Data Science Home

Data Science @ Sandia

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The field of Data Science encompasses processes and systems designed to extract knowledge or insights from structured or unstructured data. Data scientists draw on a broad range of fields such as mathematics, statistics, operations research, information science and computer science to extract information from data and develop solutions. Data Scientists at Sandia perform research in a vast array of areas including graph analysis, statistics, machine learning, data mining, databases, pattern recognition and learning, visualization, predictive analytics, uncertainty quantification, optimization, sampling and streaming methods, algorithm design, artificial intelligence and high performance computing.



Statistics is a science which strives to learn from data. Statistician’s work toward understanding the world around us by using mathematical tools and models. They study the collection of data along with the analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data. Statistics is used in virtually every scientific discipline and industry.


Operations Research

Operations Research (OR) studies the application of advanced analytical techniques to make better decisions in various domains. It employs methods like mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization to develop solutions to complex decision-making problems. OR often focuses on determining a maximum (profit, yield, performance) or a minimum (loss, risk, expenses)

  • A mathematical model is a description of a system using mathematical concepts and language. These models are used in natural sciences, engineering, and social science.

  • Mathematical optimization finds the best solution within some constraints and with regards to some criteria from a set of available solution sets.
    There are numerous applications for OR in government, airlines, manufacturing, military and service organizations. Examples of problems in which OR contributes insights and solutions:
    • Scheduling airlines
    • Power grid resiliency
    • Forecasting wind energy
    • Sensor placement

Information Science

Information Science is an interdisciplinary field primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, movement, dissemination, and protection of information. Information science includes all methods concerning the information life cycle, including capture, generation, packaging, dissemination, transformation, refining, repackaging, usage, storage, communication, protection, and presentation. [Ref: Stock, W.G., & Stock, M. (2013). Handbook of Information Science. Berlin, Boston, MA: De Gruyter Saur.]


Computer science

Computer science is the study of computers and computational systems and deals primarily with software and software systems. Computer scientists use a scientific and practical approach to software theory, design, development and its applications. This field includes focusing on the feasibility, structure, implementation and programming of algorithms. Areas of study in computer science include security, data mining, machine learning, database systems, graphics, numerical analysis, programming languages, artificial intelligence, human interactions with computer systems and the theory of computing. Perhaps the most basic definition of computer science is that it is the study of automating algorithm processes that scale.