Date: Wednesday December 3, 2014
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Bitcoin and the Mystery of Money

Summary: It’s in your pockets, it’s deep underground, it’s even in the cloud. Everyone uses it in some ways shapes and forms, that right I’m talking about money! All sorts of money from dollar dollar bills to gold to cryptocurrency, it’s everywhere in our society, but have you taken a moment and actually thought about what money is? Fear not, this talk is going to break if down for you. In the first half we’ll go on an allegorical journey and shift your paradigm of what money is in a cultural and philosophical sense. In the second half, we’ll break down this convoluted and controversial topic of Bitcoin.  

Presenter bio: By day, Sisi Li is a graduate student studying neuroscience at UW-Madison. By night, she is a crochet and wine enthusiast. Ever since a young age, she’s been interested in understanding how the world works which naturally lead her to investigate the superlative organ that enables all learning, the brain. Her hobbies include International traveling (6 continents and counting), improv, sailing, crochet, ultimate frisbee, wine, and most importantly learning.


Wikipedia (disambiguation)

Summary: Wikipedia is the sixth most popular site on the interwebs, it has been cited in important legal rulings–including Wisconsin’s Wolf v. Walker–and now it even has a statue (in Poland of all places). In this talk I’ll share how the site came to be what it is today, and share some facts that will be especially useful in cocktail party banter. I’ll also demonstrate why Wikipedia is such a splendid distributor of knowledge: a fancy thing called hyperlinks. 

Bio: Jamie Holzhuter once made it through an entire semester of Greek classics literature by writing response papers based on reading Wikipedia articles (he prefers to call it “efficient learning,” and the articles were actually quite good). We works at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, which is not at all related to his talk but it’s good to know anyway.


Axotlotl in Regenerative Research

Summary: Learn the tale of a delightful little amphibian that did just fine despite its perpetual immaturity. Through a presentation that spans evolutionary biology, massive inbreeding, regenerative medicine, and a handful of disturbing images, Laura Felley hopes to convince you that no matter how large the discrepancy between your chronological and behavioral age, everything will be peachy just the way it is.

Presenter bio: On graduating college, Laura Felley decided she was not yet ready to leave her warm cocoon of academics and social awkwardness. As such, she joined the MD/PhD program at the University of Wisconsin. Currently a graduate student, she studies human immunology and novel vaccination strategies. Her average workday is spent drawing blood, ordering reagents and equipment worth two to three times her net value, and trying to convince everyone to get a flu shot. (You DID get the flu shot, right?)