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Faculty & Staff Directory

Burton Simon, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office Location: AB1-4209
Phone: (303) 315-1710
Areas of Expertise:
applied probability, mathematical modeling

Education & Degrees

Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1980

B.S., Cornell University, 1975


I studied Mathematics and Operations Research in college, and joined Bell Laboratories after finishing my PhD in 1980. In the early 1980's Bell Labs was like an enormous university (without the teaching) and many of the top researchers in applied probability and other mathematical disciplines were there. After AT&T was broken up, lots of people left the Labs, although remnants of the organization still exists to this day. I left Bell Labs in 1986 and joined the faculty of the Applied Mathematics Department (now the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences) at UCD, where I have been ever since.

For many years my research was in the same areas that I worked on at Bell Labs (queueing theory and simulation), but as time went on I moved on to other topics. Lately my research has been in theoretical biology and evolutionary game theory. In particular I study evolutionary population dynamics, the evolution of cooperation, and I have developed my own theory of "group selection" (which is a controvertial subject among evolutionary theorists). The common theme in most of my research has been the development and analysis of mathematical models.

Select Publications

"A dynamical model of two-level selection." Evolutionary Ecology Research (2010) 12:5.

"A stochastic model of evolutionary dynamics with deterministic large population asymptotics,"
Journal of Theoretical Biology (2008) 254:4.

"Optimal Control of an Inventory with Simultaneous Obsolescence," Interfaces, (2007) with Markus Emsermann.

"Adaptive Simulation Using Perfect Control Variates," (2004), Journal of Applied Probability, (2004) 41:3. (with Shane Henderson)

"Improving Simulation Efficiency with Quasi Control Variates," stochastic Models, (2002) Vol. 18. with Markus Emsermann

"Heavy Traffic Approximations for a System of Infinite Servers with Load Balancing," (1999) Probability in the Engineering and Informational Sciences, (1999) Vol. 13, 251-273. with P.J. Fleming

Courses Taught

MATH 4310, 4320: Introduction to Analysis I and II
MATH 4792: Probabilistic Modeling
MATH 4810/5310: Probability
MATH 6380: Stochastic Processes