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SciSchmooze Weekly Science Events Newsletter from the Bay Area Science Festival
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SciSchmooze Weekly Events Newsletter

Events by Location: East Bay | North Bay | San Francisco | South Bay
A big hello to all you newsletter readers out there. I am thrilled, excited, and quite frankly, very honored to take Herb's slot for SciSchmooze this week! Given that Herb is a true local, having lived in this area for several years now, the flavor of this newsletter will be different. This guest-post emerges from the perspective of a newcomer, who is still exploring and learning the ways of this place.
First of all, I must touch upon the burning topic at hand — Donald Trump winning the presidential race! As a woman, immigrant, and scientist, the outcome was certainly not the one that I hoped for. I went through (like most others) several articles flooding the internet, speculating the potential changes, especially in science policy, that his term would usher in. This article, focusing on the future of science, perfectly summarizes the feeling of despair among scientists all over the country regarding potential funding cuts. Also, for those of you pondering over the question: "What Now for Science Funding and Policy?", check out the webinar organized by Science/AAAS (on Monday) to address this issue. On a lighter note, a text from a friend who studies climate change provided some comic relief from the chaos and anxiety. It said: "my course is now a myth!"
Moving on to more cheerful topics: I write a blog about science and travel (do hope that you will check it out). My idea is to encourage people to ask more questions about the beautiful and mundane things around us. Recently, I realized ­that sometimes you need not travel far to find science. While looking for local science-related opportunities, I stumbled onto the overwhelming plethora of on-going activities in the Bay area! Here are few of the events that you can enjoy in the upcoming week:
  1. November LASER Event Monday, 11/14/16, San Francisco
  2. Meet the Birds at Lake Merritt Wednesday and Thursday, 11/16/16 and 11/17/16, Oakland
  3. Completely Cool Creative Chemistry Thursday, 11/17/16, Santa Rosa
 
During my first volunteer shift at the After Dark public programs of the Exploratorium, I was amazed to see huge crowds of people enjoying their Thursday evening at the museum! If you haven't been to one of these events, I definitely recommend attending one to experience the energy-infused learning environment. Participating in one of the science booths on the Discovery day of the Bay area science festival last week was another special experience. I witnessed throngs of excited kids running around messy exhibits and creating fun science-art, while patient parents covered the ground with them all day. Why does this level of enthusiasm for science among the general public thrill me? I think a society that incorporates learning as an integral part of its routine is truly progressive. I am happy to live in a place that maintains education as a priority, is at the forefront of science and tech, and not just tolerates, but even encourages the voice of a foreigner, fostering a general positivity that this country needs now more than ever. In fact, this learn-as-you-go culture of the Bay area has now inspired me to add a "Science in the Backyard" series on my blog to cover the local science events.
I will end my rambling here and hope to guest-write for SciSchmooze again sometime. Happy learning to all of you till then!

Meenakshi Prabhune (aka Minu)

Upcoming Events
Click to see the next two weeks of events in your browser.


Monday, 11/14/2016
BAD PHYSICS: Three Common Misconceptions in Our Grasp of Reality - 11/14/2016 12:00 PM
Sonoma Jewish Community Center, Santa Rosa

From Aristotle to Einstein, fine minds have failed to grasp key ideas in basic physics. Join the Sonoma JCC for lunch AND for an exploration of the juiciest misconceptions that plague our “common-sense” understanding of how the world works:

The Earth moves through space."Now" has universal meaning.The "Old One" does not play dice with the universe.
Structure, Uncertainty, and the Flexibility of Human Thinking - 11/14/2016 12:30 PM
Margaret Jacks Hall (Bldg 460), Stanford

Human cognition is incredibly flexible, partly because common-sense knowledge is uncertain but highly structured. Probabilistic programming languages (PPLs) provide a formal tool encompassing probabilistic uncertainty and compositional structure. I will show that PPLs allow us to model human reasoning and language understanding. I will describe several experimental studies of reasoning and social cognition. I will then discuss the challenges of universal probabilistic inference, and how deep learning may combine naturally with PPLs to enable learning to do inference.

Speaker: Noah Goodman, Stanford


Gamma-ray Vision - 11/14/2016 04:00 PM
Sonoma State University - What Physicists Do, Rohnert Park

Dr. Kai Vetter of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will discuss his group's work towards "gamma-ray vision" and how it relates to their activities on Fukushima in Japan and here in CA (e.g. Radwatch & DoseNet).


