Category: Events

Hooray for Nerd Nite

We had another great Nerd Nite at Buffalo Billiards last night: meatbots, soccer battles and hyberbolic crochet corals all featured.

Many thanks to Marshall, Dave and Tanya for their presentation.

Don’t forget: if you want to present at a future Nerd Nite, just contact us.

Nerd Nite 15: Hack, Slice and Hook

Sometimes awesome knowledge just won’t fit in a catchphrase.

Nerd Nite returns! Join us to Quaff ‘N’ Learn (TM) with three mind-blowing presentations from your secretly nerdy neighbors….

You can join us at our Facebook event, or pimp us at D0512, Yelp! or Door64
Synthetic Biology: Why Nanites Should be Made of MEAT
Marshall Vaughan

Nanites, also known as nanobots, nanoids, or nanomites, are microscopic robots! In addition to being super-scientific, they are a favorite trope of sci-fi writers and pundits speculating on functional immortality, smart matter, interstellar travel and much more. Join us for a ludicrous speed overview of this exciting realm of great big tiny possibilities.

Marshall Vaughan is a techie, sysadmin, and hardware hacker who knows how important stuff works – logic bounces off him like bullets.

The History of the World Cup, and Why You Should Watch It
Dave Wasser

The World Cup is the most popular sporting event on the planet. Dave Wasser will talk about the history of this quadrennial tournament, and how the sport of soccer has become a kind of lingua franca of the world.

Dave Wasser is a soccer journalist, archivist, consultant, and historian.

Happy Hookers: How Crochet, Hyperbolic Math and Cognitive Science All Knit Together
Tanya Tarr

While a ball of yarn and a hooked needle often conjure images of rocking chairs, tea cozies and a pile of cats, the art of crochet is a transformer in the world of hobbying as well as mathematics and cognitive science. We’ll explore a brief history of the art, how crochet disproves hundreds of years of Euclidean mathematical theory, and explore the biological and cognitive factors behind crochet’s therapeutic value.

As if her twittername (@nerdette) doesn’t tell you something, Tanya Tarr is a big ole nerd for data mining, fabric arts, food chemistry and the wildflowers of Texas. In her day job, she helps teachers and school employees across Texas, and is writing a book (in her head) called “Becoming Texan: the Memoir of an East-Coast-Carpetbagger-Union-Thug.”

FREE (21+)
Free billiards and shuffleboard for attendees!

“It’s like the Discovery Channel with beer!”

Nerd Nite 14: World Domination

“Blessed are the nerds, for they shall inherit the earth.”
– Jesus, totally

If you’ve ever seen a sci-fi movie, you know that nerds (or their inventions) will soon rise up and destroy us all. Ergo, you’re going to need survival skills, and plenty of beer!

As ever, it’s the first Thursday of the month: May 6th

The fun starts at 7pm at Buffalo Billiards.

You can join our Facebook event, or pimp us at Yelp! or D0512

This month’s invaluable additions to your mental toolbox:

The Psychology of Persuasion: World Domination in Four Easy Steps
John De Mott

Mind domination!

Join us as we investigate the evolutionary origins of persuasion, how anyone can be more persuasive, and the impact new communication technologies are having on the persuasive landscape.

John De Mott is a new media consultant in viral marketing and persuasive technology. His messages have reached 100,000s of people on Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube.

Trial by Fire: The DARPA Grand Challenge and the Search for Robust Autonomy
David Rosen

Ground domination!

While robotic systems have been a fixture in tightly controlled laboratory and industrial environments since the early 1960s, their difficulty in gracefully reacting to the unexpected has remained a stumbling block on the path to their widespread introduction into everyday life. This talk will examine the pursuit of robust autonomy by taking as a case study the DARPA Grand Challenge, a 132-mile off-road autonomous vehicle race through the California desert.

David Rosen is a graduate student in mathematics at UT Austin. When he’s not busy thinking about badass mathematics (go geometry!), he enjoys building robots and running long distances.

Hypotheses on the Tactics of Naval Warfare in Space
Peter Kong

Space domination!

Forget everything you’ve ever seen in Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. Here’s a more realistic vision of space warfare in a not-too-distant future!

Peter Kong is nerdier than you. He spends way more time thinking about fantastic worlds and possibilities than is healthy for a young man. Also, he is a veteran of five hojillion tours of duty in Earth’s Space Navy so he knows exactly what he’s talking about.

No cover, 21+
Free billiards and shuffleboard for attendees

Another fine Nerd Nite

Thanks to all the nerds who came to Nerd Nite last night. We have over 100 again; you guys rock!

Thanks also to Libby, Torvald and Claire for some great presentations. For those of you who had their interest piqued, you can learn more about the Austin Planetarium at

Finally, those of you who’s attention was caught by Yuri’s Night can learn more at

See you in May

Nerd Nite – No Joke

Think Spring thoughts, little chickadees! Nerd Nite is back to fill up your Easter egg with the yolk of knowledge!

Does that sound mildly creepy?

You can join our Facebook event here.

If your so inclined to vote us up at Yelp! or Do512, we’d be very happy.

April 1st, starting at 7pm, you can see:

Indian Language Politics, or How Gandhi Pissed Off Almost Everyone
Libby Bowers

In India, there are over 1,000 languages and dialects with around 29 of them being spoken by over a million people each. During the independence and nationalistic movements of the early 20th century, the conflict between the advocates of the Hindi and Urdu languages created far-reaching social and political implications. We’ll talk about this and why Gandhi’s actions made some people very, very angry.

