Welcome to Nerd Nite Los Angeles!

We all know that learning is more fun when you’re drinking with friends and colleagues. Thus, Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 50 cities across the globe during which several folks give 18-21-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along. It’s like the Discovery Channel… with beer.

The next Nerd Nite:

Tuesday, April 22
Doors open at 7 p.m. – Presentations start at 7:45 p.m.

NEW LOCATION!

The Mint
6010 W Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Tickets are $10 and available HERE or at the door.

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THIS MONTH’S PRESENTATIONS:

Presentation #1: Geometry of mechanisms: from trains to modern computers
by Igor Pak

In 1784, James Watt patented the steam engine and with it a new type of mechanical linkage now named after him. This innovation led to a flurry of activity in applied geometry, eventually leading to powerful mechanical computers, and then to digital computers. I will tell a fascinating and largely forgotten story of how that happened.

Bio: Igor Pak was born in Moscow, got his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Harvard, and now works at UCLA. He likes geometry, computers and weissbier, but rarely gets to combine them.

Presentation #2: Can brain cells grown in a petri dish learn to tell time? 
by Anu Goel*

Learning temporal patterns and generating timed responses impacts several sophisticated behaviors such as speech production. The focus of our research is to understand how do densely connected neuronal circuits in the brain encode information about time. Our current research suggests that neuronal networks, growing in a dish, can indeed exhibit timed responses as well as learn specific temporal patterns.

Bio: Anu’s main interest is understanding how networks of neurons in the brain interact in order to reliably process complex patterns of information. She obtained her Bachelors degree in Bangalore, India in Microbiology, Zoology and Chemistry. For her Phd she moved across the world to College Park Maryland where she examined learning and experience dependent plasticity in the visual cortex. For the last 5 years she has been a post doctoral researcher in Dean Buonomano’s lab, with a focus on understanding how is timing in the range of milliseconds encoded in the brain. When she is not busy being a nerd she loves hanging out with dogs and her one year old daughter.

Presentation #3: The Birth of Amateur Photography, 1880-1930
by Paul Barone

Did you take a selfie today? Or Instagram a Chihuahua, sunset, or cronut? We’ll explore the early days of amateur photography—the science, marketing, and cultural influences—through 19th and early 20th century cameras, images, advertising, ephemera…lots of old-timey, antique store stuff. Learn who and what are really to thank for the 100 billion photos we take every year in America.

Bio: Paul Barone is an historian, amateur photographer, musician, Kodak Brat, and unapologetic Phishhead. As the son of a town historian and grandson of a lifelong Eastman Kodak employee, Paul’s journey to NerdNite LA was unknowingly put in motion decades ago. He funds his foolish distractions with his IT career at UCLA, and can often be found feeding Venice homeless with the grassroots ‘burrito project’ charity he founded in 2010.

*Speaker brought to you in collaboration with the Society of Postdoctoral Scholars at UCLA – http://www.postdoc.ucla.edu/