Philippe Nain received the Maîtrise Es-Sciences (B.S. degree) in Mathematics in 1978, the Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies (M.S. degree) in Statistics in 1979, and the Doctorat de 3ème cycle in Modeling of Computer Systems in 1981, all from the University of Paris 11 (now Paris-Saclay University). In 1987 he received the Doctorat d'Etat in Applied Mathematics from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris (now Sorbonne University).
Since 1981 he has been with Inria (Rocquencourt in 1981-1985 with team Meval, Sophia Antipolis in 1985-2016 with teams Meval-Sophia, Mistral and Maestro, Lyon in 2016-2021 with team Dante, Sophia Antipolis with team Neo since September 2021). From 1998 to 2014 he was the scientific leader of Inria project-teams Mistral (1998-2003) and Maestro (2003-2014), devoted to the modeling and performance evaluation of communication networks and computer systems.
Until August 2021 he held a Research Director position (Directeur de Recherche de Classe Exceptionnelle).
Since September 2021 he has been a Research Director Emeritus at Inria, hosted by team Neo.
Philippe Nain held long-term visiting appointments at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, 5 months in 2018-2019, 5 months in 2016-2017, 1 year in 1993-1994), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge, 1 year in 2015-2016), North Carolina State University (NCSU, Raleigh, 6 months in 1988), and the University of Maryland (College Park, 4 months in 1987).
He is on the Advisory Board of the Performance Evaluation journal, a past Editor-in-Chief of Performance Evaluation (2008-2017), and a past Associate Editor of IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Performance Evaluation, Operations Research Letters, and Journal of Applied Mathematics. He was a co-program chair of the ACM Sigmetrics 2000 conference and the general chair of the IFIP Performance 2005 conference. Since 1997 he has been a member (treasurer from 2002 to 2007, vice-chair from 2008 to 2014) of the IFIP Working Group 7.3 on Computer System Modelling and he is a past member of the ACM Sigmetrics Executive Committee (2007-2011).
From July 2007 to June 2010 Philippe Nain was the scientific deputy (délégué scientifique) of the Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée Research Centre and chair of its scientific board (Comité des Equipes-Projets). From September 2012 to August 2015 he was the chairman of the Inria Evaluation Committee. In 2016-2017 he launched and chaired the Inria Strategic Technology Monitoring and Prospective Studies Unit.