Libby Bowers is less than two months away from receiving her M.A. in Asian Cultures and Languages from the University of Texas at Austin. She speaks a few languages and really needs to find a job.

You gonna eat that?
Claire Sweet

Do you have any idea what you’re putting into your mouth? From artificial flavors to sulfur dioxide, you’ll learn about some of the “magical” foods we eat.

Claire Sweet is an Operations Specialist/Programmer for a leading technology company – outside of work she loves to work out, play video games and most importantly FOOD.

A Planetarium for Austin; an Historical Perspective
Torvald Hessel

Austin is the largest city in the U.S. without a planetarium. Studies indicate that planetariums and science museums greatly benefit science education and interest in science as a career path in the areas they serve. With the current push in the U.S. to promote education in science and mathematics, there is no greater time to develop Austin’s first Planetarium, Science Museum, and Technology Center.

Executive Director of the Austin Planetarium, Torvald Hessel has been at the forefront of finally giving the central Texas community a place to reach for the stars.

As always, Nerd Nite is FREE (21+), as is pool and shuffleboard for attending nerds.

Happy Birthday Mr. Nerd Nite!

Nerd Nite is turning 1!1!!1one!

Help us blow out the candles with some well-known Austinites.

As ever, it would be a great help if you can vote us up on:

To join us in the celebrations, we have:

A Brief History of Texas Politics
Gardner Selby

W. Gardner Selby, who’s been the Austin American-Statesman’s chief political writer and weekly politics columnist, currently is editor of PolitiFact Texas, the first state-level effort affiliated with the Pulitzer Prize-winning truth-testing effort launched nationally by the St. Petersburg Times in 2007. His background includes many newspapers and a stint in Texas state government. He’s open to any suggestions on how to pay for college for his stellar senior at McCallum High.

How Mathletes Saved Baseball: Sabermetrics and the Slow Process of Teaching Statistical Analysis to Jocks
Chris Magyar

Baseball is by far the nerdiest of America’s major sports, especially its fascination with statistics. But the last decade has seen a wholesale acceptance of outsider number-crunching analysis by the professional baseball establishment. A history of the sport’s ongoing war between jocks and brains, as well as a brief overview of what OPS+, FIP, WARP, pERA and other obscure stats are talking about.

Chris Magyar is a writer and editor who didn’t understand anything about math until he fell in love with baseball cards. He’s now developing his own dorky tabletop baseball simulator with ten-sided dice and more charts than you can shake a Gary Gygax biography at.

Let’s Learn from Professional Wrestling
Chris Trew

Chris Trew (AKA Terp2It) has been performing comedy and watching wrestling nearly his entire life. He is the Artistic Director of The New Movement and frequently tours the country with his comedy duo Chris and Tami.

PLUS – Free pool & shuffleboard to attendees!

FREE (21+)

Nerd Nite got big!

Well well well… talk of penile cankers, adolescent wet dreams and sexual consummation of satanic pacts seemed to steel the nerds against the rain and made Nerd Nite Austin the biggest ever. By our count, there were 115 of you there last night. Thank you so much!

Thanks, also, to Liz, Diana and Jessica for 3 fantastic talks and for sharing their wisdom at our sexpert panel; I think Austin is just that little bit more informed than it was 24 hours ago.

Welcome to Lewis as our third nerd-in-chief. He was finally knerded in recognition of his sterling work behind the scenes making Nerd Nite what it is.

Keep your eyes and ears open for news of next month’s Nerd Nite… it’s our first birthday, y’all!!!

Nerd Night Love In

Nerd Nite Ten is here. With it being the month of Valentine’s Day, we’re having a Love In!

As ever, voting us up on Yelp! and Do512 is greatly appreciated:


As ever, entry is free, but Buffalo Billiards is a 21+ venue, so don’t forget your ID!

February 4th – 7pm

Syphilis: We’re all Affected, Even if We’re Not Infected
Liz Simmons

Syphilis is more than just a good reason to use condoms. This sexually-transmitted infection has plagued our loins and our history books for hundreds of years, affecting everything from great works of art and patients’ rights to the role of wives and the advent of a PC world. So how has syphilis affected you?

Liz Simmons, a lifelong bio nerd, married a physics nerd and has a bun in the nerdy oven.

Strategies for Getting Laid in 19th-Century German Literature
Jessica Plummer

If you’re looking to improve your success rate with the ladies/gents, this presentation offers some inspiration from the old Old Country. We’ll look at some of the zanier cases of seduction in major novels, poems, and plays written by German speakers in the 19th century, and if you want to learn about the best sex toys as well you can go to this sex toy review blog to find more information about this.

Jessica Plummer is a graduate student in Germanic Studies at UT. She’s young, strong, and needs a summer job.

The Canon of Judy Blume and its Effect on Third-Wave Feminism
Diana Grisanti

Judy Blume has created generations of kickass feminists. And Diana Grisanti will tell you why.

Diana Grisanti is a playwright and fiction writer from Louisville, Kentucky. She has read ‘Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret’ one million times (approx.).


A very special Knerding

no nerdnite in January

Just a quick note to let you all know that there will be no nerdnite in Austin this January. We reached out to a lot of our potential speakers, but so many were out of town that it became clear that nerdnite in January is something of a non-starter.

We wish you all a very happy close to the year, however you celebrate or mark it.

Can’t wait to see you at your very nerdy best in Feburary in 2010!

nerdnite nerds news

Dan and JC got interviewed by The Statesman’s man about town, Michael Barnes, at nerdnite nine, last week and you can see the interview here.