Nerd Nite East Bay #15: Data, Exoplanets, and Affordable Care

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Nerd Nite East Bay is back from our short hibernation for our first show of 2014! We’ll announce a new field trip opportunity at this show, which features three great talks. First, Nerd Nite San Francisco alum Bradley Voytek will guide you through how scientists properly (and, sometimes, improperly) leverage and present some of the vast amounts of data available. Then Chabot’s Benjamin Burress will point us to where we might expect to find life off this planet. Finally, KQED’s Lisa Aliferis will tell you what you need to know about Obamacare.

DJ Ion the Prize spins the tunes.

Rick and Rebecca will try to make sure you can register in advance…unlike. um. you know.

Monday 1/27
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

DATA SCIENCE!?: I’M (STATISTICALLY) A DEAD, CHRISTIAN, CHINESE DUDE by Bradley Voytek

90% of all digital data didn’t exist two years ago. Researchers are leveraging “big data” to uncover new insights into human behavior, intelligence, and culture. But what does this data deluge really tell us, and how can it lead us astray?

Bradley Voytek is a Nerd Nite alum, thrice-named Time Person of the year (1960, 2006 and 2011, split prize), professor of computational cognitive science and neuroscience at UC San Diego, director of the Cognitive and Neural Dynamics Lab, Data Evangelist for Uber, and world’s zombie brain expert.

EARTH TO UNIVERSE: IS ANYONE ALIVE OUT THERE? by Benjamin Burress

Prior to only a couple of decades ago, the solar system outside of the Earth seemed quite a barren frontier, and the idea of extra-solar planets was only a twinkle in the eye of those who expected they were out there. Today, not only have we found wet and wild hydrological features in several places in the solar system, we have found and confirmed the presence of planets orbiting other stars–lots of them. And most recently, by virtue of NASA’s late great Kepler mission, we’ve not only begun to zero in on the Holy Grail of exoplanets–Earth-sized worlds at Earth-like distances from their stars, places we might hope to find signs of life–we’ve found that Holy Grails of this type may well be very common in the galaxy.

Benjamin Burress has been a staff astronomer at Chabot Space & Science Center since July 1999. He graduated from Sonoma State University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in physics (and minor in astronomy), after which he signed on for a two-year stint in the Peace Corps, where he taught physics and mathematics in the African nation of Cameroon. From 1989-96 he served on the crew of NASA’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory at Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. From 1996-99, he was Head Observer at the Naval Prototype Optical Interferometer program at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ.

OBAMACARE EXPLAINED: A GUIDE FOR CALIFORNIANS by Lisa Aliferis

Look folks, you’re risking financial catastrophe if you don’t have health insurance. It’s the law for most people to have insurance or pay a fine. Sure, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it provides access for to insurance for many people currently denied. Come find out the highlights of what you need to know.

Lisa Aliferis is the Editor of State of Health, a health blog at KQED News. She focuses on health policy, public health and health disparities. Aliferis has twenty years’ experience producing health reports for television as well as health-related videos for nonprofit clients. Earlier, she worked in the health unit at Dateline NBC. And she has health insurance!

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