Safety Verification of Deep Neural Networks - 11/14/2016 04:00 PM
Sutardja Dai Hall, Berkeley

Speaker: Marco Pavone, Stanford Univ.


Sunset/Full Moon Walk to the Point Bonita Lighthouse - 11/14/2016 04:30 PM
Point Bonita Lighthouse, Sausalito

Join park staff and docents for a tour down the Point Bonita Trail, through the hand carved tunnel and out to the Lighthouse. We will walk along a half-mile trail which is steep in places. Arrive early as parking is limited. Meet at the Point Bonita Lighthouse trailhead. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. Limited to 50 people; program fills quickly. Reservations required


Climate-Wise Choices in a World of Oil Abundance - 11/14/2016 04:30 PM
Stanford University Energy Seminar, Stanford

In the last five years, commercial-scale application of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has opened up large resources of so-called “tight oil”.  At the same time, a decade of investment in unconventional resources such as the Canadian oil sands has allowed production from enormous deposits of low-grade hydrocarbons.  This abundance conflicts with a key long-term challenge: maintaining a stable climate by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.  How does an era of oil abundance affect the climate challenge? Can we choose wisely among oil resources to minimize climate impacts?  What opportunities exist for oil companies to reduce the impacts of these new resources?  This panel discussion will cover these topics and introduce the “Oil Climate Index”, an open-source effort to model and estimate emissions from global oil resources.

Panel: Joule Bergerson, Assistant Professor, University of Calgary, Adam Brandt, Assistant Professor, Stanford University, Deborah Gordon, Director, Energy and Climate Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Jonathan Koomey, Research Fellow, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy


November LASER Event - San Francisco - 11/14/2016 07:00 PM
LASER Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous, San Francisco
7:00-7:25: Mitch Altman(Noisebridge) on "The Hackerspace Movement: Socializing in the Post-Social World"There are now thousands of hackerspaces in the world...R7:25-7:50: Peter Walter(UCSF/ Biochemistry and Biophysics) on "Unfolding the Unfolded Protein Response"A large number of human diseases is tied to disrupted protein transport in cells...7:50-8:10: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.8:10-8:35: Mary Tang(Stanford/ Nanofabrication) on "Concept to Construct: 'Creating' in the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility"The Stanford Nanofabrication Facility is a vibrant community where researchers from different areas of study can come together to learn and share expertise...8:35-9:00: Amy Balkin(Media Artist) on "Open to the Public"Sited projects undertaken responding to climate change's bureaucracies...Discussions, networkingYou can mingle with the speakers and the audience
The Quantum Computational Universe (Part 2) - 11/14/2016 07:00 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center, Stanford

Over the past sixty years, computers have shrunk, networks have spread and flickering bits of information have ever more thoroughly infiltrated all aspects of our lives. The boundary between the virtual world of information and the physical world we ultimately inhabit has been slowly fading to the point that it is becoming hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. But deep down, we know there is a difference. Information is an invented abstraction: engineered, processed and repackaged but not the basic stuff of reality. Or perhaps not. The fundamental laws of physics, in the form of quantum mechanics, force physicists to wrestle with the very meaning of information. If Schrodinger’s cat can be both alive and dead, then the familiar “bit” isn’t up to the task of describing her state.

With gathering speed, scientists have been developing the science of truly quantum mechanical information. Not only is it strange, it has proven to be useful. Quantum computers could solve problems no digital computer will ever be able tackle. Quantum cryptosystems could only be cracked by violating the laws of physics. In these lectures, we’ll explore the nature of quantum information and how to use it. We’ll end by applying those pragmatic ideas to the nature of spacetime itself, finding that the boundary between the virtual and physical worlds is far fuzzier than we could have imagined.


