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A regional partnership led by Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) is hosting the three-day MODSIM World 2007 Conference and Expo beginning Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

The goals of the event are to showcase and encourage worldwide advances in modeling and simulation, and to point out the economic impact that M&S has on Hampton Roads.

More than 500 researchers, educators, military and industry representatives from around the world are expected to participate in the series of panel discussions, paper presentations and breakout sessions.

"From our perspective, the idea behind MODSIM World is to have an international conference, with a top-quality program, and still showcase Hampton Roads-based M&S capabilities in medical, defense, homeland security and education domains," explained E. Dana Dickens III, president and chief executive officer of the Hampton Roads Partnership. "MODSIM is meant to help keep Hampton Roads on everyone's radar with respect to modeling and simulation." Hampton Roads Partnership is among the event's sponsoring entities, which also include Eastern Virginia Medical School and area businesses and industry.

With a Patriot's Day backdrop, the forum's agenda will focus on the decision-making process in a rapidly changing world, a theme that will cut across the event's four core tracks: medicine; transportation; homeland security/defense; and education and training. Cross-cutting discussions will focus on game-based learning and interoperability, areas that can be applied across a wide variety of disciplines.

M&S efforts in Hampton Roads specialize in arming leaders with the tools and techniques that enhance the process of making and applying informed decisions, especially in critical times or situations. VMASC projects involve the military and homeland security, and are also growing in the areas of medical training and transportation planning.

The event's expo will be a high-tech "show and tell" of some of the ways the discipline can be utilized to solve a complex problem or aid in training environments.

MODSIM participants will include international leaders in the field, such as Gary Kelin, the keynote speaker and author who will discuss how intuition-based decisions are made; Harvard University's Dr. Christopher Dede, a learning technologies professor who will talk about multi-user virtual environments; Robert Crouch, special assistant for homeland preparedness to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who will lead a discussion on using M&S as a planning tool; and U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes of Chesapeake, founder and chairman of the Congressional Modeling and Simulation Caucus.

"With the help of folks like Congressman Forbes, along with Representatives Thelma Drake and Robert Scott, folks around the state and beyond are recognizing this area as a leader for modeling and simulation," said Virginia Delegate. John Cosgrove, leader of Kaine's Modeling and Simulation Caucus.

"Having MODSIM here illustrates how critical M&S is to the core technology industries in this area," he added. "It is a discipline in its infancy with unlimited ability. People are just now beginning to realize that it can touch every part of our lives. MODSIM is important to the Hampton Roads modeling and simulation effort and should only grow in the coming years as it continues to draw in experts from around the world."

This inaugural conference and expo is expected to become an annual event. It caps a busy year of related symposiums held in Hampton Roads, including this spring's U.S. Department of Defense Modeling and Simulation Conference; the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization conference and the Society of Modeling and Simulation forum.

For a full roster of event sponsors and other information, visit www.modsimworld.com.

This article was posted on: September 11, 2007

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