Samantha N. Oleson


Ms. Oleson has experience in the field of data analysis and statistical modeling through her work supporting a research-based insider threat detection system modeling program for Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).  In her work for this client, Ms. Oleson led one of IDI’s three 4-month modeling and simulation task.  Task efforts involved statistical analysis and exploration of sparse data sets, data generation, model development using ExtendSim, Python, R, Excel, model testing and debugging, and scenario development to determine parameters for model execution.  The IDI team efforts have consistently produced top-performing models.

Ms. Oleson has experience in the field of Risk Analysis & Risk Management through her work supporting the Business Risk Management and Control group at a publicly traded financial services company.  In her work for this client, Ms. Oleson has helped to implement a company-wide standardized methodology for risk assessment and facilitated efforts to apply this methodology to existing and newly identified business risks.  She completed several strategic, risk-based projects in the areas of capacity planning, vendor rationalization, and workflow modeling, spending much time developing automated excel-based models and dashboards used to draw insights from the company’s risk data.  Ms. Oleson’s efforts helped to significantly reduce time spent on reporting requirements and data validation.  Additionally, she participated in the company’s Risk & Control Self-Assessment (RCSA) process, testing and reporting the effectiveness of internal controls, conducting vendor performance monitoring and risk assessment, and overseeing model performance, management, and remediation.

Ms. Oleson also has experience in the areas of modeling and simulation gained during her work on projects involving enterprise-level analysis of combat scenarios.  Using these skills, Ms. Oleson supported the development of the Bayesian Enterprise Analysis Model (BEAM), a major simulation effort for the U.S. Air Force to produce a prototype of a high-level, fast-running Bayesian network combat model that could be used to examine the relative worth of alternative acquisitions.  While her initial assignment involved developmental testing of the prototype, she quickly expanded beyond those duties to generate complex tests on her own, developed an Excel spreadsheet-based dashboard for displaying a wide range of complex outputs, and wrote and edited a major portion of the documentation for the BEAM Final Report.  She also assisted in preparing and presenting a briefing and demonstration of the operational BEAM prototype to senior USAF A9 personnel.

As an undergraduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Oleson was trained in the science of decision analysis and participated in a Public Policy & Management Accelerated Master’s program, completing eight graduate-level classes during her undergraduate senior year.  This academic experience allowed Ms. Oleson to explore the practical and academic application of Decision Science to the field of public policy.  During her time as an intern at the U.S. Department of Education she managed a research project investigating the standardized testing practices of each of the 50 states in an effort to understand the effectiveness of No Child Left Behind education policies.  She also worked alongside the Department’s Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development to revise and modernize a decennial publication used to teach parents about college preparedness.  Her work as an intern on the Senate Subcommittee for Financial and Contracting Oversight gave her the opportunity to research and contribute to the policy areas of ethics, energy, cyber-security, and finance.  Ms. Oleson continued her education in the area of Data Analysis through the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University, where she developed a data-driven decision support prototype tool for government contract Bid/No Bid decisions for her capstone project.


M.S.     Data Analytics Engineering, George Mason University, 2017
B.S.      Decision Science, Carnegie Mellon University, 2014
IDI       Bayesian Networks Training Course, August 2014 (30 hours)
IDI       Group Facilitation Training Course, Summer 2015 (30 hours)
IDI       Decision & Risk Analysis Training Course, Summer 2016 (30 hours)
LBS     Lizard Brain Solutions Graphic Facilitation Training Course, Spring 2017 (24 hours)

Selected Publications and Presentations

Oleson, Samantha and Liebe, Bob (2016).  “Cross Domain Applications of Financial Risk Management”, Military Operations Research Society Symposium, Quantico, VA.

Oleson, S.N (2016). 2016 Decision Analysis Software Survey, October Issue, OR/MS Today