Nerd Nite is an event currently held in over 60 cities worldwide! The formula for each Nerd Nite is pretty standard – 20 minute presentations from three presenters each night, in a laid-back environment with lots to learn!
Join us for a special themed Nerd Nite as we explore mathematics and check out our newest feature exhibition. Math Moves! uses hands-on activities to make experimenting with mathematical concepts fun.
7pm – 9pm
Sophie Johns - "The Contagious Cancer Threatening Tasmanian Devils with Extinction and How Mathematics Can Help"
Think back to your last mathematics class, you might have been left wondering how this information would possibly help you in adult life. You may be surprised how often mathematics is used to advise decision makers and how it is being used to better understand the world around us. For instance, epidemiology is an area of mathematics dedicated to understanding diseases. These models can be used to uncover many aspects of diseases such as - how they spread, immunisation requirements, and even how host and diseases evolve. Take the Tasmanian Devil for example. This Australian marsupial is being threatened with extinction by a transmissible cancer. The understanding and perspective provided by mathematical models of this disease will help conservation efforts and hopefully save the species from the brink of extinction.
Sophie Johns is in her first year of a biology PhD. Rather than doing laboratory experiments or field research, Sophie is using mathematics to explore evolutionary and ecological dynamics. Her current PhD project is on the Tasmanian Devil’s facial tumour disease, a rare form of transmissible cancer. She’s based at the Australian National University but is current on exchange with Sally Otto at the University of British Columbia.
Nikki Berreth - "Patterns of Choice"
Sometimes it can feel impossible to make a decision. However, most of our choices are so simple, they are almost instinctual: like choosing a bathroom stall, crossing the road or picking a partner! Learn more about the mathematical patterns behind the choices we make.
Nikki Berreth is an experienced science communicator and educator working in Vancouver, BC. When she is not entertaining the masses at with math and science, she is nerding out over new media for sharing science. Her most current endeavour – crocheted fractal patterns!
Mark MacLean is a professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia and is interested in how we learn to understand mathematics. Professor MacLean is the a co-creator of UBC's Science One Program and is the creator of animated children’s stories inspired by mathematics found in Aboriginal storytelling. In recognition of his contributions to mathematics education in Canada, Professor MacLean was awarded the Adrien Pouliot Award in 2015.