Harold Nelson, Ph.D.

Photo of Harold Nelson

Instructor, Computer Science

Office Hours

By appointment, in person or on zoom


Ph.D., Economics, University of California, San Diego
M.S., Mathematics, University of Kentucky
B.S., Mathematics, University of Notre Dame


I was born in Centralia, but grew up in Olympia.

I graduated from Saint Martin's High School in 1961 and spend the next two years as a student at Saint Martin's College before transferring to Notre Dame.

It is interesting thinking about how different life was at the college then.

  • The whole college occupied one half of Old Main.
  • There were only three hundred, all male, students.
  • Every academic department was the personal domain of a Benedictine priest.
  • My father, a blue-collar brewery worker, paid my tuition without having o borrow money.
  • The university did not even own a mechanical calculator. Computation was done with a slide rule and/or a logarithm table.

After that I spent quite a length of time as a "professional student." I won't go into the details, which you can see from my academic degrees.

I spent most of my working career as a senior data analyst, working for the governor's budget office (OFM) in Olympia. I led a team of data analysts working in SAS.

Areas of interest

I have always been interested in "mathy things." Right now, my primary focus is data analysis and the R language. I'm developing a strong interest in artificial intelligence. I also enjoy coding in python. In my earlier life, I specialized in mathematics and economics. To me these are all parts of a consistent whole.