Presentation #1: Fun with Statistics
by Kira Signer
Description: We've all heard that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics (though irony of ironies, no one actually seems to know who said it first). In reality, statistics is a rigorous process of using the unknown to approximate the likely. We'll whiz through the basic math that explains why it works (when it works) to get to more interesting possibilities: How to spot a bad poll, how to use good ones to predict things, how to spot a crazy person, and why some people have really good luck while others have really bad luck. We might even glimpse a little of the philosophy of the unknown.
Bio: Kira Signer has been writing the surveys that interrupt your dinner (and analyzing the results) since 1998. This next sentence was supposed to be terribly witty and fun, but since statistics are way more fun than prose-based bios, this is all you get.
Presentation #2: The Science of Sleep: A Foray into the Mechanics and Malfunctions of Slumber
by Kathy Zhang
Description: For something that consumes practically one third of our lives, sleep is a topic that is always on the mind, constantly spoken about, yet still not completely understood. Hear about the different stages of sleep, how dreams work, and of course, the disorders (insomnia, narcolepsy, somnabulism, etc) associated with our very favorite pastime.
Bio: Kathy, unfortunately, is not the world's preeminent scholar on sleep. And if that expert were to fall sick from a deadly case of halitosis, she couldn't take the number 1 spot by default either. She has, however, been sleeping every day for the past 20 some odd years, affording her more experience than someone who's been doing so for the past 5 years.
Free Admission though there’s a 2-drink minimum
http://www.nerdnite.com (not updated because Chris is busy catching birds in Australia)
Added by sadotter on August 29, 2007