Professor David M. Nicol

David Nicol

David M. Nicol is the Franklin W. Woeltge Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also serves as the Director of the Information Trust Institute. Nicol wrote his Ph.D. thesis on dynamic load balancing of parallel simulations in 1985, and since then has made foundational contributions to the theory and practice of parallel simulation using conservative methods, including the notion of lookahead extracted automatically from models, pre-sampling of random number streams to generate lookahead (particularly with continuous time Markov Chains via uniformization), mathematical proof that under certain conditions on models a globally synchronous conservative approach has performance that is with a constant factor of optimal, and composite synchronization. A historical accident in 1999 thrust Nicol into the world of cyber-security, where he’s brought his PDES toolkit along to study such things as the impact of global scale malware execution on the Internet, and most recently has been working on efficient means of embedding emulated execution of software stacks into virtual time, and integrating those emulations with discrete-event simulation of networks. Nicol has a B.A. in mathematics from Carleton College (1979), an M.S.(1983) and a Ph.D. (1985) in computer science from the University of Virginia. He was elected Fellow of the IEEE and Fellow of the ACM for his contributions to discrete-event simulation, and is the inaugural recipient of the ACM SIGSIM Distinguished Contributions award. He is co-author of a best-seller textbook on discrete-event simulation, “Discrete Event Systems Simulation”, and is current a member of the Executive Board of the Winter Simulation Conference.