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Ian Frommer, Ph.D.

Operation Research and Data Analytics, Professor Department of Mathematics
cga badge Professor Ian Frommer joined the Coast Guard Academy Department of Mathematics in 2005. He teaches a wide range of courses in mathematics and operations research, and is an active advisor in the senior capstone course. His research interests include nonlinear dynamics and chaos, and the application of mathematics and operations research to sustainability, music and sports. He writes a blog about operations research and sustainability, which can be found at


  • Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, University of Maryland
  • A.B., Astronomy and Astrophysics and Physics, Harvard College

Courses Taught

  • Calculus
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Differential Equations
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Linear Optimization
  • Network and Nonlinear Optimization
  • Probability Theory
  • Advanced Calculus
  • Operations Analysis
  • Directed Study: Developing Leaders in Sustainability

Research Adviser for Senior Capstone Projects

  • Wind Analysis for Renewable Energy Installation at the USCGA (2012, interdisciplinary with Civil Engineering)
  • Minimizing USCGA Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2011)
  • USCGA Light Optimization (2010)
  • USCGA Hazardous Waste Tracking (2009)
  • USCGA Waste Flow Optimization (2008)
  • T700 Helicopter Engine Optimization (2007)

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • I. Frommer, I. Karaesmen and J. Macdonald, A Practical Review of Chaos in the Beer Distribution Game, submitted.
  • P. Verhagen, S. Polla, and I. Frommer, Finding Byzantine Junctions with Steiner Trees, submitted.
  • I. Frommer, E. Harder, B. Hunt, R. Lance, E. Ott and J. Yorke, Bifurcation and Chaos in a Periodically Probed Computer Network, International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos; 19 (9): 3129–3141 (2009).
  • I. Frommer, Summer Math Instructor Assignment at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Using Integer Programming, Mathematica Militaris; 17(1): 20-25 (2009).
  • W.J. Hibbard, R.J. Greenwalt, Jr., T. Edmunds, and I. Frommer, Between Ports of Entry: Interdicting Radiological and Nuclear Smugglers, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Technical Report, UCRL-TR-230907 (March 2007).
  • I. Frommer and B. Golden, Extending the Horizons: Advances in Computing, Optimization, and Decision Technologies, Chapter: A Genetic Algorithm for Solving the Euclidean Non-Uniform Steiner Tree Problem, pages 31-48. Springer, New York (2007).
  • I. Frommer, B. Golden and G. Pundoor, The Next Wave in Computing, Optimization and Decision Technologies, Chapter: Heuristic Methods for Solving Euclidean Non-Uniform Steiner Tree Problems, pages 133-148. Springer, New York (2005).
  • I. Frommer, G. Pundoor, Small-Worlds: A Review of Recent Books. Networks; 41(3): 174-180 (2003).


  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy Center for Advanced Studies Fellowship to conduct research on mathematically guided musical rhythm composition (2011)
  • SAIC Systems/U.S. Coast Guard Academy Leadership Grant (2011). Received funding to support interdisciplinary “Developing Leaders in Sustainability” course.
  • Block Grant Fellowship, Mathematics Department, University of Maryland (1999–2000)
  • Invention Disclosure Award, Sony Corporation of America (1997) for “ConnecteD: Traditional Audio CD Activated by New Multimedia Content.”

Professional Memberships

  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)

Contact Information

Sponsor Family Application

Thank you for submitting your application to be part of the Sponsor Family Program. Your application will be processed in the upcoming week. Coast Guard Academy’s policy on background screening now requires all adults (everyone 18 and older living in the home) who volunteer to mentor, teach, coach or sponsor cadets, whether on or off Coast Guard Academy grounds, to be screened every 5 years. They are required to provide personal information (name, birth date and social security number) for the purpose of conducting a criminal background check.

The Security Officer at the Coast Guard Academy, CWO2 Gina Polkowski, is overseeing this process. Her email is:

Sponsor Family designations fall into several different categories. Below are the guidelines to help you determine how best to meet the background screening requirement:

  1. If you are Coast Guard active duty you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  2. If you are a Civilian working for the Coast Guard you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  3. If you are non-Coast Guard Active Duty, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at
  4. If you are non-Coast Guard civilian who has a current security clearance or National Agency check, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at
  5. All civilians in the families who are 18 years or older and do not have a security clearance or a National Agency Check are required to be vetted through Mind Your Business, the third party vendor hired by the Coast Guard Academy for the vetting process.

After you complete your application, please e-mail the Sponsor Family Program Coordinator at In your e-mail, you must include the e-mail address and phone number of every adult living in the home. The Sponsor Family Coordinator will then initiate the background check process and you will receive an email with further instructions.

Important things to note:

There is a Sponsor Family Training that is a one-hour training which we ask sponsors to attend once every four years. This training is designed to give you an overview of the program, what is expected of you as a sponsor, and what you can expect from your cadets. This training will also help familiarize you with the cadet regulations onboard CGA. You will be notified via e-mail once the training is scheduled.

The matching process of swabs to families will occur during July and August. Please bear with us and remain flexible through this process. There will be a meet and greet scheduled on Campus, typically in late August. This will give families an opportunity to formally meet their cadet if they have not already done so. Details on this will also be via email.

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