Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

NNB 53: Chocolate, Rhinos, Programming


Who needs the World Cup when you’ve got Nerd Nite Brighton? We have passion, excitement and superb human beings – without the crushing misery of a penalty shoot out. This month we have our usual diverse range of evidence based entertainment with some top quality speakers sharing their knowledge of rhinos, chocolate and programming.

Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start.

£4 Regular Nerds
£3 Unemployed/NUS/65+ Nerds
Tickets link

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:

Jen Lindsey-Clark: The art, science and magic of chocolate

From a bean to a button, how can you make it do the conga and why is it not a good idea to send the Queen her head in a box. Jen Lindsey-Clark, Chief Chocolatician and creator of edible silliness such as the ‘Cumberbunny’ and a ten foot long ‘orient express’ chocolate train will share her nerdish passion for chocolate.

After a 10 year career as a pastry chef and wedding cake maker, Jen focused her attentions completely on chocolate and its endless possibilities as a medium for art and choccy props.

Jen has a chocolate workshop by the river Adur in Shoreham and when she’s not pushing the echelons of chocolate sculpture, Jen runs workshops and parties for chocoholics of all ages. She also shares her chocolate skills with students at Seaford College and visits other schools to open a window into her wonderful world of chocolate and the importance of that old saying ‘ a little of what you like does you good’. … and yes there will be samples.

Dr Kate Howland – Programming Tools for Non-Programmers

Kate Howland is a Lecturer in Interaction Design at University of Sussex, where she teaches on human-computer interaction, game design and cognitive science modules in the Department of Informatics. Her research examines how non-technical users can be more involved in the design and development of novel technologies. She most often works with user groups that face greater barriers to taking an active role in technology design, including children and older people. In this talk she will discuss the design of novice and end-user programming environments, highlighting the barriers to getting started with programming, and some of the approaches used by interface designers to tackle these. She’ll also talk about her research on the use of natural language in programming environments, including her latest project on voice-user interfaces in smart homes.

Mxolisi Sibanda- Rhinos! Rhinos! Rhinos!

Mx is Regional Manager for East Africa at WWF-UK. His role involves managing a portfolio of projects that we invest into in East Africa that include black rhinos, forest, marine and freshwater resources conservation in Kenya and Tanzania. He is an ecologist by training with degrees from Cambridge University, Wits University in South Africa and the University of Zimbabwe.

Hosted by Dr Partha Das

Twitter: @brightonnerd
Facebook event
Tickets link

NNB 52: A Midsummer Nerd’s Dream

Nerd Nite 52: A Midsummer Nerd’s Dream

Thursday 21st June, Rialto Theatre
Tickets

It’s the longest day, so make use of it with some top class nerdery. We have a very diverse selection of talks this month: from HIV and mental health, to bats and physics. With added cake and beer. As Shakespeare didn’t say, “Lord, what nerds these mortals be”.

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:

Fungai Murau: Challenging your ancestors: mental health interventions for people living with HIV

A talk about how cultural norms are hard to challenge even when your life depends on it. Fungai is a passionate researcher in the HIV field with an interest in mental health and educating adolescent girls in making informed choices about their lives respecting their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Fungai has an MA in poverty and development from the Institute of Development studies and her dissertation focused on the mental health of HIV positive undocumented migrant women living in the UK. She sits on the SWIFT steering group and is a trustee on the Sophia Forum and AMAZE boards. Fungai currently works at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and is starting her PhD at the end of this year. Her other passions include writing children’s books and gardening.

Katherine Halsall: Blind bats? Seeing in a world of sound

Bats are incredibly important worldwide for pollinating important crops, but many species worldwide are at risk and populations have seen considerable decline. Bats have evolved a complex method of echolocation which allows them to catch insects as small as a midge by producing calls and listening to echoes bouncing off the insect. Different species have evolved unique call shapes, frequencies and patterns to catch their particular prey. Research into bat echolocation in recent years has been used to reduce the impact of large development projects on bats.

Kathy Halsall is an ecologist at Mott MacDonald. Her work involves consulting on major UK projects including coastal defence schemes, new highways and rail schemes. Kathy has a particular interest in bats. She previously worked for African Bat Conservation in Malawi leading the urban research team on a new project to discover which species of bats were present in Lilongwe. She currently volunteers in her spare time for Bats Without Borders, a charity working to conserve bats in southern Africa, on the communications and media team.