Tuesday, 11/15/2016
Meet the Birds at Lake Merritt - 11/15/2016 11:00 AM
Lake Merritt Rotary Nature Center, Oakland
Migrating birds are here! See what winter visitors are currently at Lake Merritt, the nation's oldest wildlife refuge. 
A naturalist from the Rotary Nature Center will lead a short walk along the lake. Learn about the Pacific Flyway and how to identify some winter migrants as well as year-round residents.
We'll begin the walk in front of the Rotary Nature Center. Bring your own binoculars, or borrow a pair courtesy of the California Center for Natural History.
Composting Carbon: Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Grassland Soils - 11/15/2016 12:00 PM
Sonoma State University - Biology Colloquium, Rohnert Park

Speaker: Dr. Whendee Silver, UC Berkeley


Latest Exoplanet Results from NASA's Kepler/K2 Mission - 11/15/2016 12:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, Mountain View

The all-sky TESS mission will soon revolutionize our view of planets transiting the nearest, brightest stars to the Sun, just as the four-year survey by NASA's Kepler mission transformed our understanding of exoplanet demographics. Using the repurposed Kepler spacecraft, the ongoing K2 mission provides a natural transition from Kepler to TESS in terms of sky coverage, survey duration, and intensity of ground-based follow-up observations. For the past three years I have led a large, multi-institutional team to discover, follow up, validate, and characterize hundreds of new candidates and planets using data from K2. I will highlight some of our key results from the first two years of K2 data, and will conclude with a discussion of the path forward to future exoplanet discovery and characterization.

Speaker: Ian Crossfield, UC Santa Cruz


EuroSoviet: Chernobyl to Moscow�€'The nadir and the zenith of Soviet science and technology - 11/15/2016 03:30 PM
Ohlone College, Newark

The Soviet Union was the largest country ever.  Rising from the revolutionary ashes of the Russian Empire, for 7 decades, through 1990, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was a major world power.  Soviet forces helped the USA and Allies to defeat Germany in Eastern Europe in World War II.  Developing their science and technology, the USSR put the first satellite in orbit (Sputnik, 1957) and the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin, 1961).  They matched America in development of nuclear weapons, and also pioneered peaceful nuclear power plants.  But one Soviet reactor, Chernobyl, became the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, in 1986.  Shortly after that, the Soviet Union fell apart.  Russia retains most of its territory, people, and power; but most of the smaller republics in Eastern Europe have westernized, some even joining NATO and the European Union.  Astronomy instructor Erıc Wegryn has recently returned from a tour of Russia and six other former Soviet republics, from Ukraine to the Baltic states.  Highlights of this talk will include the Soviet legacy of cosmonautics (spaceflight), and a chilling visit to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where cleanup is never-ending, a huge and expensive new sarcophagus is under construction to contain the dangerous radiation, and nature slowly swallows the abandoned city of Pripyat.

Dr. Erıc Wegryn, a former engineer and NASA scientist, has taught astronomy (plus physics and engineering) at Ohlone College for over 12 years.


Spotting the Elusive Majorana Under the Microscope - 11/15/2016 04:30 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center, Stanford

Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium

Speaker: Ali Yazdani, Princeton Univ.


Hyperscale Data Center with Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) and Rack Scale Design (RSD) for Hyper Cloud - 11/15/2016 06:30 PM
Santa Clara Valley IEEE Computer Society, San Jose

Traditional server systems where compute, storage and network reside in a single server box or blade have been around for quite some time. With the emergence of hyper-scale data centers with multi-cloud requirements and management of these servers have become more complex to support different types of cloud workloads.  This has led to the creaton of data center resource pooling to support various types of cloud workloads as service providers are adopting Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) and Rack Scale Design (RSD).  Fulcan Fong will present the challenges of modernizing data centers, explain what SDI and RSD are, and also talk about how service providers will benefit by adopting them.

Speaker: Fulcan Fong, Intel


Will Trump Force One Run Clean? - 11/15/2016 06:30 PM
Commonwealth Club, San Francisco

While many people concerned about climate disruption have changed their cars and their diets, few have changed their flying habits. The greenhouse gas emissions from air travel often blows away all the carbon savings from other lifestyle changes. That could be about to change. The airline industry has agreed to an international deal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

What new fuels and technologies will make that possible? Can we really look forward to guilt-free flying in the foreseeable future? A conversation about cleaning up the skies and the possibility of going to see grandma on a jet powered by food scraps and old tree branches.

Panel: E. James Macias, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fulcrum BioEnergy
Sean Newsum, Director, Environmental Strategy, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund
E. Julian Potter, Chief of Staff, San Francisco International Airport


Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales of the Bay - 11/15/2016 07:00 PM
St. Albans Parish Hall, Albany

Harbor porpoises and bottlenose dolphins are back in the Bay, and humpback whales frolic close to shore. How is the Bay ecosystem changing to lead to this, what does it mean for our coast, and what can we do to help?

