2013 brings you even more Nerd Nite.

We kick off the year with a talk on collective behavior from Daniel Cohen of UC Berkeley/UCSF. Is it just me or are most swarms just creepy. Ants, bees, pirahnas? Ick. Geologist Andrew Pike shares how he is just as interested in scissors and paper as he is in rocks and Cal’s Lina Nilsson tells us about about “cool science and tech work for ‘global good.’”

And if you haven’t yet been back to The New Parkway Theater since our last night before they were officially opened, you should really check it out. They’ve dusted out the last few cobwebs, they’re showing programs on both screens and, most importantly, their kitchen is now up-and-running. You’ll be able to buy a tasty burger or some pizza along with that pitcher of beer for our show.

Be there and be square with DJ Ion the Prize and your humble hosts Rebecca Cohen and Rick Karnesky!

Monday 1/28
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
FB event
g+ event

THAT’LL DO, PIG: ADVENTURES IN COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR FROM SHEEP TO CANCER by Daniel Cohen

Should the day come where our civilization is laid waste to by swarms of vengeful nanobots, killer bees, and ambulatory piranha, the secrets of the Swarm discussed in this talk, will give you a competitive advantage. On a less somber note, these same secrets happily pertain to everyday things like the herding of sheep, schooling of fish, swarming of ants, flocking of birds, and decisions taking place inside your body. ‘Collective behavior’, our theme, describes the surprising ability of large groups of simple critters to behave in very complicated ways. If all goes well, you will leave this talk with a nose for these phenomena in everyday life, possessing a secret of bird flocking, and having a better sense of how the trillions of cells inside you work together (most of the time).

Daniel Cohen is eyeing the finish line of a bioengineering PhD at UC Berkeley/UCSF. In addition to swarms and cells, his work touches on dinosaurs, medical devices, and medical devices for dinosaurs (awaiting testing).

GETTING THE UPPER HAND: HOW TO WIN AT ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS by Andrew Pike

Child’s play it’s not! Rock Paper Scissors, or RPS as it’s known among enthusiasts, has gained a cult following over the past decade. Fingersmiths from around the globe compete in local and international tournaments for a shot at thousands of dollars in prize money. Although each athlete comes equipped with all but three humble throws, only the best leave with blood on their hands. But is there truly a way to win at our beloved pastime? What is the strategy of champions? Join us as we delve into the complexity of this deceivingly simple game. We will examine common rookie mistakes and study the tightly-guarded secrets of the grandmasters. It’s every bit as elegant as the World Series of Poker, but with more booze!

Dr. Andrew Pike holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Pennsylvania. During graduate school, he was a regular contestant in a competitive Rock Paper Scissors league held in various pubs throughout Philadelphia, where he was known as “The Rock Doctor”. Currently a resident of Santa Cruz, he works as a hydrologist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Contrary to his name, he does not always throw Rock. Watch out!

NERDS VS. THE WORLD’S MOST WICKED PROBLEMS: A GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGE by Lina Nilsson

From the wheel to the iPhone, technology innovation has the power to fundamentally and rapidly transform the way we live our daily lives. In this talk, we’re going to explore a wickedly difficult problem: how we can create tech solutions to some of our most extreme global problems while also sticking to pricetags that make these solutions relevant to the 50% of the world’s people who live off of less than $2.50 per day. Nerds of the world, here is a call to use your powers for the good of the planet!

Lina is the Innovation Director at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, at UC Berkeley. Previously, has spent time at the lab bench, and has worked at a fishery in Norway and on a vineyard in Germany, so she can purify proteins, gut salmon and remove weeds at alarming speeds should the need arise. Lina is a dreamer and an engineer; she believes in the power of science to make the world a better place.