Nerd Nite 48: Dark skies, learning and motivation

Start the new year with a resolution to be more nerdy. We’re back with the usual mix of talks, cake and more nerdiness than Comic Con. You’ll be at least 10% more clever at the end of it.*

* Not guaranteed.

Venue: Rialto Theatre

Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start.

£4 Regular Nerds

£3 Unemployed/NUS/65+ Nerds


We regularly sell out- so if you buy a ticket you can’t use, please let us know on the facebook page so we can ensure disorganised nerds who forgot to buy a ticket in time can still come.

Our speakers this month:

Prof Benedict du Boulay: Not in the mood for learning: can computer-based tutors motivate?

Research with human teachers has shown that much of their time and effort is devoted to managing their students’ feelings and motivation. There is a huge literature on academic motivation and many theories exist. These cover areas such as learners’ expectations about learning, their feelings while learning and the values they bring to learning. This talk will briefly introduce how some of these theories have been incorporated into computer-based tutors. Benedict du Boulay is Emeritus Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sussex and Visiting Professor at UCL. Before being an academic he worked in industry and as a school teacher. He is particularly interested in issues around modelling and developing students’ metacognition and motivation.

Dan Oakley: Dark Skies

Dan is lead ranger for the South Downs National Park Authority. Having started out in physics before moving to countryside management Dan never lost his passion for astronomy. When he found himself a ranger in the UK’s newest National Park – the South Downs – he became a champion of its dark night skies. Over three years Dark-skies-Dan and a group of dedicated volunteers mapped out the quality of night skies across the National Park, taking more than 25,000 individual measurements to map sky quality. When the South Downs National Park won International Dark Skies Reserve status in 2016 it was the second in England and only the eleventh to be named in the world.

Vince Ebert: A happy brain is a better learner.

Vince Ebert started his stage career as a comedian in 1998 after graduating in physics and working in management consulting and market research. He is now a stand up comedian and hosts his own prime time science show on ARD (the German equivalent of the BBC). His books have sold over 500,000 copies. Vince’s mission is to convey scientific facts within the fundamental laws of humour. Vince is keen to export his unique sense of German scientific humour to English speaking countries.

Guest hosted by Prof Kathy Romer


Twitter: @brightonnerd

Ticket link

Picture used in poster: Birling Gap Perseids meteor shower by Les Hunt

Comments are closed.