Lily Asquith: Big Questions in Particle Physics

Particle physics asks mind-tingling questions about the nature of the universe: ‘why is there mass?’, ‘what is dark matter?’, or even ‘are there extra dimensions?’. These questions are our focus at the Large Hadron Collider. The vast, complex machines and computing challenges we have taken on in pursuit of answers to these questions are equally fascinating, from magnets operating at temperatures colder than space, to training computer programmes to learn by themselves.

Dr Lily Asquith has a PhD in High Energy Physics. After a four-year post at Argonne National Lab, Chicago. Lily was awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin fellowship in 2014 and is now working in the Experimental Particle Physics group at the University of Sussex, analysing data collected with the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN.

Hosted by Anna Downie

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NerdNiteBrighton/
Twitter: @brightonnerd
Tickets: www.rialtotheatre.co.uk/whats-on/events/nerd-nite

NNB 51: Maths – Fish – Games

When are fish good for your brain? When you learn about them at Nerd Nite of course! This month we are celebrating recreational maths, migrating fish and the murky world of political board games. All with added cake, beer and quizzing. Be there and be square.

Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start.
Venue: Rialto Theatre

£4 Regular Nerds
£3 Unemployed/NUS/65+ Nerds
Tickets link

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:

Adam Atkinson: MathsJam, Semi-Chestnuts and other Recreational Maths

Adam runs the Brighton branch of MathsJam, to the extent that anyone can be said to. MathsJam is a monthly event at which people do/ talk about recreational maths, puzzles, games and similar. Adam did a degree in maths in the UK some time ago, then moved to Rome and joined the recreational maths community in Italy. This led to him contributing to some articles about an obscure Italian gambling myth called the Samaritani Formula (about which he gets occasional hate mail even now). He has run a games and puzzles stand for the University of Pisa Open Week for 15+ years, where students call him “L’Omino dei Giochi” (the little games guy). Given that he doesn’t work for the University of Pisa and his stand bears no resemblance to anything people would do if they signed up there, he is also known as “Pisa University Fraud Department”. Adam is a regular at the annual UK MathsJam, the Gathering for Gardner, and the Recreational Maths Colloquia in Lisbon. He will only tell the barometer story at Nerd Nite if it proves to be absolutely necessary.

Kathy Hughes: The amazing migrations of freshwater fish

Kathy Hughes is a freshwater ecologist working for WWF where she works to protect the biodiversity of some of the world’s most wildlife rich rivers. It’s Kathy’s second time at Nerd Nite- she previously spoke about one of her favourite species – the freshwater eel. This time, Kathy is marking World Fish Migration Day (yes, it really exists) on 21st April: a day to celebrate the world’s amazing migratory fish and raise awareness of the need for free and flowing rivers. To complete their life cycle, many species of fish embark on migrations between our rivers and the ocean. Migrations can be thousands of kilometres long and migrating fish have developed an array of physiological and behavioural adaptations to make these journeys possible. This presentation will introduce you to the lives and journeys of some of the most well-known migratory fish such as salmon, lamprey, freshwater eel, giant catfishes and sturgeons.

Ben Bailey: The Political History of Board Games

Ben Bailey is a journalist, musician and gamer. The time he spends on each is probably totally out of whack. He runs the SOURCE website and was formerly the listings and reviews editor on the magazine. As well as writing stuff for other publications he also finds the time to play in various bands and once came 4th place in a BMX tournament. His talk explores the strange connections between the murky world of political propaganda and the seemingly innocent pastime of playing board games. Topics include the feminist origins of Monopoly, the disastrous game that Donald Trump made in the 80s all about himself and the family-friendly game from Nazi Germany that even the SS wanted to ban. You will never look at a plastic beaker in the same way.

Hosted by Dr Mick Taylor

Twitter: @brightonnerd
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NerdNiteBrighton/
Tickets link

NNB 50: Science, Chocolate, Art and Africa

It’s our 50th Nerd Nite! Come celebrate with evidence-based entertainment, cake and beer. Be there and be square.

Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start.

