This interview took place on the campus of the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Interviewer: Richard E. Nance
Interview place: Bethesda, Maryland
Interview date: 2013-05-21
Philip J. Kiviat is a graduate of Cornell University where he studied mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and computer simulation from 1955-1961. He has served as the President of Guerra, Kiviat, Inc., from 1999 to the present. Kiviat has amassed numerous awards and honors during his career, including the President Jimmy Carter Certificate of Appreciation (1978), the A. A. Michaelson Award (1976), and the Government Computer News Hall of Fame (1988). He was the founder of the Industry Advisory Council in 1989 and is a five-time Federal 100 Award Winner.
Kiviat is best known for developing the simulation programming languages GASP and SIMSCRIPT II. The former (General Activity Simulation Program) he created in 1961-1963, while working at the applied research laboratory of the United States Steel Corporation. GASP later became a widely-used language through further developments by Alan Pritzker. In 1964 Kiviat moved to the RAND Corporation, where he partnered with Harry Markowitz to create SIMSCRIPT II, which was used in a number of military and political studies. SIMSCRIPT II was carried into the commercial domain as SIMSCRIPT II+ and later SIMSCRIPT II.5. Kiviat was a major technical presence in the early operations of FEDSIM (the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center), and was widely regarded as the simulation czar of the federal government. He is also known as the originator of the Kiviat Graph, an innovative technique for providing assistance to decision makers facing multi-criteria decision challenges.