Rachel T. Silvestrini (née Johnson) joined the Operations Research Department at the Naval Postgraduate School in the beginning of 2009. Rachel received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University. She is a recipient of the Mary G. and Joseph Natrella Scholarship for her contributions to the statistics community. She has participated on NSF grants and was awarded a scholarship for her master’s degree by the Semiconductor Research Corporation. She has had two years of work experience in the industrial sector working for Intel Corporation.

Click on the tabs above for information on Prof. Silvestrini’s research interests, courses she has taught, students she has advised, and the about tab for personal interests and fun links.

Contact Information:

Assistant Professor Rachel T. Silvestrini née Johnson

Operations Research Department

Naval Postgraduate School

1411 Cunningham Rd.

Monterey, CA 93943


(e) rtjohnso@nps.edu

(p) 831-656-2585

Prof. Silvestrini has research interests in Operations Research and Statistics. Her main areas of interest are in the design and analysis of experiments and manpower and personnel modeling. Her PhD was entitled The Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments. Much of the work in her PhD stemmed from projects she worked on while an intern at NASA Langley in the LARSS program and then as a research assistant for a NASA sponsored research project. Her Master’s thesis was entitled Discrete Event Simulation Model Abstraction.

Journal Articles


14. Silvestrini, R.T., Montgomery, D.C., and Jones, B.A. “Comparing Computer Experiments for the Gaussian Process Model Using Integrated Prediction Variance,” 2012, Accepted for publication in Quality Engineering.

13. Muratore, M., Chung, T.H., and Silvestrini, R.T. “Simulation Analysis of UAV and Ground Teams for Surveillance and Interdiction,” 2012, Accepted for publication in the Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation.

12. Lednicky, E.J. and Silvestrini, R.T. (2013) “Quantifying Gains Using the Capabilities Based Test and Evaluation Method,” Quality and Reliability Engineering International, 29(1), pp. 139 - 156.

11. Price, J., Hahn, K., McLaughlin, J., and Silvestrini, R.T. (2012) “Optimizing Promotion Opportunity and In-Zone Range for the Unrestricted Marine Corps Reserve Officer Population,” Military Operations Research Journal, 17(4).

10. Silvestrini, R.T.J and Parker, P.A. (2012) “Aerospace Research through Statistical Engineering,”  Quality Engineering, 24(2), pp. 292 - 305. 

9. Johnson, R.T., Simpson, J.R., Montgomery, D.C., and Hutto, G.T. (2012) “Designed Experiments for the Defense Community,” Quality Engineering, 24, pp. 60 – 79.

8. Antony, J., Montgomery, D., Coleman, S., Anderson, M., and Silvestrini, R. (2011) “Design of Experiments for Non-Manufacturing Processes: Benefits, Challenges, and Some Examples,” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B, Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 225, pp. 2051 – 2070.

7. Johnson, R.T., Montgomery, D.C., and Jones, B. (2011) “An Expository Paper on Optimal Design,” Quality Engineering, 23, pp 287 – 301.  

6. Johnson, R.T., Montgomery, D.C., and Jones, B. (2011) “An Empirical Study of the Prediction Performance of Space-Filling Designs," Int. J. Experimental Design and Process Optimisation, 2, pp. 1 – 18.

5. Johnson, R.T. and Montgomery, D.C. (2010) "Designing Experiments for Nonlinear Models - An Introduction," Quality and Reliability Engineering International, 26, p. 431 - 441.

4. Johnson, R.T., Montgomery, D.C., Jones, B., and Parker, P.A. (2010) “Comparing Computer Experiments Using High Order Polynomial Metamodels,” Journal of Quality Technology, 42(1), p. 86 - 102.

3. Johnson, R.T. and Montgomery, D.C. (2009) "Choice of Second-Order Response Surface Designs for Logistic and Poisson Regression Models," Int. J. Experimental Design and Process Optimisation, 1(1), p. 2 - 23.

2. Jones, B. and Johnson, R.T. (2009) “The Design and Analysis of the Gaussian Process Model,” Quality and Reliability Engineering International, 25, p. 515 - 524.