£4 Regular Nerds
£3 Unemployed/NUS/65+ Nerds
Tickets from Rialto Theatre

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:

Dr Mahmoud Maina: Inspiring the future generation of Africans using science

Mahmoud Maina is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Sussex studying neurodegeneration. Mahmoud obtained his BSc in Human Anatomy from the University of Maiduguri, and then lectured at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Maiduguri, Nigeria. In 2011, Mahmoud joined the University of Sussex for an MSc in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience. He was then awarded a Chancellor’s International Research Scholarship (CIRS) for a Ph.D in the Serpell Lab on the role of nuclear Tau in Alzheimer’s disease, which he recently completed. In his spare time, Mahmoud is a passionate science communicator, for which he was awarded a science communication award in 2017 by the Royal Society of Biology. He founded the TReND in Africa outreach programme and serves as the outreach coordinator. TReND have inspired thousands of students about science and continue to enhance public understanding of science. Mahmoud recently became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for the purpose of enlarging science through public engagement in Africa.

Dr Katy Petherick: Science, the public and a chocolate lab

After investigating cancer for 6 years, Katy now spends her time promoting opportunities for scientists to inform, collaborate and co-produce research with the general public. She currently works at the University of Sussex as Public Engagement Coordinator, and leads initiatives around Brighton that increases interaction with science: she co-founded the British Science Association Brighton and Hove branch and STEMbusters. She is passionate about promoting minorities in science, supporting local activities such as Soapbox Science Brighton and Out and About STEM, and believes if anything can get people participating in science, a chocolate lab can.

Nick Sayers: STEAM-powered! Adventures in science and art

Nick Sayers is a science-inspired artist based in Brighton. He has made drawing machines from bicycles, six-month-exposure pinhole cameras from beer cans, geodesic shelter domes from estate agent signs, and has Cycled The Solar System in Goa. He has shown his work internationally at art and science events in countries including India, Canada, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Holland, USA, Portugal and Hungary. Nick will discuss his work, and how it has communicated science to a wider public in a creative, quirky and engaging way.

Hosted by Nerd Nite Brighton founder, Partha Das

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NerdNiteBrighton/
Twitter: @brightonnerd
Tickets from Rialto Theatre

Photo in poster by Nick Sayers

NNB 49: Bacteria, cell repair and strange sounds

15th Feb Poster - Bacteria, cell repair & strange sounds

 

What could be more romantic than a night spent with beer, cake and some of Brighton’s finest nerds? Show your Valentine’s love for knowledge at Nerd Nite in February.

Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start.

Venue: Rialto Theatre

£4 Regular Nerds
£3 Unemployed/NUS/65+ Nerds

Tickets available online

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:

Heena Jagatia: How Can We Avoid the Post-Antibiotic Era?’

Heena is a final year PhD student at the University of Sussex. She studied Biomedical Science at St. George’s and then did an MSc at the London school of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine, developing a deep interest with bacteria. Her research looks at antibiotic production in response to stress in Streptomyces. Heena’s talk will introduce the well-reported and feared topic of antibiotic resistance, how and why it occurs, and what can be done to prevent the start of an era where antibiotics fail to fight the simplest of infections.

Karl Waugh: There’s madness in the pattern: one person’s stumble through using mathematics and software to make strange sounds.

Karl M V Waugh is a multi-media artist working often with software, generative art and noise / a musician with a load of bands* / has a doctorate in mathematics / a poet / a dad / employed as a software engineer. He believes that Roquefort cheese may be an embodiment of god.
*The Emperors Of Ice Cream / God’s Teeth And The Interstellar Tropics / Binnsclagg / The Zero Map / etc.

Aimee Eckert: Your cells through time: how broken is your DNA?

Aimee is a final year PhD student at the University of Sussex Genome Damage & Stability Centre. She researches how cells control their division, focusing on certain types of breast cancer cell to understand more about how they grow. Aimee is also a keen science communicator who enjoys talking with people about science at CRUK events and during school visits, and also by poking fun at it by performing science comedy at Science Showoff, Bright Club and as part of her science flavoured cabaret: Dr Jiggs Bowson’s Charming Science Friends. In this talk Aimee will outline how cells do the miraculous job of growing & repairing themselves (and by extension, our bodies) every day and the importance of wearing sunscreen.

