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What is Operations Research?

Operations Research (OR) is the science of helping people and organizations make better decisions via

  • mathematical models, statistical analyses, simulations
  • analytical reasoning and common sense
to enhance the understanding and improvement of real-world operations. 

OR originated during World War II.  The military uses OR at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels.

Military OR is explicitly about decision-making in the presence of a harmful adversary.

Biggest users of OR: modern corporations (including infrastructure owners & operators).

There is a large body of scientific work in OR that can be applied to critical infrastructure.

NPS has the oldest OR department in existence. We develop decision support tools that are of immediate operational relevance to the decision-maker.  

Research in Optimization at the NPS Operations Research Department has included projects for all U.S. Services, many government agencies, and 30 of the Fortune 50. These are often centered around student Masters thesis projects

For more information:

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All information contained herein has been approved for release by the NPS Public Affairs Officer.
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