Exciting tales and great photos from naturalist and environmental lawyer Bill Keener, former head of the Marine Mammal Center in Marin. Keener co-founded Golden Gate Cetacean Research in 2010 and remains project leader.

Free Bay Currents talks on natural history and environmental issues are presented by Friends of Five Creeks. Refreshments 7 PM, talks promptly at 7:30 PM. See websigte for full schedule and to sign up for email notices.  


Mycological Society of SF General Meeting - 11/15/2016 07:00 PM
Mycological Society of San Francisco, San Francisco

The combined talk will consist of either each taking a turn speaking or a cumbaya panel discussion. 

Speakers: Larry Evans, Daniel Winkler, and Britt Bunyard (FUNGI Magazine)


Building the Hale Telescope. A half century of science, engineering, politics and personal vision - 11/15/2016 07:15 PM
Lindsay Wildlife Experience, Walnut Creek
Please join Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society for the October 25th general meeting. The meeting starts at 7:15 and ends at 9:15. Our monthly meetings begin with a short “What’s Up” presented by one of our members, followed by a speaker.

This month’s speaker is Rene Gandolfi (DVM).


Galactic Archeology: Good Science with Modest Instruments - 11/15/2016 07:45 PM
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers, San Francisco

An ongoing collaboration between the speaker and an international team of professional astronomers has demonstrated the scientific potential of using modest aperture, commercially produced, semi-robotic telescopes situated under steady dark skies and affordable off-the-shelf astronomical cameras to reveal extremely dim, diffuse structures on the outskirts of distant galaxies that shed light on galactic evolution. This presentation will share techniques, experiences and highlights of the investigations thus far.

Speaker: R. Jay BaBany


Wednesday, 11/16/2016
Meet the Birds at Lake Merritt - 11/16/2016 11:00 AM
Lake Merritt Rotary Nature Center, Oakland
Migrating birds are here! See what winter visitors are currently at Lake Merritt, the nation's oldest wildlife refuge. 

A naturalist from the Rotary Nature Center will lead a short walk along the lake. Learn about the Pacific Flyway and how to identify some winter migrants as well as year-round residents.

We'll begin the walk in front of the Rotary Nature Center. Bring your own binoculars, or borrow a pair courtesy of the California Center for Natural History.
Innovations and Entrepreneurship in Photonics for Health Care - 11/16/2016 12:00 PM
CITRIS at UC Berkeley, Berkeley

Science and technology is a vehicle for research-based innovation, but social interaction and skills are the necessities for success. In this talk, Prof. Jes Broeng will share his experiences on establishing successful universities spin-out, and on ways to improve the tech transfer system. The talk will take base in photonics technologies for health care and life science.

Speaker: Jes Broeng, Technical University of Denmark


Internet Policy: The Burden of Democracy and Responsibility of Opportunity - 11/16/2016 12:00 PM
CITRIS at UC Berkeley, Berkeley

Susan E. Walters is Senior Vice President at the California Emerging Technology Fund, which has the mission of closing the Digital Divide in California. Susan joined the Fund after working as the Regional Director of Community Relations for Citibank for Greater Southern California. Prior to Citibank she operated a consulting practice in corporate social responsibility. The work focused on building strategic partnerships between nonprofit organizations and corporations, strategic planning, communications and marketing. She has worked in myriad areas ranging from telecommunications policy, to disability access projects. Examples of her work include designing a highly successful technology job training program for low income adults and youth, creating a brand strategy for a buy local food campaign and marketing programs to reach emerging markets. Her firm’s clients included: AOL, Verizon, Microsoft, Independent Television Service (ITVS), San Francisco Giants, Freddie Mac Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the FoodRoutes Network. Susan has held senior positions in Communications and Marketing with Odwalla and Pacific Bell.


Ecological mechanics: physics and engineering in service to ecology - 11/16/2016 04:00 PM
UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, Bodega Bay

Speaker: Mark Denny, Professor, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University


CAISO Regionalization Panel - 11/16/2016 04:00 PM
Barrows Hall, Berkeley

To discuss the proposed CAISO (California Independent System Operator) led, WECC (Western Electricity Coordinating Council)-wide regional energy market. The western regional energy market would coordinate electricity systems across the West, utilizing the CAISO’s infrastructure to develop one western grid with the intent of increasing renewable energy supply, while creating disincentives to send coal-generated energy to California.

