After our summer hiatus, Nerd Nite is BACK IN ACTION in a big way! We’ve teamed up with the nerds over at Leidos to bring you an extra-special Nerd Nite extravaganza.
Thanks to our sponsor, tickets to this extra-special Nerd Nite are ABSOLUTELY FREE! Also, the first 100 people there on the day of the show get one free drink ticket AND a special door prize. There’s also going to be a booth with puzzle games! And, of course, three amazingly nerdy talks. Here’s the lineup this month:
“If Books Could Kill: Deadly Bookbindings and What Makes Them That Way”
Summary: Being a special collections librarian is usually not seen as a dangerous job, but sometimes that line about “other duties as assigned” packs a real punch! A 1602 edition of Ulisse Aldrovandi’s De Animalibus Insectus housed in the Smithsonian Libraries holds a deadly secret: its binding contains a frankly shocking amount of arsenic. This new discovery was revealed through the collaboration of book history and technology, and highlights some interesting aspects of bibliography and science.
Presenter Bio: Allie Newman is a rare book librarian and book historian at the Cullman Library in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, one of 21 branches of the Smithsonian Libraries. She has more research interests than you can shake a stick at, but in her heart of hearts she is a binding historian and medievalist. The Librarian of Congress recently called Allie a cool librarian in public and on Twitter, so her career has pretty much peaked.
“Bees That Aren’t Scary and Imperialists Who Very Much Are (Or: Stingless Honeybees in Colonial Mexico)”
Summary: There are honeybees without stingers! They are very small, very important, and their honey is both delicious and eye-wateringly expensive. But when the Spanish colonized the Yucatán Peninsula they were more interested in their wax than their honey. This talk is all about how beeswax was extracted in the Maya region when it was a Spanish colony: where it went, who got rich, who didn’t get rich, and how honeybees probably felt about having their nests smashed all the damn time. It’s got fancy digital maps, conquistadors deeply regretting their life choices, the eighteenth-century equivalent of a middle finger, and some super cool bees.
Presenter Bio: Geoff Wallace is an environmental historian and historical geographer from McGill University who has been almost done his PhD for two years. He is also a visiting researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Latin American Studies. He’s been digging up archival records from colonial Mexico and shoehorning them into digital maps for his entire graduate career.
“Maritime Unmanned Surface Vessel Autonomy: An Application”
Summary: When ships become robots, the seas become safer and ships become weirder in the most technologically advanced way you can imagine.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Timothy A. Barton is a Leidos Vice President, Technical Fellow, and Solutions Architect, and is currently the Chief Engineer of the Leidos Mission Systems Integration Operation (MSIO), where he helps oversee all technical aspects of the Operation’s efforts in the maritime domain – including a wide variety of sensor systems and platforms. Dr. Barton’s technical background and research interests include sonar and radar signal processing, algorithm development, autonomy, test and evaluation, underwater acoustics, and ocean engineering. Prior to joining Leidos (formerly SAIC) in 2005, Dr. Barton was a Staff Member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 1993 to 2005. Dr. Barton holds B.Sc. (1987) and M.Sc. (1989) degrees in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and a D.Sc. (1993) degree in Electrical Engineering from Washington University. Dr. Barton currently resides in Reston Virginia with his family, and his hobbies include photography, music, and fly fishing.
More info: https://www.dc9.club/event/1726105-nerd-nite-washington/