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Gabriel A. Wainer - Extended Biography

After obtaining his Ph.D. degree in 1998, and with over six years of experience as an Instructor and Assistant Professor in Argentina, Gabriel A. Wainer joined Carleton University in July of 2000 as Assistant Professor. He got Tenured in July 2004, and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in July 2005 and Full Professor in July 2012.

Research

Prof. Wainer started research in 1993, working in Real-Time (RT) Operating Systems (OS) and RT scheduling. With very limited resources and self-supervised, he was able to define new RT scheduling algorithms, and included these (and other RT techniques) in the first existing RT version of an open-source OS (RT-Minix). These results were published in various papers and a book. These ideas were used shortly after by other researchers in the field, leading to the development of the first versions of RT-Linux. Fifteen years after, my original approach continues to be used and cited, and new Real-Time Minix projects based on the concepts I defined almost 20 years ago have started in the last few years.

Since 1996, he contributed to the field of Modeling and Simulation (M&S), introducing Cell-DEVS, a new formalism that reduces the complexity of the development of models of physical systems while increasing the speed of the simulations. His team also defined new high-level languages and their mapping into DEVS and Cell-DEVS formal models (ranging from the traffic language ATLAS; Petri Nets, Timed Automata, Bond Graphs; up to a generic environment based on Modelica). This allows defining and interconnecting formal models that are discrete-event, spatial, continuous or hybrid.

His group built CD++, an open-source tool implementing DEVS and Cell-DEVS. CD++ has been used to develop numerous models in different areas: ecology (watersheds, fire spread), biomedical (heart tissue, nerve terminal), physics (flow injection, heat transfer), engineering (wireless networks, robot path planning), construction, traffic, etc. These results have been made available in multiple articles, an open source repository and website for the community (which has over 300 users).

The team also introduced varied algorithms to run these models in multiprocessor and distributed architectures (using varied middleware and OS). The simulation engines now provide the means to run distributed simulations using Web-Services, and high-performance parallel algorithms for Cell-DEVS. Users can develop and test models in local workstations, submit them to a remote parallel simulator, receive, visualize and analyze the results locally (using the advanced visualization tools we built).

Different RT simulation algorithms were defined for DEVS models since the year 2000. We used these techniques to build RT model prototypes embedded in different platforms, and a runtime executive integrating models within hardware surrogates. We have recently started experiments with multicore hardware, including a prototype version on Intel IXP 2400 boards, and Cell-DEVS models on IBM’s Cell BE architecture.

His research at Carleton has focused on techniques for transforming simulation models into real-time systems. The long-term goal is to reduce to a minimum the manual development of real-time software (a time consuming, error prone and expensive task), and the interfacing of these models with simulation software. These efforts have received support in approximately 1.5M$ from different funding agencies (NSERC, Precarn, CFI, OIT, CANARIE) and companies (IBM, HP, CMC, MDA, Intel). As a Co-PI Prof. Wainer participated in numerous research projects (with funding totaling over 30M$, from which approximately $1.1M have been directly spent for his research). His students have always been successful in applying to numerous scholarships and awards, and they have obtained funding for their research in excess of 500K$.

The results of his research are reflected in numerous publications:
- 35 Journal papers
- 4 other Journal and Magazine articles
- 4 books
- 8 edited proceedings
- 9 book chapters
- 123 Refereed Conference Proceeding Papers
- 61 Work-in-progress and other refereed papers

In most of these papers, he has been the main author (or a co-author with his students, who co-authored many of these articles). He has published a number of papers in the Simulation, Practice and Experience (Elsevier), and in the Transactions of the Society for Modelling and Simulation (SCS). As Modeling and Simulation is a multidisciplinary field, he has published also in other areas: Transactions of Computational Systems Biology, Molecular Simulation, Mobile Networks and Applications; Software, Practice and Experience; Parallel Processing Letters, and Automation in Construction. His research contributions have received numerous citations (over 1,000, a large number in this research domain; he as been cited as Top-3 ranked Author in the field of Simulation -Last 10 years- by the Microsoft Academic Research site; February 1, 2011).

He has published and presented papers at some of the most prestigious conferences in Simulation worldwide. These include PADS, IEEE DS-RT, Winter Simulation Conference, the Annual Simulation Symposium and SPECTS. He has various publications in the Symposium on Theory of Modeling and Simulation (TMS/DEVS) and various conferences sponsored by SCS. He has published in other areas, including IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (Real-Time Systems); Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design, Intl. Conference on short and medium bridges (building simulation); High Performance Computing and Simulation, IEEE EMBS, CMBE (biomedical); AHDS (Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems), International Conference of Web Services; Environmental Modeling and Software; International Conference in Compu-tational Science; Cellular Automata for Research and Industry (ACRI), and many others.