See weblink for speakers.


Hacking Video Games: How TASBot Exploits Glitches and Plays Games Perfectly - 11/16/2016 06:30 PM
SF Bay ACM Chapter, Santa Clara

TASBot is an augmented Nintendo Robotic Operating Buddy that can play classic video games without any of the button mashing limitations us humans have. By pretending to be a controller connected to a game console, TASBot sends carefully crafted sequences of button presses and exploits weaknesses in video games to execute arbitrary code on popular games such as Super Mario Bros. 3 and Pokemon Red.

After a brief overview of video game emulators and the tools they offer, I'll show a live demo of how the high accuracy of these emulators makes it possible to create a frame-by-frame sequence of button presses accurate enough to produce the same results even on real hardware. I'll show how the same tools can be used to find exploitable weaknesses in a game's code that can be used to trigger an Arbitrary Code Execution, ultimately treating the combination of buttons being pressed as opcodes.

This talk will explore the idea that breaking older video games using modern tools and techniques can be a fun way to learn the basics of discovering security vulnerabilities and will finish off by connecting a 25-year old Super Nintendo directly to the internet and allowing the audience to interact with it. An overview of some of the details that will be described in the talk can be found in an article I coauthored for the Proof-of-Concept security journal

Speaker: Allan Cecil, Ciena Corp


Two Miles Underwater: A Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - 11/16/2016 06:30 PM
Orinda Masonic Center, Orinda

Join us for a talk by Dr. Julia Sigwart, Associate Professor and UC Museum of Paleontology Visiting Scholar. Social time with beverages and snacks  at 6:30PM; talk at 7:00 PM.

Two miles below the ocean surface, deep-sea hydrothermal vents are home to a community of extraordinary animals. In an environment without light, under intense pressure and volcanic heat, many gastropods and bivalves living directly on the vent chimneys show adaptations that have driven important scientific breakthroughs. For example, the famous “scaly-foot” gastropod, Chrysomallon squamiferum, has hard scales on its foot with a crystalline iron coating that has inspired novel defensive armor designs. This iconic species has only been reported from three sites in the Indian Ocean, each site hundreds of miles apart and only around half the size of a football field. Two of these three sites are already designated under international exploration licenses for deep-sea mining, to extract rare minerals from the vent chimneys.

Images of dense biomass can be misleading, as the surrounding context of empty ocean is never visible. Discovery of new vent fields is guided by searches for temperature anomalies and chemical signals higher in the water column, a search for a needle in an ocean haystack. Many iconic vent sites are actually tiny; the Kairei field on the Central Indian Ridge, where the scaly-foot gastropod was first discovered, is less than half the size of a football field.

This talk will give an account of a recent exploring expedition to the central Indian Ocean with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) in February 2016, and the mapping of newly discovered sites of hydrothermal activity.


Nerd Nite SF #78: Impractical Materials, Black Holes, and Suggestibility! - 11/16/2016 07:00 PM
Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco

You know what sounds really good right now? A good stiff drink, and a reminder that despite all the ups and downs, the world is still an amazing and wonderful place. We’ll experience the glorious highs of seeing supermassive black holes in a new light, so to speak, and the crushing lows of a new satellite spinning into oblivion. We’ll admire the marvels of amazing materials, and then ponder what the hell we can actually do with them. And we’ll learn not just how our minds are remarkably gullible, but why that is actually a good thing.

All that, plus our local friendly librarians, tunes by DJ Alpha Bravo, libations by the Rickshaw Stop bartenders, and a crowd of awesome nerds. Be there and be square!

“Good for Nothin’: The Beautiful and Impractical Side of Materials Science” by Becky Belisle

New semiconductors for solar power, biocompatible transistors to map your brain scientists are hard at work coming up with new materials to make your world better, faster, stronger. But what about discoveries that are more dope than disruptive? Tonight, let’s hear it for the underdogs of solid-state chemistry, and celebrate the science behind some amazing materials whose applications are more than a little far afield. We’re talking light-sensitive lights, semiconductors that move like plants, how to grow your own nano-garden, and more! So come rejoice in some materials that just might not be good for anything (yet!).

We are living in a materials world, and Becky is a materials girl (a.k.a. PhD student at Stanford University).

