2024 WSC Keynote

Simulation for Disney Parks and Experiences

  • Amy Sardeshmukh, Senior Manager, Industrial Engineering, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
  • Frederick Zahrn, Director, Decision Science Transformation, Disney Worldwide Services
  • Michael Tschanz, Director, Engineering Technology and Analysis, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

2024 Titans of Simulation

Sally Brailsford will speak at 2024 WSC

Sally Brailsford

Professor in Management
Southampton Business School
University of Southampton

In Praise of Small Models

Over the course of Sally’s 35-year academic career simulation models have got bigger and bigger, due to the exponential growth in computing power and the increased availability of large datasets.  This trend has culminated in the current popularity of so-called ‘digital twins’.  The scientific definition of a digital twin is open to debate, but according to Wikipedia a digital twin is ‘a digital model of an intended or actual real-world physical product, system, or process that serves as the effectively indistinguishable digital counterpart of it for practical purposes’.  In this talk she’ll challenge the usefulness (indeed, the point) of such massive models and argue that based on her experience, small models can often be far more impactful in practice.

Shane Henderson will speak at 2024 WSC

Shane G. Henderson

Charles W. Lake, Jr. Professor in Productivity
Operations Research and Information Engineering
Cornell University

Chasing Ambulances and COVID: Stories and Lessons

Despite being a confirmed academic nerd, Shane has had the good fortune to be involved in quite a few projects with real impact. In this talk, he’ll highlight two projects where simulation played a central role. In the first project, some simulation analysis he performed for an ambulance service provider was used in a consequential court case. In the second project, he was a member of a modeling team at Cornell University that played a central role in Cornell’s decision to reopen its Ithaca campus for in-person instruction in the fall of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team further advised Cornell throughout the pandemic on essentially all major decisions. It was a wild ride. He’ll tell these stories and draw lessons from them that he hopes will be useful and thought-provoking, whether you work in academia, industry, government or elsewhere.