Opening Keynote speaker: Professor Scott E. Page

Scott E. Page is Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan and an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute. Scott’s research focuses on complex systems and diversity. He is the author of three books and has published research papers in economics, political science, sociology, psychology, philosophy, physics, public health, geography, computer science, and management.  His online course Model Thinking has attracted more than one half a million participants. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. Professor Page is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Monday, December 12th | 8-9:30am
Many Model Thinking
Models help us to understand, explain, predict, and act. They do so by simplifying reality or by constructing artificial analogs. As a result, any one model by be insufficient to capture the complexity of a process. By applying ensembles of diverse models, we can reach deeper understanding, make better predictions, take wiser actions, implement better designs, and reveal multiple logics. This many to one approach offers the possibility of near truth exists at what Richard Levins has called “the intersection of independent lies.”



Titan of Simulation: Professor Edward H Kaplan

Edward H. Kaplan is the William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Operations Research, Public Health, and Engineering at Yale University’s School of Management. An expert in operations research, mathematical modeling and statistics, Kaplan was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine). His research in HIV prevention and counterterrorism has been recognized with the Edelman Award, Lanchester Prize, Centers for Disease Control’s Charles C. Shepard Science Award, INFORMS President’s Award, three Koopman Prizes, and numerous other awards. Kaplan was the Lady Davis Visiting Professor of medicine and of statistics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and also served as a visiting professor to the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Survey Research Center at UC Berkeley, Columbia’s Graduate School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  In 2014, Kaplan was elected to a three year term as INFORMS President-Elect (2015), President (2016), and Past-President (2017).  For more information about Kaplan and his research, visit

Monday, December 12th | 12:20-1:20pm
Adventures in Policy Modeling!
Policy Modeling refers to the application of operations research, statistics, and other quantitative methods to model policy problems. Recognizing that analyses of all sorts often exhibit diminishing returns in insight to effort, the hope is to capture key features of various policy issues with relatively simple “first-strike” models. Problem selection and formulation thus compete with the mathematics of solution methods in determining successful applications: where do good problems come from? How can analysts tell if a particular issue is worth pursuing? In addressing these questions, I will review some personal adventures in policy modeling selected from public housing, HIV/AIDS prevention, bioterror preparedness, suicide bombings and counterterrorism, in vitro fertilization, predicting presidential elections, and sports.



Titan of Simulation: Professor Susan Sanchez

Susan M. Sanchez is a Professor in the Operations Research Department at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, USA, where she holds a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Business & Public Policy. Her research interests include the design and analysis of large-scale simulation experiments, robust design, and applied statistics, with application to military operations, manufacturing, and health care. She established and serves as Co-director of NPS’s Simulation Experiments & Efficient Designs (SEED) Center for Data Farming. Over the last decade, the SEED Center has done research for the U.S. Armed Forces and many leading defense organizations in the US and allied countries. Throughout the years, Dr. Sanchez has been active in the simulation community, where she has served as an officer in her professional society, on the Board of Directors for the Winter Simulation Conference, and on the editorial boards of several flagship journals.

Tuesday,  December 13th | 12:20-1:20pm
A Data Farmer’s Almanac
An almanac conveys practical advice to a community in the form of useful facts, advice, and forecasts. Data farming encapsulates the notion of purposeful data generation from simulation models. It uses large-scale designed experiments to facilitate growing simulation output in an efficient and effective fashion, and enables us to explore massive input spaces, uncover interesting features of complex response surfaces, and explicitly identify cause-and-effect relationships. In this presentation, I will weave the two halves of the title together as I recount some key concepts and developments in simulation experimentation, along with experiences and advice drawn from my own data farming journey.



Military Keynote: Todd Combs

Todd Combs is Director of the Global Security Sciences Division (GSS) at Argonne National Laboratory. In addition to his division management duties, Dr. Combs leads the Department of Homeland Security team within Argonne’s National Security Program and manages Argonne’s advanced grid modeling research program for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Dr. Combs came to ANL from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he served as group leader of the Transportation Planning and Decision Science Group.

Dr. Combs’ research has spanned energy systems analysis for DOE sponsors, and the application of modeling and simulation techniques to national and homeland security issues for Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security sponsors. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in operations research from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Combs’ military experience includes assignments at The Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Air Force Studies and Analyses Agency.

Modeling & Simulation’s Role as a Service to Military and Homeland Security Decision Makers

Scientists, engineers, and analysts have played a key role in providing decision support to military and homeland security decision makers since World War II.  This keynote addresses the role of modeling and simulation in providing this critical service to national leaders. It highlights the use of discrete event, agent-based, and continuous simulation, as well as system dynamics to support decision making in a number of areas such as military transportation planning, infectious disease modeling, airport security, and military force structure planning.  The address culminates by describing the role that modeling and simulation played in supporting the recently negotiated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), intended to ensure the peaceful use of Iran’s nuclear program.






MASM Keynote: Professor Robert C. Leachman

Robert C. Leachman is Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California at Berkeley. He has authored over 50 scientific articles with focus in the semiconductor industry, and has worked extensively with semiconductor companies. He won the 1995 Franz Edelman Award Competition sponsored INFORMS, for work to design and implement automated production planning systems. He was runner-up in 2001 Franz Edelman Award Competition, for work on automated floor scheduling and cycle time management.

The Engineering of Speed and Delivery