1. Johnson, R.T., Parker, P.A., Montgomery, D.C., Cutler, A.D., Danehy, P.M., and Rhew, R.D. (2009) “Design Strategies for Response Surface Models for the Study of Supersonic Combustion,” Quality and Reliability Engineering International, 25, p. 365 - 377.

Book Chapters

1.Johnson, R.T., Montgomery, D.C., and Kennedy, K. (2012)  “Hybrid Space-Filling Designs for Computer Experiments,”  Frontiers Workshop Proceedings, pp. 287 - 302.

Magazine Articles

1. Silvestrini, R.T., Parker, W.J., and Sammito, G. (2012). "Design of Experiments for Information Technology Systems," Defense At&L, September - Octboer 2012 Issue, pp. 30 - 35. 

Conference Proceedings

8. Crary, S. and Johnson, R.T. (2011). “Validation of the Twin-Point-Design Concept in Design of Computer Experiments,” Proceedings of the 2011 Joint Statistical Meeting, pp. 5495 – 5505.

7. Byers, K., Chung, T.H., and Johnson, R.T. (2010). “Modeling and Analysis of Tactical Installation Protection Missions,” Proceedings of the 2010 Winter Simulation Conference, pp. 1347 - 1355.

6. Johnson, R.T., Lampe, T.A., and Seichter, S. (2009). “Calibration of an Agent-Based Simulation Model Depicting a Refugee Camp Scenario,” Proceedings of the 2009 Winter Simulation Conference, p. 1778 - 1786.

5. Johnson, R.T., Montgomery, D.C., Jones, B., and Fowler, J.W. (2008). “Comparing Designs for Computer Experiments,” Proceedings of the 2008 Winter Simulation Conference, p.463 – 470.

4. Parker, P.A., Johnson, R.T., and Montgomery, D.C. (2008). “Statistical Methodologies to Integrate Experimental and Computational Research,” Proceedings of the Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force (JANNAF) Conference.

3. Johnson, R.T., Fowler, J.W, and Mackulak, G.T (2005). “A Discrete Event Simulation Model Simplification Technique,” Proceedings of the 2005 Winter Simulation Conference, p.2172 – 2176.

2. Johnson, R.T, Yang, F., Ankenman, B.E, and Nelson, B.L (2004). “Non-linear Regression Fits for Simulated Cycle Time vs. Throughput Curves for Semiconductor Manufacturing,” Proceedings of the 2004 Winter Simulation Conference, p.1952 – 1955.

1. Johnson, R.T, Leach, S., Fowler, J.W, and Mackulak, G.T (2004). “Variance-based Sampling for Cycle Time – Throughput Confidence Intervals,” Proceedings of the 2004 Winter Simulation Conference, p.716 – 720.

Prof. Silvestrini has taught the following courses:

Summer 2009:    OS4701 (Manpower and Personnel Models)

Winter 2010:       OS4701 (Manpower and Personnel Models)

                            OS3104 (Prob and Stats for Engineers) 

                            OA4101 (Design of Experiments)

Fall 2011:            OS3180 (Prob and Stat for Systems Engineering)

                            OA4101 (Design of Experiments) 

Spring 2011:       OS3112 (Data Analysis and Experimental Design)

                            OA4101 (Design of Experiments) 

Fall 2012:            OA3101 (Probability)

Spring 2012:       OA3103 (Data Analysis)

Spring 2013        OA3103 (Data Analysis)


Link to Sakai

In the OR program at NPS all of our students are required to complete a masters thesis. Below is a list of thesis students that I have advised (including their thesis title and their date of graduation). In addition to having the privilege of advising a number of students, I have also had the opportunity to serve as a second reader for a number of students. They are listed as well.


