INFORMS News: WSC turns 50: simulation everywhere!

By Ernest H. Page

The Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) was first held in 1967 as the Conference on the Applications of Simulation Using GPSS. As we celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, we are proud that the conference is widely regarded today as the premier international forum for disseminating recent advances in the field of dynamic systems modeling and simulation. In addition to a broadly scoped, high-quality technical program, WSC is the annual meeting place for simulation researchers, practitioners and vendors spanning a wide array of disciplines and working across industry, government, military, service and academic sectors. This year’s conference will be held from Dec. 3-6 in Las Vegas at the Red Rock Resort.

A hallmark of WSC is the diversity of its program, and this year’s program chair, Gabriel Wainer, has organized a fantastic collection of tracks. In recognition of the 50th anniversary milestone, we will have a formidable “History of Simulation” track.  But we will also be intently looking to the next 50 years in our “Future of Simulation” track. Of course, many of the traditional tracks will return for 2017, including academically focused tracks: Analysis Methodology, Modeling Methodology, Simulation Optimization, Agent-Based Simulation, Education and Hybrid Simulation, as well as applied tracks such as Aviation Modeling and Simulation, Healthcare Applications, Logistics, Supply Chain Management and Transportation, Manufacturing Applications, Modeling and Analysis of Semiconductor Manufacturing (MASM), Military Applications and Homeland Security, Project Management, Construction, Cyber Physical Systems and Intelligent, Adaptive and Autonomous Systems. The program also offers a great mix of introductory and advanced tutorials, case studies, a Ph.D. colloquium, poster sessions and vendor presentations. Whatever your interests, the WSC 2017 program will have something for you.

We have a great lineup of keynote speakers for WSC 2017. Barry Nelson, Northwestern University, will set the stage for the conference by asking the question “WSC 2067 - What Are the Chances?” in the opening keynote.   

Our military keynote speaker is Douglas Hodson, Air Force Institute of Technology, and our MASM keynote will be given by Stéphane Dauzère-Pérès, École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne. The 2017 “Titans of Simulation,” a distinguished speaker lunchtime series, will feature professors Robert G. Sargent and Bernard P. Zeigler.

The Winter Simulation Conference is jointly sponsored by the American Statistical Association (ASA), Arbeitsgemeinschaft Simulation (ASIM), Association for Computing Machinery: Special Interest Group on Simulation (ACM/SIGSIM), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society (IEEE/SMC), Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences: Simulation Society (INFORMS-SIM), Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS), and operates under the direction of the conference Board of Directors, whose volunteer members represent these sponsoring organizations and ensure the continuity, quality and traditions of operation that make WSC a truly unique conference.  

From the program to the extensive collection of exhibitors and vendors, to the meetings of many professional societies and user groups, to the various social gatherings, to the beautiful Red Rock Resort, and the myriad extracurricular options in the Las Vegas area, WSC 2017 promises to be a fantastic event. We hope you will plan on joining us!

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Ernest H. Page is general chair of WSC 2017.