PhD Colloquium


In 2020, ACM-SIGSIM and INFORMS-Sim will once again sponsor the Ph.D. Colloquium for Ph.D. students that are within one year of graduation (planning to graduate by Dec. 2021). Students close to graduation will be given an opportunity to showcase their work during a short presentation session during the Colloquium (apart from the regular tracks). Presenting your Ph.D. work to your peers and the larger simulation community will give you the opportunity to receive valuable feedback and ideas, as well as introduce you to a network that can be very helpful with your career once you graduate.

The Ph.D. Colloquium will be conducted on Monday, December 14 from 2-5pm within the virtual conference platform.

Ph.D. Colloquium Committee 2020


Jose Padilla, Old Dominion University, ACM SIGSIM


Weiwei Chen, Rutgers University
Chang-Han Rhee, Northwestern University
Anatoli Djanatliev, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Thomas Voß, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

Important Dates

September 28 Submit a 2-page extended abstract using the WSC 2020 submission system. The abstract should be formatted using the poster template in the WSC 2020 author’s kit.
October 16 Notification of acceptance to authors, including details about required revisions.
October 30 Submit final version of the extended abstract.
November 30

Upload slides for the Ph.D. Colloquium presentation in PPT or PDF format. The presentations should be 5 minutes pitches followed by a brief Q&A.  
December 14 PhD Colloquium will be conducted live through the GTR Conference platform from 2-5pm EST, via a Zoom link.

Keynote Speaker

Saikou Diallo, PhD
Chief Scientist, Research Associate Professor
Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC)
Old Dominion University

We Are All in It Together: Training the Next Generation of Model Thinkers

We need to train the next generation of scientists, modelers and analysts to be transdisciplinary collaborators, technically competent and socially aware. Model thinking and Modeling and Simulation can play an important if it broadens its horizons beyond socio-technical problems and tackles issues that are important to the human condition. In this talk, we discuss transdisciplinarity, inclusion and social awareness as three pillars that we can build on to stay relevant in a world where technological change is outpacing our ability to manage and predict its impact on key aspects of life and society. We present tools, models and practical examples to illustrate the importance of each pillar and provide a basis for what we hope is a strong debate within the scientific community.

Dr. Diallo is a scientist and educator in the domain of innovation and equal access to technology.  He is VMASC’s lead researcher in Human Simulation and Simulated Empathy where he applies Modeling, Simulation and Analytics to study the connection between people on all spectrums and artificial beings. Dr. Diallo works with a multidisciplinary team of artists, scientists, humanities scholars and engineers to tackle societal issues that transcend disciplines. His current work involves modeling religion, culture and civilizations and the use of artificial intelligence to improve independent living. He is also involved in developing platforms and solutions to promote an inclusive us of technology across all spectrums.

Dr. Diallo graduated with a M.S. in Engineering in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation in 2010 both from Old Dominion University. He is the current President of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS) and serves on several boards in the United States. Dr. Diallo has over one hundred publications in peer-reviewed conferences, journals and books.


Ph.D. Colloquium Participation Options

There are three options to participate in the Ph.D. Colloquium with different benefits:

  1. Poster Only: Submit a 2-page extended abstract and participate in the Ph.D. Colloquium poster session only.
    Benefit 1: If accepted, both ACM-SIGSIM and INFORMS-Sim provide a complimentary one-year membership.
  2. Poster and Presentation: Submit a presentation in addition to your 2-page extended abstract.
    Benefit 1: Both ACM-SIGSIM and INFORMS-Sim provide a complimentary one-year membership.
    Benefit 2: ACM-SIGSIM and INFORMS-Sim will reimburse the conference registration fee.
  3. Poster, Presentation, and Full Paper: Submit a 2-page extended abstract and a presentation for the Ph.D. Colloquium.  In addition, you have submitted a full paper to a regular track (a contributed paper, not an invited paper) and it has been accepted.
    Benefit 1: Both ACM-SIGSIM and INFORMS-Sim provide a complimentary one-year membership.
    Benefit 2: ACM-SIGSIM and INFORMS-Sim will reimburse the conference registration fee.
    Benefit 3: You will be eligible to compete for a best paper award, provided your full paper is accepted in a regular track. 

ACM-SIGSIM and INFORMS-Sim will each award a Best Ph.D. Student Paper prize among those final year students making a presentation at both the Ph.D. Colloquium and in a regular track at the conference. 

Those students who have a contributed paper in a regular track will be eligible for the Best Paper awards. Note that invited papers cannot be considered for the Best Paper awards.  Students interested in competing for a Best Paper award should include their contributed paper ID when completing the Ph.D. Colloquium submission.  An email should also be sent to the chair of the Ph.D. Colloquium that includes the contributed paper ID and indicates intent to participate in the Best Paper competition. 

Ph.D. Colloquium participants have to be present at all events (colloquium and poster sessions, WSC opening session, ACM-SIGSIM and INFORMS-Sim meetings) in order to be eligible for all benefits.

Note: Students who showcase their work as a poster in the regular WSC poster session are not eligible to participate in the Colloquium (and vice versa). Hence, one should select to participate in either the regular poster session or the Colloquium (not both).

Submission Requirements

Students interested in participating in the colloquium should submit a 2-page extended abstract by the deadline using the WSC submission system.  Extended abstracts are used for designing the tracks and are included in the proceedings distributed to conference attendees, but they are not included in the archival version of the proceedings in IEEE and ACM repositories. The extended abstract is required for all three Colloquium participation options.  The abstract should have a single author (the student) and must be formatted using the poster template in the WSC Author’s Kit.  In addition, the advisor needs to send an email to the chair of the Ph.D. Colloquium Committee by September 28, 2020 that states:

  1. That the Ph.D. student is within one year of graduation
  2. That the Ph.D. student is the main author of the submission
  3. That the Ph.D. student will attend WSC 2020 and participate in the Ph.D. Colloquium

Students are only allowed to participate in a WSC Ph.D. Colloquium one time. 


Additional Information about the Colloquium


If you submit a student paper for the conference, you can use your presentation for the Ph.D. colloquium as well as for the track presentation. You may need to edit the slides, as we may have more time constraints. This year, presentations will be around 5 minute pitches followed by a brief Q&A. You do not have to present something special in the Ph.D. colloquium that cannot be used in the regular sessions.

Student Papers:
Student papers are part of the regular conference and fall under the submission and review guidelines as documented on this WSC website. A full paper is not required to participate in the Ph.D. Colloquium.  However, if you have an accepted paper at WSC 2020 and participate in the Ph.D. Colloquium, then you are also eligible to compete for a Best Paper award.