This interview took place at the D. H. Hill Library on the campus of North Carolina State University.
Interview place: Raleigh, North Carolina
Interview date: 2013-01-23
Richard E. Nance is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. He received BSIE and M.S. degrees from N.C. State University in 1962 and 1966 respectively, and the Ph.D. 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. Nance has held research appointments at the Naval Surface Weapons Center and at the Imperial College of Science and Technology (UK) as well as visiting appointments at Old Dominion University and Brunel University (UK). He was also appointed Visiting Distinguished Honors Professor for the spring semester 1997 at the University of Central Florida. Nance is the author of over 150 papers on discrete event simulation, performance modeling and evaluation, computer networks, and software engineering. He has held several editorial positions and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS).
Nance has consulted for major private businesses and organizations, and his long-term research relationship with the U.S. Navy led to the establishment of the Systems Research Center at Virginia Tech in 1983. He was named to the John Adolphus Dahlgren Chair in Computer Science in 1988. He was instrumental in the development of the Simulation Archive at N.C. State and currently chairs the advisory committee. Nance has received several awards for his editorial and professional contributions, most recently the INFORMS Simulation Society Lifetime Professional Achievement Award in 2007. He was elected a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1996 and a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) in 2008. In 2006 he was recognized by the faculty of the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering of N.C. State as one of the 12 Distinguished Alumni over the first 75 years of the department’s history.
Robert G. Sargent is a Professor Emeritus of Syracuse University. He earned a BSE in Electrical Engineering in 1959, a MS in Industrial Administration in 1963, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering in 1966, all from the University of Michigan. At Syracuse University, Sargent held faculty appointments in different departments and interdisciplinary programs in the L. C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science and was also the Director of the Simulation Research Group. He initiated the reestablishment of the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) in 1976, wrote the WSC Bylaws, was the General Chair of the 1977 WSC, and served as a member (1974-1984) and as Chair (1979-1981) of the WSC Board of Directors. Sargent was the Founding President of the WSC Foundation in 2004, initiated the establishment of the Simulation Archive in 1998, and has been significantly involved in the development of the Simulation Archive including starting its endowment in 2007 and serving as the initial chair (2007-2011) of its Advisory Committee that he initiated.
Sargent is a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He served as Chair (1978-1980) of The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS) College on Simulation and Gaming (now the INFORMS Simulation Society). Sargent received the TIMS College on Simulation’s Distinguished Service Award in 1988, the INFORMS College on Simulation's Lifetime Professional Achievement Award in 2002, theWSC Board of Directors’ Award in 2010, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Simulation and Modeling (SIGSIM) Distinguished Contributions Award in 2012, and service awards in 1985 from the ACM and the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). He also received a 40th anniversary Landmark Paper Award from the WSC in 2007 for his WSC tutorials on verification and validation of simulation models. Throughout his career, Sargent has been especially known for his professional service contributions and his research contributions to the methodology of simulation, which includes modeling, computational speedup, statistical output analysis, verification and validation, and visual interactive simulation systems.
James Wilson is a professor in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) at North Carolina State University, where he has worked since 1991. He earned his B.A. from Rice University (1970) in mathematics and his M.S. and Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Purdue University (1977, 1979). He served as director of ISE graduate programs at NCSU from 1995 to 1999 and the department head from 1999 to 2007. He was previously a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin (1979-1984) and Purdue University (1985-1991). Wilson has served on The Institute of Management Sciences College on Simulation as secretary-treasurer (1984-1986); vice president (1986-1988); and president (1988-1990). He is active in the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC), having served as proceedings editor (1986); associate program chair (1991); and program chair (1992). He has also served on the WSC Board of Directors co-representing the INFORMS College on Simulation.
In addition to publishing extensively and presenting at conferences, universities, and industrial organizations around the world, Wilson has been widely recognized for his professional contributions to the field. In 1985 he received the Outstanding Simulation Publication Award from The Institute of Management Sciences College on Simulation and the Distinguished Service Award from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) College on Simulation in 1995. He also received the UTC Excellence in Teaching Award from the NCSU College of Engineering and the United Technologies Research Center (1996) and the Best Paper Award from IIE (1997, 2006, 2010, 2011). His research interests focus on probabilistic and statistical issues in the design and analysis of large-scale simulation experiments.