organizations make better decisions.

This science is necessary in today's increasingly complex operating environment in which officers and managers must respond quickly to a vast array of demands while also weighing the options and consequences of each into his or her final decision. OR offers a scientific approach through the use of many tools and techniques in order to assist an individual in his or her decision making process.

Certificate in Systems Analysis (Curriculum 281)

Systems Engineering Analysis (SEA) (308)

Operations Analysis (Curriculum 360)

Completion of this curriculum qualifies an officer as an Operations Analysis Subspecialist with a subspecialty code of 3211. The curriculum sponsor is N-81, Office of Chief of Naval Operations, Assessment Division.

Operational Logistics (Curriculum 361)

Completion of this curriculum qualifies an officer as an Operational Logistics Subspecialist with a subspecialty code of XX43P and JPME Phase I education certification. The curriculum sponsor is N-4, Office of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics).

Human Systems Integration (Curriculum 362) See the HSI web site for more information.

Master of Systems Analysis (Distributed Learning) (Curriculum 363)

Joint Masters in Cost Estimating and Analysis (Curriculum 379)

More Student Information

  • Search OR classes in the online catalog.
  • The "Blue Book" (459K pdf) for new OA Students


Military Operations Research Society Stephen A. Tisdale Graduate Research Award

The Military Operations Research Society sponsors of the MORS/Tisdale award which is awarded quarterly to a student for outstanding thesis of high quality research which will have immediate or near-term value to the defense of the United States and its allies.

Originally named simply the MORS Award, it was renamed in honor of LCDR Stephen A. Tisdale, an outstanding officer-scholar after his tragic death in the collision of two P-3 Orions conducting a submarine tracking exercise at low altitude off the California coast on 21 March 1991.  LCDR Stephan A Tisdale graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1989 with two masters degrees: an M.S. in operations research and an M.S. in space systems operations. His outstanding and influential thesis, “Assessing Optimal Utilization of Potential Anti-Satellite Architectures,” won the MORS award. Additionally, he was awarded the prize for top all-around student in the space systems operations curriculum. Steve had unbounded intellectual curiosity, an unflagging desire to solve existing problems and to formulate new ones, and a complete lack of concern for grades.

2015 Awards

Jun 2015 -- Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Hof, German Army - “Optimization of Source and Receiver Placement in Multistatic Sonar Environments”
Mar 2015 – LT Timothy Shaffer,USN – Analysis of Hawaii's Resident Energy Conservation Program (RECP)

2014 Awards

December 2014 – Major Ryan D. Colton, USMC - Aerial Refueling Network Analysis
September 2014 – LT Christian Seymour, USN - Capturing the Full Potential of the Synthetic Theater Operations Research Model (STORM)
Mar 2014 – LT David C. Hebert, USN - Radar Resource Management in a Dense Target Environment
June 2014 – Captain Christopher Wood, USMC - What Friends Are For: Collaborative Intelligence Analysis and Search

2013 Awards

Mar 13 – LCDR Phillip Moilevsky, USN – Optimizing Transportation of Disaster Relief Material to Support U.S. Pacific Command Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Operations
Jun 13 – 1st LT Begum Ozcan, Turkish Air Force – Effectiveness of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Helping Secure a Border Characterized by Rough Terrain and Active Terrorists
Sep 13 – LCDR J. Ryan McLlaughlin, USN – Optimizing Adversary Training and the Structure of the Navy Adversary Fleet

2012 Awards

Dec 12 – MAJ Peter A. Nesbitt, USA, Optimal Interruption of Belligerent Project with Social-Functional Network Interdiction
Mar 12 – LCDR Walter Kulzy, USN – Modeling and Evaluating Indigenous Populations’ Support for their Government and Life Satisfaction
Jun 12 – Major Michael K. Chankij, USMC – Assessing Resiliency of the JP-8 Distribution System on Guam
Sep 12 – LT Matthew T. Yokeley, USN – Effects of Sleep Deprivation on U.S. Navy Surface Ship Watchstander Performance using Alternative Watch Schedules

2011 Awards

Mar 11 – LT Leslie A. Slootmaker, USN, Countering Piracy with the Next Generation Piracy Performance Surface Model
Jun 11 – Capt Maro D. Enoka, USMC, Optimizing Marine Security Guard Assignments
Jun 11 – Capt Joseph D. Rix, USMC, Modeling and Visualizing Complex Survey Results: An Application to Counter Terrorism in the Sahel
Sep 11 – Major Christian Klaus, German Army, Probabilistic Search on Optimized Graph Topologies

2010 Awards

Mar 10 – LT Kenneth L. Byers, Jr., USN. Situational Awareness for Surveillance and Interdiction Operations (SASIO) : tactical installation protection
Jun 10 – Capt Timothy J. Merkle, USMC.
Sep 10 – LCDR Connor S. McLemore, USN. Strike package-target pairing: real-time optimization for Airborne Battlespace Command and Control
Sep 10 – LT Kevin M. Moeller, USN

2009 Awards

Mar 09 – LT Stephen M. Valerio, USN. Probability of kill for VLA ASROC torpedo launch
Jun 09 – Capt Paul Nicholas, USMC. Optimal transmitter placement in wireless mesh networks
Sep 09 – CPT Marco Draeger, German Army. Use of probabilistic topic models for search
Dec 09 – MAJ Charles W. Weko, USAR

