Scientific and mathematical solutions to real world problems


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Dr. Norman Corbett




PhD, University of Waterloo

MSc, University of Manitoba

BSc, University of Manitoba




In 1997, Dr. Corbett obtained his Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics, from the University of Waterloo. In 1992, he received a M.Sc. and in 1990 a B.Sc, both in Applied Mathematics from the University of Manitoba.


After obtaining his Ph.D., Dr. Corbett taught mathematics at the University of Waterloo as well as at Wilfrid Laurier University.  In 1999, Dr. Corbett joined the Operational Research Division (ORD) of the Department of National Defence where he worked as a Defence Scientist for the Centre for Operational Research and Analysis (CORA), which is located at 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters in Winnipeg.


During his tenure with ORD, Dr. Corbett worked on projects ranging from the analysis of Search and Rescue Operations, personnel modelling to the analysis of potential debris fields in air show environments.  His work on the Pilot Production Absorption and Retention Simulation earned him the 1 Canadian Air Division Commander’s Commendation and his work on the Maritime Helicopter Risk Assessment gained the personal recognition of Commander 1 Canadian Air Division.


Dr. Corbett is keenly interested in the application of mathematics to significant real-world problems.  His philosophy of science and mathematics has been shaped by the contributions of, among others, Norbert Wiener, Joseph Fourier, Claude Shannon, Ingrid Daubechies, Stephen Mallat, Shun-ichi Amari and B.R. Frieden.  In view of his interest in the works of the preceding gifted researchers, Dr. Corbett hopes that his involvement with OCDAG will allow him to make a small contribution toward the resolution of the following significant and fundamental question:


To what extent can the governing laws of macroscopic physical processes be inferred directly, and without encumbrance of a-priori assumptions, from directly observable data?


Research interests


Dr. Corbett’s current research interests include applied Fourier and wavelet analysis, innovative techniques for exploratory data analysis, pattern classification, artificial intelligence (including Bayesian networks), the modelling and simulation of large complex systems and inverse problems.




CORA Project Reports


Corbett, N., Modelling the Production, Absorption and Retention of Pilots:  The Development of the Production Absorption and Retention Simulation (PARSim), CORA Project Report, In Review.

Corbett, N., An Analysis of Selected Air Show Manoeuvres, CORA Project Report 0401, October 2004, 104 pages.

Corbett, N., The Impact of Offshore Oil Operations on the Delivery of East Coast Search and Rescue Services, CORA Project Report 0201, December 2002, 48 pages.


CORA Research Notes


Corbett, N., Analysis in Support of the Maritime Helicopter Operational Risk Assessment, CORA Research Note 0401, February 2004, 42 pages.

Bell, S., and Corbett, N., Great Circle Route Calculator, CORA Research Note 0201, March 2002, 29 pages.

Latchman, S., Corbett, N., and Hunter, C., Pilot Production, Absorption, Retention Simulation (PARSim) Model Development, CORA Research Note 0102, August 2001, 29 pages.

Corbett, N., Nguyen, B. and de Jong, P., A Critical Assessment of Random Search, CORA Research Note 0007, December 2000, 28 pages.



Leif Burge