Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Join us for Nerd Nite East Bay’s last monthly show at the incredible New Parkway Theater! Two-time Nerd Nite San Francisco alum Rich Ross kicks off the night with a talk about the tiny, fascinating pygmy seahorses that hide on coral in the Philippines. Nerd Nite fans know we have a thing for boats. Olaf Elander will walk us through how a ship that was once owned by President Roosevelt was bought by Elvis Presley, sold and used to smuggle drugs, and finally found a home in Oakland. Then Stanford’s Margot Gerritsen will share how linear algebra is both useful and beautiful.

Your hosts Rick and Rebecca, DJ Citizen Zain, and the Oakland Public Library will make sure you’re entertained and educated.

“To reach a port, we must sail – sail, not tie at anchor – sail, not drift!”

Monday 4/27/2015
Doors at 7 pm, show starts at 8 pm, show ends at 10:30 pm
The New Parkway, 474 24th St, Oakland
(less than half-a-mile from the 19th St BART)
All Ages

Collecting and Breeding the Pygmy Seahorse by Rich Ross

Pygmy seahorses live their entire adult lives attached to a type of coral called a Gorgonian sea fan. The seahorses use their long tails to grab on to the delicately branched sea fans. But what’s really amazing is their ability to match the coral’s bright color and knobby texture. They blend in so perfectly that they are barely visible, even to a trained eye. They’re nearly impossible to raise in captivity. More people have walked on the moon than have seen a juvenile land on a sea fan. Until recently, there was no record of the seahorses ever living long enough to breed in an aquarium. Hear how the California Academyof Science is learning more about this mysterious species.

Richard Ross works as an aquatic biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences, maintaining many exhibits – including the 212,000-gallon Philippine Coral Reef. An avid underwater videographer who has scuba dived all over the world, he enjoys spending time with his patient wife, his incredible daughter, and their menagerie of animals, both wet and dry.

Franklin Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht – How Did It Get Here? by Olaf Elander

Take a virtual tour of the USS Potomac and hear about its journey from rum chaser, to Presidential Yacht, to drug smuggler, to historic vessel docked at Jack London Square!

Presented by Olaf Elander, resident of Oakland, computer professional during the week, USS Potomac Docent during the weekend, and 10 year veteran of the USS Potomac.

The Beauty I See In Algebra by Margot Gerritsen

When I was first introduced to algebra I believed, with many of my friends, that it was a dry and abstract field. If someone had told me then that 30 years later I would be raving about the subfield of linear algebra, I would probably have despaired. But the topic of this talk is indeed about the beauty of linear algebra and its critical role in engineering and physics applications. Although I will use a little bit of algebra in this talk, it’s OK to be rusty in algebra or calculus. And for those looking for pretty pictures, I will share some of those also.

Margot Gerritsen is a professor of energy resources engineering and the director of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. After receiving her master’s degree in applied mathematics in the Netherlands, Gerritsen moved to the United States in search of “hillier and sunnier places.” She received her doctorate in scientific computing and computational mathematics at Stanford, and later became a faculty member at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Gerritsen specializes in renewable and fossil energy production and in computational mathematics. She is also active in coastal ocean dynamics and yacht design.