2008 Awards

Mar 08 – LT Benjamin P. Abbott, USN. Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mission packages: determining the best mix
Jun 08 – LT Ahmad Abdul-Ghaffar, Royal Bahraini Navy, Optimal Employment of Port Radar and Picket Ships to Detect Attacker Speedboats--A Defender-Attacker Optimization Model to Enhance Maritime Domain Awareness
Sep 08 – LT Chad S. Kaiser, USN
Dec 08 – CPT Ong, Cher Howe, Singapore Army. The effects of terrain on a system of systems

2007 Awards

Mar 07 – LT Jamie L. Edens, USN
Jun 07 – LT Matthew W. Foster, USN
Sep 07 – Maj Daniel N. Reber, USMC. Optimized routing of unmanned aerial systems for the interdiction of improvised explosive devices 
Dec 07 – MAJ Ryan R. Squires, USA.

2006 Awards

Mar 06 – MAJ Axel Weber, German Army
Jun 06 – MAJ Raymond Y. Shetzline, USA
Sep 06 – LCDR Jason A. Bridges, USN

2005 Awards

Jun 05 – CPT Gary R. Kramlich, USA. The effects of posture, body armor and other equipment on rifleman lethality
Sep 05 – Capt Koichi Takagi, USMC. Applied warfighter ergonomics: a research method for evaluating military individual equipment

2004 Awards

Mar 04 – LT Douglas D. Diehl, USN. How to optimize joint theater ballistic missile defense
Jun 04 – CPT Joseph M. Lindquist, USA. Unstructured high-order galerkin-temporal-boundary methods for the klein-gordon equation with non-reflecting boundary conditions
Sep 04 – Capt Paul M. Schneider, USMC

2003 Awards

Jun 03 – Maj Gregory W. Rouillard, USMC. An improved unsupervised modeling methodology for detecting fraud in vendor payment transactions
Sep 03 – Maj John H. Bruggeman, USMC. A multi-year ammunition procurement model for Department of the Navy non-nuclear ordnance

2002 Awards

Mar 02 – LT Cory L. Culver, USN. Optimally scheduling distribution of the MH-60s helicopter and pilots to combat support (HC) squadrons
Jun 02 – 1stLT Arif I. Ipekci, Turkish Army. How agent based models can be utilized to explore and exploit non-linearity and intangibles inherent in guerrilla warfare
Sep 02 – Maj Samuel P. Mowery, USMC. Enhancing the situational awareness of airfield local controllers
Sep 02 – Maj Casey C. Travers, USMC

2001 Awards

Jun 01 – LT Jonathan B. Haynes, USN
Sep 01 – Maj William Vinyard, USMC. Reducing non-monotonicities in combat models

2000 Awards

Jun 00 – LT Gregory Chapman, USN. Service level optimization for the Marine Corps Institute
Sep 00 – Maj Peter Baumgarten, USMC. Optimization of United States Marine Corps Officer Career Path Selection
Dec 00 – LT Julia M. Lopez, USN. Cost-attribute analysis of restructuring H-60R/S fleet replacement squadrons

1999 Awards

Mar 99 – LCDR James R. Townsend, USN. Defense of Naval Task Forces from Anti-Ship Missile attack
Sep 99 – LT Jack S. Thomas, USN
Dec 99 – LCDR Thomas V. Evanoff, USN

1998 Awards

Mar 98 – LT Scott D. Kuykendall, USN. Optimizing selection of Tomahawk Cruise Missiles
Sep 98 – Maj Arent Arntzen, Royal Norwegian AF. Software Components for Air Defense Planning

1997 Awards

Mar 97 – LT James R. Wimmer, USN. Analyzing and predicting underwater hull coating system wear
Sep 97 – LT Curt A. Renshaw, USN

1996 Awards

Mar 96 – LT Craig T. Schauppner, USN. Optimal aircraft carrier deployment scheduling
Sep 96 – Capt Matthew T. Sampson, USMC. An assessment of the impact of fused monochrome and fused color night vision displays on reaction time and accuracy in target detection

1995 Awards

Mar 95 – LT Daniel B. Widdis, USN. Using negative information to improve performance of forward scatter arrays
Sep 95 – Maj Robert C. Syvertson, USMC. A computer simulation and analysis of the Forward Surgical Team

1994 Awards

Mar 94 – LT Glenn C. Robillard, USN. A wholesale level consumable item inventory model for non-stationary demand patterns
Sep 94 – Capt M. David van Kan, USMC. A probabilistic target classification and description model for seismic sensors

1993 Awards

Mar 93 – LT Robert C. Swallow, USN
Sep 93 – LT David L. Schiffman, USN

1992 Awards

Mar 92 – LT Michael S. Viland, USN
Mar 92 – LT Richard P. Bodziak, USN
Sep 92 – LT Richard A. Brown, USN. A Naval Shipyard optimal drydock loading and capacity utilization model

1991 Awards

Sep 91 – LT Eric M. Campbell, USN
Sep 91 – LT Shawn M. Cali, USN

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