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The Naval Postgraduate School's Operations Research Department offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The department is without peer in integrating military applications of operations research into graduate education. 

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Operations Research Department
Naval Postgraduate School
Monterey, California 93943

Office: GL-258
(831) 656-1814
DSN: 756-1814
Fax: (831) 656-2595

David L. Alderson - Thesis Supervision

For prospective students:

If you are thinking about working with me on a thesis, start with these guidelines. In general, I recommend that you use the following guide to organize your thoughts and writing.

  • Brown, Gerald G. 2004 "How To Write About Operations Research," PHALANX, Vol. 37, No. 3, p. 7.
  • Essentially, if you can answer Brown's "Five Questions", then you have a thesis topic.
  • For guidance on editing your writing, please have a look at How To Edit A Paper by Ned Dimitrov. Expect that I will ask you to go through the process described here before reading your drafts.

    The NPS Graduate Writing Center (GWC) has a variety of online and in-person resources available to help with thesis writing, as well as a growing library of filmed workshops and online modules. The available films, with workshop descriptions, are available online. While all of these videos are valuable, the ones most relevant to the thesis are the following:

    • What's Different About Academic Writing? (0:06:00)
    • Technical Writing (1:10:00)
    • Organization: The Secret to Clear Writing (0:51:00)
    • Mastering the Literature Review (1:29:00)
    • Basics of Academic Writing (pdf guide)

    When formatting a bibliography, we use the style shared by INFORMS and MORS, which is a variation on the "Chicago Style". The following documents are useful references:

  • INFORMS Sample Bibliography for the Author-Year Style References Format pdf
  • Military Operations Research (MOR) Journal Editorial Policy pdf
  • Finally, one of the best guides for content and style are the past theses with which I have been involved.

    Past Theses

    Unless otherwise notes, each of these was in support of the Masters of Science in OR.

    Theses marked by one/two asterisk(s) (*/**) were MORS-Tisdale finalists/winners.

    As advisor:

    1. Maj Zach Dentes, USMC, Verification and Validation of the Marine Corps Modernized Recruit Distribution Model (M-RDM), June 2022
    2. ENS Andrea DeAbreu, USN, Tradeoffs in Power Grid Operation During a Public Safety Power Shutoff, December 2020
    3. Maj Lewis Flinn, USMC, Boundary Search and Traverse: Determining the Threshold Boundary for Infrastructure Network Resilience Problems, December 2020
    4. LCDR Robert Routley, USN, An Operational Model of the Critical Supply Chain for St. Thomas and St. John, September 2020
    5. ENS Andrew Borgdorff, USN, Measuring and Modeling Potable Water Demand in the United States Virgin Islands, June 2020
    6. LCDR Jeffrey Good, USN, An Operational Model of Critical Supply Chain for the U.S. Virgin Islands, September 2019, **
    7. MAJ Howard Barrow, USA, Network Shaping, June 2019
    8. Maj Daniel Diaz, UAMC, An Optimization-Based Approach to Measuring Robustness in Command and Control Networks, June 2019
    9. LT Shane Beavers, USN, A Method for Quantifying Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education (MPT&E) Impacts on Command and Control (C2) Resilience in Maritime Operations Centers, March 2019
    10. LCDR Reynaldo Cabana, USN, Modeling the USINDOPACOM Theater-Wide Fuel Distribution Network, September 2018
    11. CDR David S. Cohick, USN, A First-Principles Approach to Measuring Robustness in Command and Control Systems, March 2018
    12. LT William Beaumont, USN, Reachability Analysis of Bulk-Fuel to Intermediate Transportation-Nodes (RABIT) in USPACOM using a Design of Experiments, September 2017, **
    13. LT Cameron LeSeane, USN, Interdicting an Adversary's Economy Viewed as a Trade Sanction Inoperability Input-Output Model, April 2017
    14. Maj Jan-Wilhelm Brendecke, German Army, Optimal Repair and Replacement Policy for a System With Multiple Components, June 2016
    15. Maj Richard Allain, USMC, An Evolving Asymmetric Game for Modeling Interdictor-Smuggler Problems, June 2016.
    16. COL Wendy Wenke, USAFR, Assessing the Operational Resilience of the Port of Anchorage: Recommendations for Investment and Implications for Policy, MA in Security Studies, October 2015
    17. LT Brian Rodgers, USN, USPACOM Bulk Fuel Supply Chain Under Multiple Production, Storage and Demand Scenarios, September 2015
    18. Maj Jens Peter Hubertus Ruether, German Army, A Virtual Environment for Resilient Infrastructure Modeling and Design, September 2015
    19. Maj Carsten Schulze, German Army, A Comparison of Techniques for Optimal Infrastructure Restoration, December 2014
    20. LT Daniel Mintzer, USN, Optimizing the Resilience of Containerized Cargo Transportation Infrastructure in the Port of Los Angeles, September 2014
    21. LT Jason Ross, USN, Defending Critical Infrastructure Against Deliberate Threats and Non-Deliberate Hazards, September 2014
    22. LT Ashley Carline, USN, Optimization of Prepositioned Fuel at Defense Fuel Support Points in United States Pacific Command Area of Responsibility, December 2013
    23. LT Trey Dittberner, USN, Quantitative Analysis for Installation Access Planning at Naval Base San Diego, September 2012
    24. MAJ John Crain, USA, Assessing Resilience in the Global Undersea Cable Infrastructure, June 2012
    25. David Tou Wei Chiam, Singapore, A Model for the Growth of Network Service Providers, December 2011
    26. CDR C.F. de la Cruz, Defending the Maritime Transport of Cargo for the Hawaiian Islands, March 2011.
    27. LT T.C. Yuhas, USN, Escape from the delta: preparation and evacuation for catastrophic flooding in California Emergency Management Agency Region IV, March 2011
    28. LT W.J. Fry, USN, An analysis of Mobile Ad-Hoc Network performance to recommend a basis of issue for the U.S. Army Nett Warrior System, September 2010
    29. ENS W.P. Langford, USN, A space-time flow optimization model for neighborhood evacuation, March 2010
    30. LT Aaron N. Sanchez, USN, Internet service provider network evolution in the presence of changing environmental conditions, March 2010
    31. LT Deanne B. McPherson, USN, A contrasting look at network formation models and their application to the minimum spanning tree, September 2009
    32. MAJ Tim Kao, USMC, Optimal Routing of Marine Embassy Security Guard Detachments, June 2009.
    33. Capt Paul Nicholas, USMC, Optimal Transmitter Placement in Wireless Mesh Networks, June 2009.. **
    34. Capt Jonathan Derosier, USMC, Investigating Performance and Design Tradeoffs Between Heuristically and Optimally Designed IP-Based Networks, June 2008
    35. LT Timothy Barkley, USN, An Attacker-Defender Model for IP-Based Networks, March 2008.
    36. Capt Ryan Heisinger, USMC, Optimization of a Marine Corps Artillery Battalion Supply Distribution Network, September 2007

