July 25 Comic-Con Nerd Nite!

Our next event takes place the Thursday of San Diego Comic-Con! We’re taking full advantage of the influx of nerds to our city. Details about the lineup are coming soon. There will be a panel of AAAS If/Then ambassadors representing kick-ass women in STEM plus a couple of scientists in town for the convention.

Tickets are on sale now!

Speaker Lineup for May 23, 2024

Buy your tickets here!

Ashley Juavinett, UCSD Professor, Author of “So You Want to Be a Neuroscientist?”

Title: “Anyone can be a neuroscientist — here’s how.”

Since the dawn of neuroscience, most of our data has been hidden behind closed laboratory doors. But these days, neuroscience data is freely out in the wild. Why aren’t you (or other people) hacking it yet?

Ashley Juavinett is a teaching professor in neurobiology at UC San Diego and the author of “So You Want To Be a Neuroscientist?” She received her PhD from UC San Diego, where she investigated the cell types and circuits underlying visual perception. Her current research focuses on developing best practices for training the next generation of neuroscientists. When she isn’t thinking or teaching, she is staring lovingly into her dog’s eyes.

Learn more about Ashley on her website and LinkedIn or follow her on X, BlueSky, and Mastadon.

Uduak George, SDSU Professor, NSF CAREER awardee, uses math and computational models to understand diseases

Title: “Understanding ductal network formation: why this is important”

Follow Uduak on LinkedIn and X.

Ductal network structures are common place in multiple organs in the body. These networks are vital for the proper functioning of the body. One example is the pancreas ducts which transport digestive enzymes secreted in the pancreas to the small intestine. Another example is the mammary ducts which facilitate the delivery of secreted milk to breastfeeding infants.  In this talk, I will discuss our current knowledge of the very complex interactions that occur during ductal network formation and will highlight why it is important to gain more insight into these interactions.

Uduak Z. George, Ph.D.  is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at San Diego State University (SDSU). She completed her PhD in Mathematics at the University of Sussex, England, United Kingdom. Dr. George combines computational modeling with artificial intelligence and machine learning to gain deeper insights into the processes that drive biological development and impact health conditions. Dr. George is a recipient of the 2023 NSF CAREER Award. She was named an SDSU Presidential Research Fellow in 2023.

Trevor Valle, Paleontologist and Creative Consultant

Title: “Reentry to Runway: Landing a Space Shuttle”

Imagine you’re in a flying brick with stubby little wings 400,000ft over South America wrapped in a ball of 3000°F plasma hurtling toward the ground, aiming for a 300ft wide, 3 mile long strip of concrete 5000 miles away. You’re also traveling at around Mach 25 so you have 17 and a half minutes to go from really, really fast to zero, safely. And you only have one chance to do it.

Trevor Valle has been a Nerd Nite regular across the country since 2014, and is primarily known as a paleontologist, biologist, and role-playing game historian. What you might not know is that he is a 4-time graduate of Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, has been invited to California Science Center events to speak about the Endeavour orbiter on display, and has successfully completed over two dozen simulated landings at Space Camp and NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Learn more about Trevor on his website and Wikipedia page. And follow him on X and LinkedIn.

May 23 Nerd Nite!

Tickets for our next event are already on sale here https://events.humanitix.com/nerd-nite-san-diego-48

Be there and be square! Only $10!

Speaker Lineup for March 21, 2024!

Buy your tickets for the event here!

Eric Leonardis

Title: Neuroscience of The New Flesh: Body Horror In Your Brain

Dr. Eric Leonardis is a neuroscientist and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies who studies perception and action in the brains of mice, monkeys, and humans. Eric blends the cerebral with the sensational: when not working on brain-inspired AI, he can be found introducing films in movie theaters and DJing at warehouse parties across SoCal. He is currently organizing the “New Flesh Party”, a screening of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome followed by a dance party at the Digital Gym Cinema in Downtown SD on May 4th, 2024

Sydney Smith

Title: Using Data and Neuroscience to Understand the Most Effective Depression Treatment

I’m a Colorado-transplant and computational neuroscience PhD candidate at UC San Diego. Essentially, I am a gigantic nerd who uses math and computer science to learn about the brain. Lucky for me, San Diego is a delightful place to be a nerd and I’ve spent the last 7 years enjoying this beautiful city, roaming the dog beaches with my fluffy BFF, and endlessly searching for the best tacos and breweries in town. Some of these breweries let me host an event every spring called the Taste of Science Festival, which is similar in spirit to Nerd Nite. You can find more of my work on the platform The Conversation, the Stories of Women in Neuroscience podcast and blog, and in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

Paul Wynns

Title: Top Code: I, for one, welcome our fighter pilot overlords

Paul is a returning Nerd Night presenter who has worked in aviation and aerospace as a program manager at the world’s largest aerospace company. Prior to that, he was a Navy jet pilot who denies ever having said “Red Five standing by” on the radio during weapons training or carrier operations. These days, he is enrolled at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management as a PhD candidate studying passenger trust in automated air travel. 

Next event is March 21, 2024!

Tickets are available at this link!

Speaker Lineup for January 25, 2024!

