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.