Hosted by Mick Taylor

www.facebook.com/NerdNiteBrighton/
Twitter: @brightonnerd

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

Tickets

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

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NerdNiteBrighton/

Twitter: @brightonnerd

Ticket link

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

NNB 47: Ghosts of Christmas Past and Biodiversity

‘Twas 11 days before Christmas when all through Brighton, not a creature was stirring, not even a nerd. That’s because they will all be at our Nerd Nite Christmas special. Alongside the usual excellent talks and cake, we’ll be having a science-themed carol singalong and a Plasticine modelling competition.

7.30 for an 8pm start
£4 Regular Nerds or £3 Unemployed/Students/65+ Nerds. We usually sell out so get your tickets quick!

Our speakers this month:

Dr Peggy St Jacques- The Ghosts of Christmas Past: Memory, Visual Perspective, and Imagination

Peggy L. St. Jacques studied at the University of Toronto and Duke University, and then worked at Harvard University before starting as a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sussex. Her primary research focus is to understand the cognitive and neural mechanisms that support memory for events, including autobiographical experiences from one’s personal past and realistic experiences encoded in a more controlled setting. In particular, she is interested in how long-term representations of memory are modified via retrieval related mechanisms. She has also examined how memories change as we age, the influence of emotion on memory, and memory related changes in dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder. One of Peggy’s favourite autobiographical memories is when she visited a Balsamic Vinegar House in the Reggio Emilia area in Italy.

Dr Alice Eldridge- Learning to Listen to Biodiversity

Alice Eldridge is a research fellow and musician at the University of Sussex. Her work spans music, ecology & technology and includes ecosystemic approaches to music-making and computational methods for acoustic ecology. In this talk she will introduce the emerging field of Ecoacoustics – which investigates the ecological role of sound – and share results from field work in the Ecuadorian Amazon investigating the potential for using computers that listen to the dawn chorus to monitor biodiversity.

And Emily MacDonald will be accompanying us on her accordion for the carol singalong.

Tickets link
Twitter: @brightonnerd
Facebook: NerdNiteBrighton

Nerd Nite 46: Pedagogy, Zombies, Traffic & Lies

It’s a nerd nite melange this month! We’ve got something for everyone- from pedagogy to social lies to zombies. If that’s not enough, how about free cake, beer, nerd news and the chance to win one of our highly coveted nerd mugs? Let your inner nerd run free!

7.30 for an 8pm start
£4 Regular Nerds or £3 Unemployed/Students/65+ Nerds. We usually sell out so get your tickets quick!

Tickets available from Rialto Box Office

Our speakers for November:

– Liz Sage: Pedagogy as a playful art
– Nicos Georgiou: The curious connections between a Zombie apocalypse and highway traffic
– Judith Good – Social Lies We Tell Ourselves

Dr Liz Sage is a writer, poet and Teaching Fellow in Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education at Sussex University. Having spent nearly a decade researching terrorism, she became fascinated with the way our educational cultures produce forms of knowledge which perpetuate violence, apathy and powerlessness – so decided to try and inspire the next generation of lecturers by convening Sussex University’s Starting to Teach programme. Her most recent endeavours include writing her first novel, developing her visual art practice and trying to re-invent university education from the inside out.

Dr Nicos Georgiou is a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Sussex. He was born in Cyprus and got his BSc from the University of Athens before moving to buried-under-snow Wisconsin for 5 years and buried-under-snow Utah for his PhD and postdoc. His talk will discuss how a zombie invasion is mathematically the same as queues in series and the same as highway traffic. Models that can tell you when traffic will be horrible are discussed.

Prof Judith Good is a Professor in Informatics at the University of Sussex. She is interested in designing technologies to empower people. Her recent research focuses on people with disabilities, particularly autistic people. This research has led her to question whether researchers/designers, who are often “neurotypical” (i.e. with no disabilities such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, etc.) might be unwittingly holding disabled people to higher standards than they do themselves, taking a stance of “do as I say, not as I do”.

