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VMASC's Sokolowski Named President-Elect of World's Premier M&S Organization

John Sokolowski, executive director of Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC), has been named president-elect of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS), the world's premier M&S organization.

SCS was founded in 1952, and has as its mission promoting the use of modeling and simulation in ever-expanding application areas through education, and providing a forum where the scientific basis for its foundations can be enriched through education and research.

Sokolowski, who will serve as president-elect until June 30, 2013, then spend the next 12 months as the society's president, said its mission lines up perfectly with what VMASC strives to accomplish.

"It's certainly an honor to be able to serve this group," he said. "It's probably the organization that's been around the longest that has been focused on how modeling and simulation can serve society."

A California-based organization whose membership includes representatives of industry, government and academia, SCS serves individuals and organizations in more than 150 countries. As part of its mandate, SCS sponsors conferences and one of the world's leading modeling and simulation journals. Its primary focus, however, is on service. That is why Sokolowski is especially pleased to represent the organization, and VMASC, for the next two years.

"It falls in line with what we're doing here, looking at modeling and simulation from a multidisciplinary perspective," Sokolowski said. He added that one of the challenges the M&S discipline faces is that society at large doesn't know just how important it is, in many domains.

"I think people don't realize that modeling and simulation is happening all around them, and sometimes they take it for granted," he said. "The fundamental way it's contributing to solving problems and addressing complex issues is not well understood by the general public."

Sokolowski said organizations like SCS will continue to raise awareness of the discipline, through its investment in academic research, collaboration and investment in M&S education "to attract more students into this pivotal discipline. The demand for these skills is going to continue to accelerate."