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Conference Preview: WSC 2011: Simulation for a Sustainable World

September/October 2011

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By K. Preston White Jr.

Arizona Grand Resort

The Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) has been the premier international forum for disseminating recent advances in the field of system simulation for more than 40 years. The longest-running conference devoted to simulation as a discipline, this year’s WSC will be held Dec. 11-14 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, Ariz. The resort is family friendly, with amenities including high-speed Internet access, three on-site restaurants, lobby grill and lounge, a full-service spa and salon and golf course. All rooms are living room/bedroom suites with a balcony.

Simulation is widely applied across a diverse range of endeavors. This is reflected in WSC 2011, which includes tracks devoted to agent-based modeling; business process reengineering; computer and communication systems; construction engineering and project management; education; emergency response; the environment and sustainability; healthcare; homeland security; logistics, transportation and distribution; manufacturing; military operations; risk analysis; simulation optimization; Web-enabled simulation; and the future of simulation.

Moreover, WSC offers an invaluable educational opportunity for novices and experts alike, with a large segment of each program devoted to introductory and advanced tutorials. Tutorials are carefully designed to address the needs of simulation professionals at all levels of expertise and are presented by prominent individuals in the field. Of particular interest to virtually all attendees are the software tutorials and the exhibits by software and hardware vendors, which cover a broad range of commercial simulation products and services.

Rounding out the attractions are poster sessions, a Ph.D. colloquium and several social gatherings, as well as meetings of numerous professional societies and users’ groups. All of these events give attendees the opportunity to get acquainted and to become involved in the ongoing activities of the international simulation community.

Keynote Speaker

The theme for WSC 2011 is “Simulation for a Sustainable World.” The keynote speaker, Dr. Rick Shangraw, is senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development and director of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. His research interests include policy informatics, large-scale project risk and uncertainty, research policy, and managerial decision-making. He previously served as ASU’s associate vice president for strategic research and as the founding executive director of ASU’s Decision Theater, a state-of-the-art center using visualization, simulation and modeling and collaboration tools to address complex public policy issues. He has a B.A., magna cum laude, in political science and a certificate in environmental studies from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.; a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University; and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University, with a specialization in technology and information policy and organization design.

The military keynote speaker is Col. Steven A. Stoddard, Ph.D. (U.S. Army). Col. Stoddard is chief of the Operational Capability Assessments Division at the Center for Army Analysis, Fort Belvoir, Va. He is responsible for analyses in support of current operations, theater campaign analyses and modeling of conventional and irregular warfare. Col. Stoddard graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1988 with a B.S. in civil engineering. He holds an M.S. in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary (economics & business, mathematical & computer sciences) from the Colorado School of Mines. He was commissioned in Armor, and served in troop assignments at Fort Stewart, Ga., and Fort Knox, Ky. At Fort Stewart, he served with the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) as a tank platoon leader during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and also served as executive officer of two companies. At Fort Knox, he served as a troop commander in the 16th Cavalry, and also served in the Army’s Armor School as a team chief, instructor of tactics and leadership, and directed the pre-Ranger course. In 1996, he transferred to the operations research field. Col. Stoddard is the winner of the 2006 MORS David Rist Prize for his paper, “Army Force Generation Model Simulation.”

Who Should Attend?

WSC is designed for professionals at several levels: those who want to apply the science as well as art to quantitative business problems. It is for analysts to improve their productivity, for managers who lead technical staff and for executives who appreciate and want to learn more about the power behind the techniques and tools of simulation modeling. For more information, see www.wintersim.org.

WSC regularly attracts the best of the world’s simulation. Come and join us to experience the congregation of the world’s best simulation researchers, thinkers and teachers, while they share their creativities, teach the basics of simulation, and also provide advanced state-of-the-art concepts and tutorials in modern day simulation.

Preston White is the general chair of WSC 2011.

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