Operational Data Science and Statistical Machine Learning - Curriculum 269

Program Officer

Matt Geiser, CDR, USN

Code GB, Ingersoll Hall, Room 219A

(831) 656-3953, DSN 756-3953


Academic Associate

Kyle Lin, Ph.D.

Glasgow Hall, Room 260

(831) 656-2648, DSN 756-2648

FAX (831) 656-2595


Brief Overview

The Academic Certificate in Operational Data Science and Statistical Machine Learning provides education in the computational thinking and practical skills necessary to plan, execute, and manage the day-to-day operations for applied data science, with a particular emphasis on rapidly evolving Machine Learning techniques.  Data Science and Machine Learning have emerged as critical to the mission of the Navy and the Department of Defense because of the central role they play in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, talent management, cyber-security, and logistics functional areas.  However, practitioners in the military and civilian workforce need not only the ability "think computationally" but also to "do computationally".  This includes the ability to work directly in the languages of data science (e.g., R, Python) and not just third-party tools.  The emphasis throughout the program is on making military analysts more effective at addressing real-world problems through the use of data science and advanced computation.

Upon successful completion of the course work, students will be awarded an Academic Certificate in keeping with standard practices of the Naval Postgraduate School.

Experience with higher level programming language and background in statistics as evidenced by transcripts or work history is required for enrollment.


Winter, Summer

Program Length

12 months


1. Understand fundamental tradeoffs in representing and manipulating data on different computing platforms (e.g., local computer, computing cluster, cloud-based services) and how these affect the outcome of any numerical analysis.

2. Develop the ability to import, clean, and manage large data sets in various formats on these platforms.

3. Develop the ability to generate static and interactive data visualizations that support decision-making.

4. Understand the capabilities and limitations of advanced data science and machine learning techniques for solving applied military problems.

5. Demonstrate proficiency in the development and review of these advanced computer tools in practical applications with DoD sponsors.

Certificate Requirements

Required Courses

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
OA3801Computational Methods for Operations Research II



OA3802Computational Methods for Data Analytics



OA4106Advanced Data Analysis



OA4118Statistical and Machine Learning



OA4820Case Studies in Applied Defense Analytics



This certificate is intended for in-resident students who are already admitted to another curriculum.