NNB VIII – April 18, 2017

This April at Baltimore Nerd Nite we celebrate Hubble’s 27th brithday, explore brain-computer interfaces and look into ethical questions posed in Star Trek! Join us for drinks and you might just learn something you didn’t already know.

Nerd Nite Baltimore (NNB) is part of an international community of Nerd Nites in over 90 cities around the world! This event combines imbibing and learning. Anyone with a passion can be a Nerd Nite speaker!

Join us for a night of educational drinking! Nerd Nite Baltimore is a bi-monthly event held at a local bar where information combines with fun. Talks at Nerd Nite are typically 20 minutes with a rollicking Q&A afterward.

The barkeeps at De Kleine Duivel will keep your glasses full of delightful Belgian beer and spirits. (This is a 21 and over venue.)

This April we have three AWESOME speakers lined up for your entertainment. Talks may or may not be delivered in this order:

Topic #1:

Controlling the World with Your Mind
Gavin Philips

When the fragile pathways of communication between our brains and our bodies are broken by injury or disease, can assistive technology replace what was lost? Brain-computer interfaces may hold the key to reconnecting our minds to the world around us.

About Gavin:
Gavin Philips is an electrical engineer who dreams of being an occupational therapist. His work in various labs and clinics has focused on rehabilitation, neural signal processing, and doing weird things with wheelchairs.

Topic #2:

The Needs of the Many and the Needs of the Few
James P. Howard, II

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (WOK) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (SFS), an ethical dilemma was posed. In WOK, Spock sacrificed his own life to save the ship and his shipmates, explaining to Kirk, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. But in SFS, Kirk sacrifices his ship to save Spock, saying, “Needs of the one, outweigh the needs of the many.”

This talk will explain why both statements are ethically correct and not in contradiction. Further, this talk will explore applications of these ethical dilemmas to self-driving cars and public policymaking.

About James:
Dr James Howard is a data scientist with more than 15 years experience as a mathematician, a different kind of mathematician, and a statistician. He’s often distracted by shiny things.

Topic #3:

Hubble: the Little Telescope that Could
Dr. Ivelina Momecheva

For Hubble’s 27th birthday, we are going to remember its rocky start and its incredible discoveries. Happy Birthday Hubble!

About Iva:
Iva Momcheva is a scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute. She hails from the small Balkan country of Bulgaria and her favorite animal is moose.

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