    As co-advisor:

    1. Cameron Jones, CIV, Vulnerability Analysis of the Physical and Logical Network Topology of the U.S. Virgin Islands, March 2022 [Co-Advisor: Justin Rohrer] *
    2. LT William Reinike, USN, The U.S. Financial System As A Network: Insights and Implications for Hybrid Warfare, June 2020 [Co-advisor: Tanya Beder]
    3. LCDR Brendan Bunn, USN, A Generalized Object-Oriented Model of Interdependent Infrastructure Resiliency and Recovery, September 2018 [Co-advisor: Daniel Eisenberg]
    4. Capt Rachel Cline, USMC, Understanding Automatic Identification System Data as Applied to Social Network Relationships and Activities, Dual Degrees in OR and Applied Mathematics, June 2018 [Co-advisor: Ralucca Gera]
    5. LT Clark Petri, USN, Assessing the Operational Resilience of Electrical Distribution Systems, September 2017 [Co-advisor: Matt Carlyle]
    6. Maj Daniel Funk, German Army, Analysis of the global maritime transportation system and its resilience, Dual Degrees in OR and Applied Mathematics, June 2017
    7. LTJG Kevin Martin, USN, A Geographic and Functional Network Flow Analysis Tool, MS in Computer Science, June 2014 [Co-Advisor: Rudy Darken]
    8. LTJG Fatih Yildiz, Turkish Navy, Modeling the Effects of Cyber Operations on Kinetic Battles, June 2014 [Co-Advisor: Don Gaver]
    9. LCDR Charles Burton, USN, Analyzing the U.S. Military Fuel Distribution Network on Okinawa, September 2013 [Co-advisor: Jerry Brown]
    10. LT Catherine Long, USN, Analyzing the Resilience of the U.S. Military Fuel Distribution System for Mainland Japan, September 2013 [Co-advisor: Jerry Brown]
    11. Capt Joshua Onuska, USMC, Defending the Pittsburgh Waterways Against Catastrophic Disruption, June 2012 [Co-advisor: Jerry Brown]
    12. Maj Michael Chankij, USMC, Assessing the Resiliency of the Jet Propellant-8 (JP-8) Delivery System on Guam, June 2012 [Co-advisor: Jerry Brown]
    13. LT Ryan Engel, USCG, Game Theory, Probabilistic Risk, and Randomized Strategy: The Rulebook Revisited with Emphasis on Coast Guard Mission Space, MS in Applied Mathematics, December 2011 [Co-advisor: Bard Mansager]
    14. CDR C.A. Dixon, USN, “Assessing Vulnerabilities in Interdependent Infrastructures Using Attacker-Defender Models,” September 2011 [Co-advisor: Matt Carlyle]
    15. Capt Arun Shankar, USMC, “Optimal Placement of Wireless Jamming Devices for Maximal Service Disruption,” June 2008, Dual degrees in OR and Applied Mathematics [Co-advisor: Hong Zhou]

    As second reader:

