This interview took place during the Winter Simulation Conference in Washington, D.C.
Interviewer: James R. Wilson
Interview place: Washington, D.C.
Interview date: 2013-12-10
Peter D. Welch has long been a leading researcher within the field of computer simulation. Welch received his Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Columbia University (1963), M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin (1951), and M.S. in Physics from New Mexico State University (1956). From 1951 to 1956, Welch was employed at the Physical Science Laboratory of New Mexico State University. Welch then joined IBM Research at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, where he conducted research and development in a broad range of areas related to simulation for over three decades.
Welch recently received the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS) Simulation Society Lifetime Professional Achievement Award (2013). Earlier he had received that society’s Distinguished Service Award (2010). Welch played an important role in promoting simulation as a rigorous discipline during his service as the Simulation Department Area Editor of Operations Research (1983-1987). For the past three decades, Welch has provided service to the international simulation community in editorial and administrative positions, including serving as the founding webmaster for both the INFORMS Simulation Society and the Winter Simulation Conference (1994-2011). Not only has Welch made key contributions to the field of computer simulation but also in the broader fields of applied mathematics, applied statistics, computer science, and operations research.