• STEM Hero Awards •

Olga Mendoza-
Schrock, Ph.D.

Senior Research Mathematician

U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Dr. Olga Mendoza-Schrock plays two roles for the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate/Multi-domain Sensing Autonomy Division. As the Core Technology Competency Project Lead for Machine Learning Acceleration for the Division, she leads a team of 12 government and military personnel and 10 in-house contractors with a research portfolio exceeding $13 million.  She’s also a Senior Research Mathematician for the Decision Sciences Branch, a critical role. 

During Dr. Mendoza-Schrock’s 14-year career with the AFRL, she has become a recognized national subject matter expert in the fields of automatic target recognition, machine learning, transfer learning, image registration, sensor resource management, target classification and tracking.  She’s authored or co-authored over three dozen professional publications, and she has a patent-pending to her credit as well.

Dr. Mendoza-Schrock is a lifetime member of International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) and currently serves as the president of the Dayton professional chapter of SHPE, which she founded.  She is also a senior member of IEEE and a member of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. She’s received numerous awards and accolades, including the DoD and National Organization for Mexican American Rights Meritorious Service Award—Air Force Civilian; the Charles E. Ryan Basic Research Memorial Award—Directorate Level; the Junior Civilian Engineer for RYA—Division Level; and five Special Act/Service Awards.

Born in Chicago, Dr. Mendoza-Schrock’s single mother brought her to Juneau, Alaska when she was just a year old. She became the first in her family to attend college thanks to the 10 scholarships she earned on her way to receiving a B.S. in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Puget Sound. She then went on to achieve two master’s degrees: an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky and an M.S. in Computer Science from Wright State University.  She studied for the latter degree in the evenings while working fulltime. She completed her Ph.D. in Computer Science & Engineering at Wright State University, with assistance from her placement in the Air Force’s highly competitive Civilian Advanced Degree Program.

The mother of two young sons, Dr. Mendoza-Schrock is also a volunteer with an educational outreach program consisting of STEM professionals from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.