Sept 2011

  • Eric Lednicky, Analytically Quantifying Gains in the Test and Evaluation Process Through Capabilities-Based Analysis

  • Ronald Cappellini, Error Propagation Through Hierarchical Combat Models

June 2011

  • Michael Pinz, Data Analysis of Results from Ballistic Testing of Small Arms Protective Inserts

  • Matthew Koehler, Using Statistical Modeling to Assess the Influence of Risk-Related Behaviors on Soldier Suicide (co-advised with Scott Nestler)

Mar 2011

  • David Hooper, The Basic Underwater Demolition Accession Calculator Model Determining the Number of Junior Officer Accessions to Meet End-Strength Goals

        Sept 2010

  • Arjay Nelson, Predicting Enlisted Reenlistment Rates

        June 2010

  • Anne Bailey, Using Simulation Analysis to Evaluate Enlisted Programs for Non Prior Service Army Reserve Enlistments

  • Robert Erdman, Using Experimental Design and Data Analysis to Study the Enlisted Specialty Model for the U.S. Army G1

  • Mark Muratore (co-advised with Prof. Tim Chung), Effective Teaming of Airborne and Ground Assets for Surveillance and Interdiction

  • Michael Wiedemann, Robust Parameter Design for Agent-Based Simulation Models with Application in a Cultural Geography Model

Mar 2010

  • Andy Buelow (co-advised with Dean Bill Gates), Simulation of Enlisted Sailor Assignment Process to Explore the Cost of Non-Monetary Incentives, March 2010


Second  Reader Students:

  • Jason Dao, Assessing the Effectiveness of Biosurveillance Via Discrete Event Simulation, March 2011

  • Fred Crawford, Assessing the Operational Readiness of Landing Craft Air Cushion Vessels Using Statistical Modeling, Sept 2010

  • Katie Hagen, Assessing the Effectiveness of the Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS) for Early Event Detection of the H1N1 ("Swing Flue") Virus, Sept 2010

  • Ken Byers, Situational Awareness for Surveillance and Interdiction Operations (SASIO), March 2010

  • Elaine See, How to Detect the Location and Time of a Covert Chemical Attack: A Bayesian Approach, Dec 2010


Hobbies: Hiking, Reading, Cooking, Yoga, Going to the Beach, R Ridgebacks

Free music website: www.pandora.com


- Carmel Beach, Oct 2011

- Ruby, Oct 2011



PhD Industrial Engineering (Statistics and Operations Research), Dec 2008

    Dissertation: The Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments  

    Advisors: Dr. Douglas C. Montgomery and Dr. John W. Fowler  

    Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ


MS Industrial Engineering (Operations Research), May 2006

    Thesis: Discrete Event Simulation Model Abstraction

    Advisors: Dr. John W. Fowler and Dr. Gerald T. Mackulak

    Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ


BS Industrial Engineering (Operations Research), June 2003

    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 


2/09—Present ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, Operations Research Department, Naval Postgraduate School

9/07—12/09 GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT, Department of Industrial Engineering,

6/07—9/07 ENGINEERING INTERN, NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA


1/04—7/04 GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT, Department of Industrial Engineering, ASU

1/04—7/04 UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT, Department of Industrial Engineering, NU


Click on the tab "Research" above


2011 – Chair of Continuing Education, Q&P Section of ASA 

2008 – Certificate in Statistics, Arizona State University

2004 – present, Member of American Society of Quality and American Statistical Association

2007 – present, Member of The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

2007, Winner of the Phoenix Shade Competition, Operations Research Project

2007, Recipient of the Mary G. and Joseph Natrella Scholarship for excellence in statistics

2004 - 2006, SRC Graduate Fellow, Semiconductor Research Corporation/Intel

2004 - 2005, ASU's student INFORMS chapter treasurer

2000 - 2003, 3 Time All Big Ten and 2 Time All American Women's varsity Swimmer, Northwestern University

2003, Lisa Ishikawa award “for outstanding leadership ability and positive attitude,” N Club, Northwestern University

2002, Schutt Swimming Scholarship "for athletic prowess and academic achievement," Northwestern University

2001, Stoker Swimming Scholarship "for outstanding service to athletics and for contributions of inspiration and leadership to the university," Northwestern University


Teaching – Engineering Statistics, Introduction to Statistics, Design of Experiments, Discrete Event Simulation, Regression Analysis, Generalized Linear Regression, Analyzing Time Dependent Data, Applied Multivariate Analysis, Manpower and Personnel Models

Research – Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments, Response Surface Methods, Discrete Event Simulation Methodology