NNEB-2013-05

Memorial Day brings us the next installment of Nerd Nite East Bay. First, Kate Poirier will teach you just enough topology to secure your bike. Then, we’ll hear new talk from NNSF alumni. Bioengineer Terry Johnson will discuss how we build new DNA from scratch and why and drawer of cute things Megan Elizabeth Carlsen will talk about color theory.

DJ Citizen Zain will keep you dancing while Rebecca and Rick will remind you to return to your seats. Be there and be square!

Monday 5/27
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
The New Parkway, 474 24th St, Oakland
(less than half-a-mile from the 19th St BART)
$8
All Ages
Tickets
FB event
g+ event

THE POINCARÉ CONJECTURE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOCK MY BIKE by Kate Poirier

YouTube Preview Image
At the beginning of the 20th century, Henri Poincaré, a French mathematician, stated a conjecture that would stump the mathematics world for a hundred years. At the beginning of the 21st century, Grigori Perelman, a Russian mathematician, announced a proof of Poincaré’s conjecture. Around the SAME TIME, Kate Poirier, a young mathematics student in Toronto, Canada, had her bike stolen. Coincidence? Perhaps. In this talk, we examine the statement of the conjecture, its history, and what, if anything, its proof has to do with bike theft. It’s a story of math, and love, and bikes…but mostly math. No mathematical expertise will be required, but some experience locking your bike may come in handy. We’ll make broad, uninformed, and likely wildly inaccurate claims about the shape of the universe, so any actual physics you know may count against you.

Kate Poirier got her start as a flaky art student in Toronto. She later learned that mathematicians can also spend all day drawing pictures, and they don’t even have to be any good at it to be taken seriously! She got her Ph.D. in math at the City University of New York and is currently a visiting assistant professor in the math department at UC Berkeley. She has four bikes as well as one cat, whose name is Batman.

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY: BEATING THE CELL AT ITS OWN GAME by Terry Johnson

YouTube Preview Image
Ten thousand years ago, give or take, humanity first attempted the deliberate use of microbes to create a particular product. That product was beer; joy and civilization soon followed. Today, synthetic biologists aim to produce biofuels, medicines, and commodity chemicals using wee little beasties, and to control wee little beastie behavior in ever more complex ways. To do this, we need to develop new ways to work with DNA, both physically and in the abstract.

Terry D. Johnson has a master’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT and is currently teaching bioengineering at UC Berkeley. He hopes that by doing so, he will be giving students the tools that they will need to repair him as he gets older. He teaches courses in a wide range of subjects, displaying a versatility that has prevented him from achieving any actual expertise. He is an international genetically engineered machine (iGEM) advisor and co-author of How to Defeat Your Own Clone (and other tips for surviving the biotech revolution).

DRUNK ON COLOR: FROM PIGMENT TO PIXELS by Megan Elizabeth Carlsen

Cows being fed mango leaves to make Indian yellow from their pee. Insects boiled in ammonia to manufacture Carmine red for lipstick. Burnt human bones used to create the darkest black for Rembrandt’s portraits. Our quest to produce the perception of color is filled with fables and facts. Let’s look back to a time when artists’ paint was packaged in small chunks of pig bladders instead of a nifty little tube. Have certain colors have been lost forever in our progress? Though time may have claimed some hues existence, what new colors have been born out of chemicals and screens? How might these new hues change our lives? We’ll explore a history and future riddled with adventure and death, all in the name of creating something that doesn’t exactly exist.

Megan Elizabeth Carlsen is an illustrator living in San Francisco. Currently she works as a Game Artist at TinyCo, making cool stuff for you to play while you are on BART or pooping. Her passions include creating illustrations in traditional watercolor, creating characters that connect with people, and teaching others to do the same. You can check out her art at www.meganillustration.com.