Here’s the speakers for Nerd Nite San Diego’s return! Get your tickets here:


Bradley Voytek

Title: How to measure a brain

From archaic brain circulation seesaws to Neuralink brain implants, neuroscience has a long and diverse history of creative—and sometimes outlandish—approaches for measuring the human brain and its activity. Although not all approaches worked, even the strangest among them got us to where we are today… In this talk, Prof. Voytek will sample some of the weirder approaches that have been developed for studying the human brain, discussing his research with mini-brains grown in human dishes to working with people implanted with permanent brain stimulators.

Danielle Gaffen

Title: Decoding Your Diet: Personalizing Your Plate with Nutrigenetics, Nutrigenomics, and Microbiome Science

From the earliest feasts to futuristic foods, the quest for the perfect plate has evolved. Today, it’s not just about the power-packed provisions that propel health or the savory selections that shield against sickness. The real spice lies in the dynamic interplay between our genetic blueprint and the bustling community of microbes residing within us – our microbiome. Gear up for a feast of knowledge, sprinkled with fun, and discover the fine dining experience designed by precision nutrition for your body.

Nicholas Peters

Title: Pokémeh: Design Oddities in the Pokémon World

Pokémon continues to be the very best in terms of the world’s top performing media franchises, but for every proverbial Hyper Beam the brand unleashes on popular culture, there have been several storied not-so-super effective moves. With particular mind to art, narrative, and game design, we’ll catch some of Pokémon’s most hilarious, fascinating, and head-scratching controversies; including dashed evolutionary dreams, monsters that can’t sit, game breaking miscalculations, and a quest so inaccessible, it’s downright shocking.

Save the Date! Nerd Nite Returns 1/25/24

Nerd Nite San Diego returns in 2024

Yes, it’s true! Keep an eye out here and on our social media pages for news about our great return in January 2024…

What happened in December 2020?

Nerd Nite San Diego #45

Tuesday Dec 1st 2020 at 7pm on Zoom

In the 2020 finale, we talked Math! Like really rad, sexy math and geometry. We also learned about secret codes in textiles!

“The Spies Who Stitched Me”

by Czarina Salido & Francis French

Codes, spies, needles, and intrigue! Did knitting change the outcome of a war? In the world of textiles, codes can refer to the ancient origins of the modern computer codes that deeply affect our everyday lives. But there are stories of other, hidden codes in textiles… codes used by spies that may have changed the outcome of wars or helped people escape persecutors. Delve into this mysterious history with Francis French, science educator (and textile photographer on books such as The Techniques of Indian Embroidery), and Czarina Salido, Director of Taking Up Space, currently teaching Native American girls about coding.

Bios: Czarina Salido is the Director of Taking Up Space, a program that inspires the next generation of explorers through mentoring and awarding Native American girls scholarships to Space Camp, while introducing girls to fun, hands-on experiences that help to facilitate a high level of self confidence and interest in STEM-related areas.

Francis French is an author and educator with international experience in relating science, engineering, music, astronomy, art, and wildlife to general audiences through classes, workshops, public speaking, television and documentary productions. He is the author of numerous bestselling history books, and a keynote speaker at conferences.

“Unsolved Math Mysteries at Burning Man”

by Satyan Devadoss

Brilliant, cutting-edge ideas are all around us: Beyoncé and music, quantum computing and physics, vaccines and biology, Hamilton and theatre.  But when it comes to math, many think of it as a pile of formulas and equations that is painful but useful, like a root canal. In reality, mathematics is filled with mysteries and wonders that can bring joy to anyone, much like ice cream.

This talk is about one of these revolutionary ideas, whose origins date back 500 years to the Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer.  We discuss Dürer’s puzzle and play with higher-dimensional cubes, all of which inspired the creation of a 2-ton sculpture at Burning Man. This talk is open for all ages, especially suited to those who absolutely love or absolutely hate math.

Bio: Before becoming the Fletcher Jones Professor of Applied Mathematics at USD, Satyan Devadoss was a professor at Williams for nearly 15 years, and has held visiting positions at Ohio State, UC Berkeley, Harvey Mudd, and Stanford. He is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and recipient of two national teaching awards, whose thoughts have appeared in venues such as NPR, the Times of London, the Washington Post, and Forbes. His work explores the structure of shape, and its intersection with origami, painting, architecture, genetics, and design. He is a satisfactory father to four children and married to a queen.

Nerd Nite SD reduces gender gap

Nerd Nite SD are actively increasing the participation and representation of women scientists in science communication. In 2017, only 12% of NNSD presenters were female. By 2019, the number of female speakers more than doubled (29%) and in 2020, the male-female presenter ratio was 60% vs. 40%. Our goal for 2021 is to reach equal representation of male and female presenters on NNSD!

Female scientists are encourage to nominate themselves or other female scientists to present their work at Nerd Nite SD! Contact

The bar chart shows the proportion of male and female presenter on Nerd Nite San Diego in percentages. Dark blue bars represent the percentage of female presenters and light blue bars represent the perfentage of male pesenters. In 2017, there were 18% female and 82% male presenters, in 2018 there were 25% female and 75% male, in 2019 there were 29% female and 71% male, in 2020 40% female and 60% male. In 2021, the projected ratio is 50-50%.