    1. ENS Christina Domanowski, USN, Evacuation Plans for Naval Station Newport and Aquidneck Island Under Uncertainty, September 2022 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg]
    2. CPT Tate Husemann, USA, Last-Mile Points of Distribution: Optimal Disaster Relief for Windward Oahu and Marine Corps Base Hawaii, June 2022 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg]
    3. LCDR Amanda Jones, USN, Mission-Informed Evacuation Models for Naval Station Newport and Aquidneck Island, September 2021 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg] *
    4. LCDR Aaron Fish, USN, Overcoming Flaws in the Mission Dependency Index (MDI) With Network Flow Analysis, March 2021 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg]
    5. Major Matthias Kuc, German Army, A Computational Framework for Optimization-Based Interdependent Infrastructure Analysis and Vulnerability, December 2020 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg]
    6. Major Elad Bengigi, Israeli Defense Forces, Efficiency and Resilience Trade-Offs for Roadway Intersection Design in the U.S. Virgin Islands, September 2020 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg]
    7. Capt William Wine, Analyzing Cell Phone Network Resilience in the U.S. Virgin Islands, June 2020 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg, Co-Advisor: Justin Rohrer]
    8. Major Brian Moeller, Synthetic Network Generation and Vulnerability Analysis of Internet Infrastructure Systems in the U.S. Virgin Islands, June 2020 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg, Co-Advisor: Justin Rohrer]
    9. Major Dominik Wille, German Army, Simulation-Optimization for Operational Resilience of Interdependent Water-Power Systems in the U.S. Virgin Islands, December 2019 [Advisor: Daniel Eisenberg]
    10. LT Carolyne Vu, USN, A Method for Classification of Incomplete Networks: Training the Model with Complete and Incomplete Information, March 2019 [Advisor: Rudy Yoshida]
    11. Xian Lin Penelope Chia, Singapore, Assessing the Robustness of Graph Statistics for Network Analysis Under Incomplete Information, March 2018 [Advisor: Rudy Yoshida]
    12. LCDR Charles Clark, USN, The Threshold Shortest Path Interdiction Problem for Critical Infrastructure Resilience Analysis, September 2017 [Advisor: Matt Carlyle]
    13. LT Jason Marks, USN, (U) Optimization of Fuel Logistics for a Pacific Campaign, June 2015 [Advisor: Jerry Brown]
    14. LCDR Michael Dickenson, USN, Solving Operational Models of Interdependent Infrastructure Systems, December 2014 [Advisor: Matt Carlyle]
    15. LCDR Bryan Rex, USN, Improving the Resilience and Reliability of the Southern California Petroleum Supply Infrastructure, September 2014 [Advisor: Jerry Brown]
    16. LCDR James Montgomery, USN, Oahu Petroleum Infrastructure Resilience, June 2013 [Co-Advisors: Jerry Brown, Matt Carlyle]
    17. Selcuk Gun, Turkish Army, Design and Implementation of a Computation Server for Optimization With Application to the Analysis of Critical Infrastructure, June 2013. Dual degrees in OR and Software Engineering. [Co-Advisors: Matt Carlyle, Tom Otani]
    18. LT Robert Floyd, USN, Scheduling USCG Atlantic Area Cutters, March 2013 [Co-Advisors: Jerry Brown, Robert Dell]
    19. LT Samuel Trassare, USN, A Technique for Presenting a Deceptive Dynamic Network Topology, March 2013. MS in Cyber Systems and Operations. [Advisor: Robert Beverly]
    20. LCDR April Malveo, Assessing the Impact of Congestion During a Multi-County Evacuation, March 2013 [Advisor: Emily Craparo]
    21. LTC Brian Axelsen, USAR, Simulating the Spread of an Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in California, June 2012 [Advisor: Ned Dimitrov]
    22. LT Jason Crews, USN, Determining Optimal Evacuation Policies for Disasters, March 2012 [advisor: Emily Craparo]
    23. LCDR R.G. Alexander, USN, Ensuring Resiliency in the Milk and Dairy Industry in California, September 2011 [Advisor: Ned Dimitrov]
    24. LT C.R. Farlow, USN, Prepositioning for flooding in the Sacramento region, March 2011 [Advisor: Javier Salmeron]
    25. LCDR S.M. Andrews, USN, Optimizing C4ISR networks in the presence of enemy jamming, March 2010 [Advisor: Matt Carlyle]
    26. MAJ Chuck Weko, USA, [Title Classified], M.S. Thesis in Operations Research, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, USA. December 2009. ** [Advisor: Lyn Whitaker]
    27. Capt Joshua Jabin, USMC, Evaluating Alternative Network Configurations and Resource Allocations For Deployed Marine Corps Aviation Logistics Units, June 2009 [Advisor: Moshe Kress]
    28. ENS Shanece Kendall, USN, Modeling Insurgencies as Living Systems, June 2008 [Advisor: Gordon Bradley]

    You can look these up directly on the NPS Dudley Knox Library:


    Material contained herein is made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.

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