October 26-29, 2003
Delft, The Netherlands

Invited Plenary speech
Prof. Richard Nance (Virginia Tech)

Simulation Futures: The Investment Risks

Richard E. Nance
Systems Research Center
Department of Computer Science
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA



An evolutionary sketch of simulation reveals the manifest changes that now differentiate the types, uses, objectives and users of this ubiquitous technology.  A number of factors have contributed to shaping the current form, which continues to be perceived differently depending on organizational and disciplinary perspectives.  In turn, simulation has proved an influential factor in other prominent technical areas.  What does this historical trace provide in the way of guidance for prediction of the future?  Can we identify at least some potential paths that might emerge as the highways of tomorrow?  Does this effort suggest potential areas for research investment and consequent career risks? 


RICHARD E. NANCE is the RADM John Adolphus Dahlgren Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Systems Research Center at Virginia Tech.  Concurrently, he holds an appointment as Visiting Professor at Brunel University (UK). Dr. Nance is also Chairman of the Board of Orca Computer, Inc.  He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from N.C. State University in 1962 and 1966, and the Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in 1968.  He has served on the faculties of Southern Methodist University and Virginia Tech, where he was Department Head of Computer Science, 1973-1979. Dr. Nance has held research  appointments at the Naval Surface Weapons Center (1979-80) and at the Imperial College of Science and Technology (UK). He was named Distinguished Visiting Honors Professor at the University of Central Florida for the spring semester, 1997. He is the author of over 100 papers on discrete event simulation, performance modeling and evaluation, computer networks, and software engineering.   Dr. Nance has served on the Editorial Panel of Communications of the ACM for research contributions in simulation and statistical computing, 1985-89, as Area Editor for Computational Structures and Techniques of Operations Research, 1978-82, and as Department Editor for Simulation, Automation, and Information Systems of IIE Transactions, 1976-81. He served as Area Editor for Simulation, 1987-89 and as a member of the Advisory Board, 1989-92, INFORMS  Journal on Computing. Dr. Nance was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation, 1990-1995. He served as Program Chair for the 1990 Winter Simulation Conference. Dr. Nance received a Distinguished Service Award from the TIMS College on Simulation in 1987. In 1995 he was honored with an award for "Distinguished Service to SIGSIM and the Simulation Community" by the ACM Special Interest Group on Simulation.  In 1996, he was named an ACM Fellow.  He is a member of Sigma Xi, Alpha Pi Mu, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, ACM, IIE, INCOSE and INFORMS.


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