Up to date he supervised 2 Postdoctoral fellows, 6 Ph.D. and 47 Masters Students in total. Currently, he supervise 3 Ph.D., and 7 M. Sc. and 1 M.Eng. he has also supervised numerous visiting scholars.

The quality of his contributions has also been acknowledged through his participation in a large number of program committees (over 120) and as an invited speaker in more than 50 tutorials, keynotes and invited seminars.

As a consequence of his research activity, he has received numerous awards, including:
- Outstanding Professional Award by the Society for Modeling and Simulation International (only 10 awards given since 1992). 2011.
- The First Bernard P. Zeigler Modeling and Simulation Award, 2010.
- Summersim Leadership Award. 2007.
- Carleton University Research Achievement Award. 2005.
- Numerous Best Paper Awards

Teaching

He discovered a strong vocation for teaching in the early years of his career. In 1989, being a Teaching Assistant at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) in Argentina, he started lecturing part-time in different institutions, where he had the chance to organize four different courses. Being a Head Teaching Assistant at the UBA, he organized an Operating Systems Laboratory course devoted to teach design and implementation of Operating Systems. The results of this course (including modifications and improvements to the kernel of an open-source operating system) were unique in Latin America (and one of the few worldwide, winning an international award in 1992). Later, as Instructor at the UBA, he organized new courses on Real-Time Systems, Discrete-Event Simulation and Real-Time Systems Implementation (students in these courses won awards in different contests). As Assistant Professor at the UBA, he completely reorganized the Computer Organization course with excellent results (student projects in this course were published in international conferences and in the ACM Journal of Educational Resources in Computing).

At Carleton, he taught very challenging undergraduate courses with a very large enrollment (since his hiring in July 2000, a total of 1834 students in his courses). He usually obtains high teaching evaluations (an average of 4.21 for his Undergraduate courses, and an average of 4.66/5 for his Graduate courses). He has a particular teaching philosophy, which focuses on extensive class discussion, thinking, analysis and interaction, which provides a better mechanism for understanding and concept retention.

He also had the opportunity to develop a completely new graduate course, which had not been offered before his appointment (SYSC-5104, Methodologies for Discrete-Event Modeling and Simulation). He was able to introduce his own fully developed material, and the students use in-house developed tools to study advanced Modeling and Simulation problems. The best projects in the course are usually improved after the end of the course, and many of them have been accepted for publication in international conferences. Eleven papers have been already published. Two of them obtained awards.

Other teaching activities include a large number of undergraduate student supervision. He has supervised 81 Engineering students, and a large number of co-op students, NSERC undergraduate Scholars, and visiting research scholars (a total of 124 students).

He has always encouraged his students to go beyond standard expectations, and he tries to persuade them to showcase their work. For instance, twelve of his undergraduate projects (4th year, coop) resulted in papers accepted for publication. Many of them participated in conferences presenting the results of their course work. A team participated in the IEEE Computer Society International Design Competition, and new teams will participate in Microsoft's ImagineCup 2012. He is pleased in spending the extra time these activities require, as he believes in trying to leave a positive mark on his students, while providing them with all of the possible support for their future careers.

Service

Over his years spent at Carleton University, he has been called on to participate in many activities and have been assigned various administrative duties. He has participated in numerous committees, including Tenure and Promotion, Scientific Advisory (V-Sim), University Supervisory Approvals Committee, Carleton University IEEE Computer Society Student Branch counselor, and the SCS Student Chapter coordinator. He was also the Department representative on the board of the School of Computer Science, and a member of the Departmental reviewing committee for Endowment, NSERC and OGS Scholarships.

In addition to the above mentioned duties, he has contributed in many other ways. For example, he has been part of the evaluation committees for numerous Engineering projects, Theses, and Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations. He initiated the Embedded Systems Group and organized around 50 seminars since 2000.

Externally, he is servicing the academic community in different international initiatives. He is currently the VP Publications of SCS (in charge of two journals, a newsletter and a magazine). He is the Special Issues Editor of the Transactions of the SCS (appointment renewed for two years), and a member of the Editorial Board of various journals. He has been a reviewer for various journals, and the organizer of numerous international conferences and workshops. In particular, he has been the chair of SummerSim twice (increasing the number of submissions in 100% in one year, and highly improving the quality of those submissions, reflected in an increase of the rejection rate in over 200% in one year). He was also a co-founder of new successful conferences: the Symposium of Theory of Modeling and Simulation (TMS/DEVS), SimAUD (Simulation in Architecture and Urban Design), SimuTools.

He has also been invited to be the External Examiner of 13 Ph.D. theses, and he has evaluated numerous projects in Europe, Canada and Latin America.