University of Richmond

Professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign gives talk on modeling and simulation Mar. 25

David M. Nicol, professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will give a colloquium, “Tradeoffs Between Model Abstraction, Execution Speed, and Accuracy in Simulation Models,” on Wednesday, March 25 at 4:15 p.m. in Jepson Hall, room 120.

Nicol earned a Ph.D. and master's degree in computer science from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He has an extensive history of research contributions in high performance computing, performance analysis and simulation modeling and methodology. In recent years his research has extended to quantitative assessment of system security. He is a Distinguished Speaker and Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. 

According to Nicol's abstract, the activity of modeling necessarily means developing abstractions; in doing so some information about the system of interest is lost. There is an art to abstraction – finding one that captures the essential system behavior while remaining computationally tractable, and a science – making quantitative linkages between models of high resolution and models of low resolution.

Nicol's talk will use simple examples to illustrate these points, proposes some common principles to observe when modeling and discusses applications of these principles to problems in modeling communication network traffic. 

Refreshments will be served at 3:45 p.m. in Jepson Hall, room 212.

Posted March 10, 2009