Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Nerd Nite East Bay has moved to a newer, larger venue this month and our pre-sale tickets will have no transaction fees! Club 21 is a fantastic space that is close to BART that has a full bar, lots of screens, and a lot of seating (first come/first serve). Our line-up for the first event at Club 21 is incredible. Pascal Lee, chairman of the Mars Institute and Senior Research Scientist at SETI will discuss human missions to Mars, Gail Patricelli from UC Davis will bring a robotic sage grouse, and Jono will discuss the mathematics of juggling.

There will be food that you can purchase from Kyoto Cafe and Natty Cakes and we’ll be giving away Nerd Nite East Bay shot glasses!

And bar flies Rick, Rebecca, DJ Ion the Prize, and the Oakland Public Library will guide you through the rest of the night.

Be there and be square.

Monday 5/25/2015
Doors at 7 pm, show starts at 8 pm, show ends at 10:30 pm
Club 21, 2111 Franklin St, Oakland
(two blocks from the 19th St BART)
$8 in advance/$10 at the door

MISSION: MARS (Steps Toward the First Human Mission to the Red Planet) by Pascal Lee

The first human mission to Mars will be humanity’s greatest undertaking in space exploration in the 21st century. As with all expeditions, its success will depend on planning. The first steps towards a human journey to the Red Planet are already under way, as we achieve longer spaceflight missions, plan for deep space journeys to Near-Earth Asteroids, and explore extreme environments on Earth viewed as Mars “analogs”. Dr Lee will discuss progress being made around the world, from the Arctic to Antarctica, from basement labs to the International Space Station, to achieve the first human voyage to Mars. He will examine in turn the what, why, how, when, and who of the first human mission to Mars.

Dr Pascal Lee is co-founder and chairman of the Mars Institute, a senior planetary scientist at the SETI Institute, and the director of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California. Dr Lee has worked extensively in the Arctic and Antarctica viewed as stand-ins for Mars. In 1988, he wintered over in Antarctica for 402 days. In his spare time, Pascal likes to play with his dogs and paint space art, especially scenes of humans exploring Mars and its moons. Pascal also just became an author. His first book, titled Mission: Mars, is a children’s book on the human exploration of Mars.

Tools of the Pornithologist: Using Robots to Spy on the Sex Lives of Birds by Gail Patricelli

Animals use a dizzying array of sounds, smells, colors, dances, electrical fields and seismic vibrations to convince each other to mate. These elaborate courtship signals were a mystery until Darwin’s time—after proposing his theory of natural selection, Darwin was left with the question of how the flamboyant peacock could be shaped by the same process that makes the peahen so perfectly camouflaged. There is now strong support for Darwin’s answer to this question, the process he termed sexual selection, proposing that the courting sex (often, but not always the males) must be elaborate because the courted sex (often, but not always the females) demands it. But how do scientists study the conversations males and females in non-human animals have about mating? One way to do this is to participate, controlling one side of the conversation with a robot. Gail Patricelli will talk about using robotic females to study courtship behaviors in two spectacular species of birds, the satin bowerbird and the greater sage-grouse.

Gail Patricelli is a professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on the evolution of elaborate mating behaviors in birds and the impacts of noise pollution on breeding behaviors and populations.

How to Entertain a Juggler by Jono Finger

Next time you go to a juggling festival, you might be surprised that it’s not all circus clowns and fire torches. Instead there will be a plethora different techniques, objects, group patterns, and games. I am going to talk about nerdy juggling, which is more akin to a technical sport or solving a puzzle. There will be patterns, theorems, algorithms, causal diagrams… oh, and maybe some juggling too.

Jono has been juggling for 20+ years. He participates and teaches at festivals and camps throughout the country. When he is not juggling you might find him at his day job programming for PLOS, an open access science publisher.