Nerd Nite kicks-off March!
And trivia is back - so form a team with your smart friends and show-off your big brains.
Back to the Lectures At-Hand:
How (not) to Cheat on your Taxes
by Paul Siegel
Description: Imagine going through every issue of the New York Times ever printed, recording every single number that you see, and counting how many times each of the numbers from 1 to 9 appear as the first digit. What pattern (if any) would you expect to see? Mysteriously, the first digits obey a simple and predictable (but non-uniform!) distribution which emerges in almost any collection of numbers you can think of: electric bills, stock prices, population data, etc. The pattern is so reliable that accountants use it to test for tax fraud. I’ll explain the pattern and its history, and give a few hints at what makes it tick.
Bio: Paul Siegel is an assistant professor in the mathematics department at Columbia University and an aspiring evangelist of mathematics. He has published in Scientific American as well as in research journals.
Building a Better Brain
by Paula Croxson
Description: We humans know that we have better brains than any other species (at least, we’re the only ones who like to talk about it). But what makes our brains different from other animals’? Are they just bigger or is it what we do with them that counts? And what will our future brains look like? Can we make them bigger and better, develop super intelligence or use them to control machines? Or each other?
Bio: Paula Croxson is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She works on the brain networks and chemicals responsible for memory and other higher functions of the brain, and has also published work comparing the human brain to other primates. When not in the lab, she plays flute with alternative rock band Marlowe Grey.
Stenography: Thought-to-Text at 240 Words-per-Minute
by Hesky Fisher & Mirabai Knight
Description: Have you ever seen closed captioning and wondered how anybody can type that fast? Have you ever wanted to be able to type that fast yourself? If so, then you’ll want to learn about stenography. Join us for a tour of the surprisingly colorful history of stenography and get a crash course in how you too can learn to type at 240 words per minute! Also, as a demonstration of the topic, this talk will be live captioned.
Bios: Hesky Fisher is a computer programmer working at Google. In his spare time he is the lead developer for Plover, the first open source stenography application.
Mirabai Knight, CCP is a Certified CART Provider in NYC. she is the sole proprietor of StenoKnight CART Services and the founder of Plover and its parent organization, The Open Steno Project.