January 7th, 2020 Nerd Nite SD #36  


This January, we brought back one of our voted number one speakers and Top Gun hero, Paul Wynns, who told us “how to be a Top Gun: WITH MATH”. An SDSU graduate and soon-to-be licensed dietician, Danielle Gaffen brought prunes to the table (literally) and explained how they could protect your bones (especially if you’re an older male). Brittany Lee had something to say about protection (but mainly of your hearing)!

Paul Wynns: How to be a Top Gun: WITH MATH

Remember the movie Top Gun? Well, as it turns out, “Top Gun” is a real military organization with real pilots that do more than topless volleyball matches, motorcycle racing, and sunglass modeling. We’ll look at the history of Top Gun and air combat from the dawn of aviation. In the beginning, there were fighter pilots, and they were very dashing. Their first recorded encounters involved waving, shaking of firsts, throwing bricks, pistol fire, and grappling hooks. Since then, air combat has been a case study in “well that escalated quickly…” What’s the secret to success for fighter pilots through the ages? Put your shirt back on and leave the volleyball in your locker. We’re going to talk about the fundamentals of air combat maneuvering, which is all about geometry and physics. THERE WILL BE MATH.

Paul’s Bio

Paul is an avid fan of all things anime, manga, sci-fi, and fantasy, with minors in tabletop gaming and giant robots that transform into aircraft. He is an amateur flow artist and has performed with fire staff and sword at festivals in the Southern California region. He’s also trained in the martial arts of wushu and jissen kobudō.

Paul’s educational and professional background includes a postgraduate degree at Stanford University and an internship at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley where he specialized in aerospace engineering and air vehicle design. He is a US Naval Academy graduate and retired Naval Aviator with 398 carrier landings that, to his knowledge, did not permanently injure any personnel or damage any government equipment. Previously, he’s worked at Boeing Defense, Space, and Security as an aircraft systems program manager, where he and his project team were awarded patents for developing new prototypes and concepts. He’s currently enrolled in an MBA program at the UCSD Rady School of Management. The main take-away from this bio is that Paul does not know what he wants to do when he grows up, and possibly has not grown up at all.

Paul currently runs an aviation training startup, Flex Air (www.goflexair.com) and the Kevin Workman Foundation (www.kevinworkmanfoundation.org), a local non-profit that brings art education to the nerds of tomorrow.


Danielle Gaffen: Prunes: More Than Just a Laxative

Did you know that osteopenia and osteoporosis affect over 54 million people in the United States and their incidences are increasing due to the aging of the population? Osteoporosis in men is an overlooked yet increasingly important clinical problem that, historically, has not received the same degree of awareness as with women. However, the lifetime risk of fracture is 20% for all men. Current osteoporosis prescription medications have low efficacy, high side effects, are very expensive, and are not indicated for bone loss prevention. Dried plums are natural foods that may be effective in preventing bone loss.

Learn more about the first nutritional intervention research study exploring the bone metabolism effects of dried plum consumption in older men.

Danielle’s bio

Danielle will graduate in December with a Master of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from San Diego State University in order to become a registered dietitian. Danielle was head researcher of a nutritional intervention study premised upon the hypothesis that consuming dried plums may prevent bone loss in older men. Danielle’s preliminary research findings were published in the Current Developments in Nutrition journal and presented at the American Society for Nutrition conference in Baltimore earlier this year. Danielle will be submitting her full manuscript for publication within the next few months.



Brittany Lee F*** That Noise

Listen up, nerds! Have you ever experienced ringing in your ears? Join Brittany Lee for a night of ears and beers to find out what causes this sensation. Learn about hearing science, see if you’re at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, and get some sound advice for protecting your ears.


Brittany’s bio

Brittany is a Ph.D. candidate studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego. She uses eye tracking and event-related potentials to research language co-activation and word processing in deaf and hearing readers. Outside of the lab, she spends most of her time at the speech-language clinic, in the kitchen, or on the dance floor.