Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Bacteria are friends… and also food, but mostly friends.

Summary: All too often, bacteria get a bad rap. Known as a chief contributor to disease, we have become obsessed with eliminating them via antibiotics and disinfectants. Our society is cleaner than it has ever been, but with antibiotic resistance as a big fat “spoiler alert,” we have realized it is impossible to completely get rid of bacteria. Turns out, getting rid of bacteria is more harmful to us than keeping them around. What do bacteria do for our overall health? Can they help us cure chronic illnesses that are on the rise? Can they help save our environment, or even shape the world as we know it? The overall answer is: yes, and so much more.

Macy Huettl

Presenter Bio: Macy is currently wrapping up her final semester as a master’s student and teaching assistant for the Department of Bacteriology at UW-Madison. In the fall, she will continue her studies and begin dental school, where she will work towards achieving her dream of becoming a dentist. In her very limited and sad free time, she enjoys word vomiting facts about microorganisms; running to the beat of Miike Snow’s iii; hanging out in her kayak, Gloria; drinking pitchers of PBR at the Argus; and loving her spoiled, cross-eyed cat, Benny. She is super pumped about her very first Nerd Nite presentation, and even though she likes several odd things (including other people’s mouths and infectious diseases), she thinks you’ll enjoy her presentation!

What I’ve learned from playing video games.

Summary: Video games have gotten a lot of attention in the media as time-wasting, frivolous, and even violence-promoting artifacts. To counterbalance this, I am going to go through some of the positive things research has to say about playing video games and how they have personally impacted me. Areas including promoting good teamwork, developing meaningful relationships, leveraging passion to improve ability, and developing persistence.

Craig Anderson

Presenter bio: Craig is a doctoral student in Digital Media here at UW, soon to be switching to informatics at UCI, and originally hailing from Canada. A lifelong gamer and science enthusiast, he aims to figure out the ways games cognitively influence players and how they can be leveraged for good.

Who wants to live forever?

Summary: We’ll take a look at physical, metaphysical, and fantastical ways human have proposed to capture eternity—everything from becoming a god to uploading your consciousness. We’ll begin with religious views on immortality and transition to scientific and computer approaches with a sprinkle of science fiction and fantasy along the way. Some are these ideas more feasible than others, and we’ll try to find your best bet to live forever.

Mike Hendrickson

Presenter bio: Mike is a neuroscientist and sometimes vegetable gardener. who works for local biotech startup. He lives on the East Side (okay, it’s technically Monona) and has a cat named Birdy who makes pigeon noises. This will be his third time presenting at Nerd Nite Madison.