“Hitomi: A Tale of Black Holes and Broken Satellites” by Norbert Werner

On Feb 17th, 2016, the Hitomi satellite was launched into space. It was meant to be the most sensitive X-ray eye in space, and designed to answer some deeply puzzling questions in astrophysics. It immediately made a truly groundbreaking observation, but then a system failure sent the satellite into a death spiral, literally spinning itself apart. This talk is about the science that was gathered in the first observation and a personal story of the ups and downs in studies of supermassive black holes.

Norbert is an astrophysicist and one of the scientists who analyzed the Hitomi data.

“Suggestible You” by Erik Vance

Explore the world of placebos, hypnosis, false memories, and neurology with science writer Erik Vance to reveal the science of our suggestible minds. We are all suggestible, gullible, malleable by nature �€" and this is actually a good thing. Our expectations change our reality: If you give an athlete colored water, but call it “Gatorade”, they perform better. Students test better with “MIT” pens. And fancy labels will genuinely make wine taste better. Can we use this to make ourselves fitter, smarter, and even happier?

Erik is science writer whose work has been featured in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, National Geographic, and many others, and contributing editor at Discover magazine. He is the author of “Suggestible You“.


Birds of the Bay - 11/16/2016 07:00 PM
Dimond Library, Oakland

Bob Lewis will share the importance of the San Francisco Bay to shorebirds, waterfowl, and a variety of other avian species. An avid birder and photographer, Bob has been teaching birding classes for 22 years, and he has seen 4,700 of the world's 10,000 bird species.


What Really Killed the Dinosaurs - 11/16/2016 07:30 PM
Marin Science Seminar, San Rafael

Marin Science Seminar

Speaker: Courtney Sprain, UC Berkeley


Thursday, 11/17/2016
Meet the Birds at Lake Merritt - 11/17/2016 11:00 AM
Lake Merritt Rotary Nature Center, Oakland
Migrating birds are here! See what winter visitors are currently at Lake Merritt, the nation's oldest wildlife refuge. 

A naturalist from the Rotary Nature Center will lead a short walk along the lake. Learn about the Pacific Flyway and how to identify some winter migrants as well as year-round residents.

We'll begin the walk in front of the Rotary Nature Center. Bring your own binoculars, or borrow a pair courtesy of the California Center for Natural History.
Cooperative Mobile Robots - 11/17/2016 12:00 PM
Sonoma State Computer Science Colloquium, Rohnert Park

Cooperative mobile robots are autonomous entities capable of self-coordinate their actions to solve common problems. For example, a set of mobile robots can be used to patrol a protected area more efficient than using only one robot. Other examples are intelligent vehicles. In this scenario, vehicles can self-coordinate the maneuvers such as crossing uncontrolled junctions with minimum time or safely changing lanes. I describe some challenges and solutions that arise with the use of cooperative mobile robots.

Speaker: Oscar Morales Ponce, Cal State Long Beach


Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium - 11/17/2016 12:00 PM
Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium, San Jose

Speaker: Qi Lu, Microsoft


First Reversals of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease - 11/17/2016 12:00 PM
Commonwealth Club, San Francisco

Alzheimer’s disease is a major global problem and now one of the leading causes of death in the United States. We have recently seen the publication of the first examples of the reversal of cognitive decline in early Alzheimer’s disease and its precursors, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and subjective cognitive impairment (SCI). The successful protocol is a personalized, multi-modal approach that involves subtyping of Alzheimer’s and addressing dozens of factors that contribute to cognitive decline.

Speaker: Dale E. Bredesen, M.D., Augustus Rose Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA; Founding President, Buck Institute for Research on Aging


Humanitarian and Frugal Innovation - 11/17/2016 04:30 PM
Sonoma State Dept. of Engineering Science, Rohnert Park

Speaker: Dr. Silvia Figueira, EE Department. Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA


The Importance of an Open Model for Commercializing the IoT - 11/17/2016 05:00 PM
PARC Forum, Palo Alto

We all see that the path to digital transformation is well underway. The Internet of Things is already in our homes, cars, cities, jewelry, and even our clothing. But, it’s still just the beginning: Markets & Markets predicts an expected growth from $130.33B in 2015 to $883.55B by 2022.