Hosted by Dr Mick Taylor

Brighton.nerdnite.com
Twitter: @brightonnerd

Nerd Nite Brighton 45: Waves, Vision, Quantum

We’ve got all the physics, laughter and quantum thingumies you could want this month at Nerd Nite Brighton. Three fantastic nerdy speakers, nerd news and our fiendish quiz- all washed down with (free) cake and (reasonably priced) beer. What more could you want?

We usually sell out so get your tickets now!

7.30 for an 8pm start.
£4 Regular Nerds or £3 Unemployed/Students/65+ Nerds

Our speakers:

Prof Mark Hindmarsh: Gravitational Waves from the Big Bang

Mark Hindmarsh is a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Sussex, carrying out research on the physics of the Big Bang. In his talk, Mark will explain how a tiny fraction of a second after the Universe began, the Higgs field turned on. This might not have been a smooth transition: instead, the Universe might have filled up with bubbles of Higgs field- rather like opening a can of fizzy drink. The resulting fizz might have been loud enough to generate gravitational waves, detectable in a future space-based gravitational wave detector such as the European Space Agency’s LISA.

Dr Hannah Macpherson: Landscape, Laughter and Visual Impairment

Hannah Macpherson is a geographer and inclusive arts practitioner interested in social relations. Her research focuses on experiences of D/disability and uses art-based research methods, walking interviews and other qualitative research methods. Feminist, post-structural and new-materialist theories inform her work. Ten years ago she conducted her doctoral research acting as a sighted guide with people with visual impairment who go walking in the Lake District and Peak District. Her talk is about spaces of British landscape, the laughter of the oppressed, resonance and affect. And there are some terrible jokes.

Prof Winfried Hensinger: Quantum Computing

Winfried Hensinger is professor of quantum technologies at the University of Sussex. Hensinger’s group works on constructing a trapped-ion quantum computer demonstrator device, a quantum simulation engine as well as portable quantum sensors in collaboration with a number of academic and industrial partners.

Hosted by Dr Mick Taylor

Brighton.nerdnite.com
Twitter: @brightonnerd
Facebook: NerdNiteBrighton
Tickets link

Nerd Nite 44: Music, Sound & Therapy

 

It’s music to our ears this month at Nerd Nite, with three talks on musical topics. Great speakers, cake, gin, nerdy news and the highly competitive quiz…

7.30 for an 8pm start. We usually sell out so get your tickets now!
£4 Regular Nerds or £3 Unemployed/Students/65+ Nerds

Our speakers:

– Chris Kiefer: Designing New Musical Instruments
– Emily Macdonald: Music Therapy: Why singing is good for you.
– Ben Newland: Occupying Space with Sound: A brief guide to the social, political and cultural use of portable sound systems.

Dr Chris Kiefer is a computer-musician and musical instrument designer, specialising in musician-computer interaction, physical computing, and machine learning. He performs with custom-made instruments including malleable foam interfaces, touch screen software, interactive sculptures and a modified self-resonating cello. Chris’ research often focuses on participatory design and development of interactive music systems in everyday settings, including digital instruments for children with disabilities, and development of the NETEM networked score system for musical ensembles. His work also concentrates on machine learning and signal processing for audio and interaction, with a particular emphasis on nonlinear and dynamical systems. He has developed and published games and instruments for mobile devices.

Emily Macdonald is a music therapist, piano teacher, choir leader, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. Her music therapy work has focused on vulnerable, at-risk children and leading therapeutic singing groups for adults with dementia. She sings with barberswing trio The Close Shaves and is the Director of Brighton Swing Choir. When she’s not playing music, you can usually find her dancing the lindy hop! https://brightonswingchoir.co.uk/

Ben Newland is an artist, designer and music fanatic who tends to work with sound and sound system technologies. He is the creator of the Nomadic Sound System, a 10 piece portable sound system in the form of a marching band. In this talk Ben Newland meanders through the history of portable sound system use and explores the cultures that revolve around them. From marching bands, to sonic weapons, to sodcasting teenagers on the back of buses, portable sound systems are projectors of territory, identity and cultural values and disruptors of the status quo. He will also demonstrate his own sound system projects and speculate on the future of mobile noise making. You can follow Ben on Twitter @Nomadicsoundsys.

Hosted by Dr Mick Taylor

Facebook event

Twitter: @brightonnerd