Nerd Nite 2018 May Poster resize

Online tickets just $8 in advance at

RSVP on Facebook at

Monday 5/28/2018
Doors, food, drink, and preshow games at 7 pm, talks start at 8 pm and end by 10pm.
Club 21, 2111 Franklin St, Oakland
(two blocks from the 19th St BART)

The Weird Wood and World of Woody Vines

The woody vines known as lianas, long considered merely a garden nuisance that likes to creep along fences and glue themselves to buildings, have started to dominate tropical forests around the world in response to carbon dioxide shifts due to climate change and forest fragmentation. Learn about the evolution and development of novel wood and cellular composition in ilanas that are fundamentally different from the wood in trees and shrubs, and how these structures are responsible for the ability of woody vines to continuously twist, turn and cling as they move towards available sunlight, endangering natural habitats around the world.

Joyce Chery is a PhD candidate in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley studying the evolution of vascular cambial variants in the ilianas. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and a UC Berkeley Chancellors Fellow.

The California Field Atlas

The #1 best-selling California Field Atlas blends science and art to guide readers outside normal conceptions of California. Learn about the grand scale of natural systems like tectonic plates and watersheds and the small scale details of wildflower gardens that combine to make up the myriad ecologies, topographies, and histories of the interconnected fifty-eight counties in our state. Think about our natural world in a different way through hand-painted maps, spirited wildlife illustrations and trail paintings from the book already celebrated as a quintessential love letter to California.

Obi Kaufmann is the author of the California Field Atlas (Heyday Books), winner of the 2017 Phelan Award for California Literature. A naturalist, painter and systems-thinker by inclination, Obi’s cartography balances ecology and aesthetics as driving and orienting forces across California’s largest living networks.  An avid conservationist, Obi Kaufmann speaks on issues of ecological restoration and preservation throughout the state, and through Planet Earth Arts he will be the artist in residence in the Creative Writing program at Stanford University in 2018.

How Materials Science Finds Answers in Failures

Much of modern society is based on the unique properties of complex new materials, and materials scientists break things on purpose in the lab to ensure resiliency and safety in the real world. Learn how famous broken objects like highways, planes and spacecraft tell interesting stories precisely because material science had already put them through tests to ensure that the unexpected would be avoided, and how failures in infrastructure start a critical race to discover what went wrong so future disasters can be avoided.

 Mingxi Zheng is a materials engineer at Carbon specializing in fracture mechanics and new materials development and received her MS degree in materials science and engineering from UC-Berkeley. She was recognized with a UCB Grad Slam Award, built rockets at SpaceX and Virgin Orbit as a metallurgist, and spent years convincing people that majoring in breaking things was useful. Now she spend time thinking of new applications for the company’s custom polymers and 3D printer.


Grilled Cheese Guy, DJ Rubberband Girl, and The Oakland Public Library.

Online tickets just $8 in advance at