Products and services are coming from all kinds of developers �€" from large commercial organizations like Cisco and Qualcomm to small startups, to individual developers, to kids in school. At the heart of the open source ecosystem, we are seeing a myriad of prototypes around the world becoming commercial products fueling the growth of the IoT. Because of the open, low-cost hardware and wide availability of open source software, developers of all ages can create beyond their wildest imagination. Adults and kids alike are creating security systems, pet feeders, innovative fashion, music automation, home robots, and much more. Using open source hardware and software, entrepreneurs can build custom designs using crowdfunding, and take advantage of the marketing reach these campaigns offer to help launch a product.  

The speaker will review a number of IoT deployments that have come from the open community, including a fresh water dispenser that saves on plastic bottle use, to smart city services in Messina, Italy that are entirely built on open hardware and software. She will also touch on how the data is being used to help reduce excess, lowering the carbon footprint and greatly benefiting the planet.

Speaker: Kathy Giori, Arduion


Completely Cool Creative Chemistry - 11/17/2016 06:00 PM
Children's Museum of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa

What does a chemist do all day? How does chemistry relate to art, spying, and what we eat? Come find out just how cool chemistry can be and participate in hands-on experiences.

Speakers: Casey Shea and Anna VanDordrecht


BiteLife - 11/17/2016 06:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

The Science of a Good Friendsgiving (African Hall) 7:30pm & 8:30pm, Just in time for Thanksgiving, gather ‘round for demos and workshops on how to make the most of your Thanksgiving meal�€"at 7:30pm, explore the anatomy of a Turkey with Bel Campo Meat Co.. Then, at 8:30pm, get creative with San Francisco Cooking Schoolby learning a fresh take on old leftovers with their recipe for a Turkey Bahn Mi.

Fall Flavors (East Pavilion) 7:00pm & 8:00pm, At 7:00pm, Learn about the science of taste our sweet-toothed reaction to chocolate with Firefly Chocolate (with tastings, of course). Plus at 8:00pm, check out inventive Foraged fall cocktail recipes to impress your guests with Two Sisters Bar & Books

Science of Eating (Project Lab) 6:00 - 10:00pm, Head to the project lab to learn about the science of eating, food and taste with the following partners:

Get clued into how animals live and eat by examining a impressive collection of skulls with Academy’s Moe Flannery and legendary research associate Ray “Bones” Bandar.Hear about ants with super strong jaws courtesy of Academy entomologist Jenna Florio.Test your tastebuds with cookies from Bitty Foods made with cricket flour.Learn about the beauty of crafted comfort food with SF restaurant darlings, The Perennial.Check out the microbes that aid the digestion process with Berkeley Post Docs.Learn what and how Coral eat with Stanford Post Doc Lorraine Ling.

Ages 21+


Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls - 11/17/2016 07:00 PM
Golden Gate Audobon Society, San Francisco

Award winning photographer Paul Bannick will present a new program featuring video, sound, stories from the field and several dozen new images from his brand-new book: Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls. Paul uses intimate yet dramatic images to follow owls through the course of one year and in their distinct habitats.

We will witness the four seasons on territory, as each stage in an owl’s life is chronicled through rare images: courtship, mating, and nesting in spring; fledging and feeding of young in summer; dispersal and gaining independence in fall; and, finally, winter’s migrations and competitions for food. His program shows how owls use the unique resources available to them in each habitat to face those challenges. While the Northern Pygmy-Owl, Great Gray Owl, Burrowing Owl and Snowy Owl are discussed most prominently, all 19 species found in Canada and the United States are depicted generously.

Owl is a stunning follow-up to Bannick’s bestselling title, The Owl and the Woodpecker, giving bird lovers yet another gorgeous photographic tribute, engaging natural history, and a compelling call to preserve the habitats that sustain these most iconic of birds.


Ecological Stressors: It's a Lot of 'WERC' - 11/17/2016 07:00 PM
USGS Evening Public Lecture Series, Menlo Park

There is no place like California.

Wildlife, drought, sea level riseEndangered species, species of concernAlternate energy, urbanization, species connectivity

Speaker: A. Keith Miles, USGS


Agaricus - 11/17/2016 07:30 PM
Bay Area Mycological Society, Berkeley

Rick Kerrigan was born and raised in California. He holds three degrees focused on mycology, including a doctorate from University of California, Santa Barbara (1989). His mentors include David Arora and Dr. Harry Thiers. Kerrigan has published many peer-reviewed and symposium papers on Agaricus, and a small volume on Agaricaceae of California, Volume 6 (Mad River Press, 1996). Pre-2016, he had introduced and named 11 or so new species or subspecies of Agaricus. He has also been awarded several US and international patents on new mushroom varieties and technologies. Rick has worked in the mushroom industry since 1991 at Sylvan, Inc., a mushroom spawn company. For most of that time he directed the company's US research effort and led the strain development team.

Kerrigan's new book, "Agaricus of North America", is scheduled to release in August, 2016; it will, among other things, introduce and name more than 40 new species, subspecies and varieties of Agaricus.


Friday, 11/18/2016
Meet the Birds at Lake Merritt - 11/18/2016 11:00 AM
Lake Merritt Rotary Nature Center, Oakland
Migrating birds are here! See what winter visitors are currently at Lake Merritt, the nation's oldest wildlife refuge. 

A naturalist from the Rotary Nature Center will lead a short walk along the lake. Learn about the Pacific Flyway and how to identify some winter migrants as well as year-round residents.

We'll begin the walk in front of the Rotary Nature Center. Bring your own binoculars, or borrow a pair courtesy of the California Center for Natural History.
Foraminiferal response to environmental variability along the California margin - 11/18/2016 04:00 PM
UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, Bodega Bay

Speaker: Kate Davis, UC Davis


Zoovie Night: Ice Age: Collision Course - 11/18/2016 06:30 PM
Oakland Zoo, Oakland

Put on your jammies and enjoy an evening of Zoovie magic with the whole family. Bring your pillows, blankets, and chairs and snuggle up in our auditorium for a specially selected family movie. Meet some of our education animals and Roosevelt, Oakland Zoo's costumed alligator mascot. Hot chocolate and popcorn will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own treats and traditional family movie fare.  This month, enjoy Ice Age: Collision Course, the 5th installment of this frozen franchise!


The History of the Reflecting Telescope, Part 1 - 11/18/2016 07:30 PM
Peninsula Astronomical Society, Los Altos Hills

Speaker: Ken Lum


Saturday, 11/19/2016
Bird Watching for Beginners - 11/19/2016 09:00 AM
Don Edwards Refuge Headquarters & Visitors Center, Freemont

In this beginner’s program, we will go over the use of binoculars, how to use a bird guide, and identify the birds we see on the trail. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Wear comfortable shoes. A limited number of binoculars are available to borrow.  Heavy rain cancels. Led by Carmen Minch.


Meet the Birds at Lake Merritt - 11/19/2016 09:00 AM
Lake Merritt Rotary Nature Center, Oakland

Migrating birds are here! See what winter visitors are currently at Lake Merritt, the nation's oldest wildlife refuge. 

A naturalist from the Rotary Nature Center will lead a short walk along the lake. Learn about the Pacific Flyway and how to identify some winter migrants as well as year-round residents.

We'll begin the walk in front of the Rotary Nature Center. Bring your own binoculars, or borrow a pair courtesy of the California Center for Natural History.


Guided Nature Walk - 11/19/2016 09:30 AM
Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary, Geyserville

Experience the beauty and rich natural history of this 535-acre preserve. Our half-day guided nature walks are on Saturdays throughout fall and spring. Participants are divided into small groups and paired with a trained Bouverie volunteer to explore the mixed evergreen forest, flower-carpeted oak woodland and rugged chaparral. Guided Nature Walks begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. and range from two to five miles.

Visitors of all ages are welcome. In order to attend a Guided Nature Walk or Twilight Hike, minors (those under the age of 18) MUST be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.


Shark Day - 11/19/2016 10:00 AM
Marine Science Institute, Redwood City

MSI loves sharks! Our special Shark Day invites one and all to learn about these amazing creatures, from the great whites that swim just off our ocean shores, to the gentle Leopard sharks that are common in our Bay. We will be feeding and touching our local Leopard sharks in our teaching aquarium, and viewing information about the vital role of these top predators around our world's oceans.

Two start times: 10:00 and 10:30 AM.


Restoring Inner Bair Island - Redwood City - 11/19/2016 10:00 AM
Bair Island Wildlife Refuge and Trail, Redwood City

Bair Island is now open! On this 1.5-mile walk, witness wetland restoration in progress. Hear the story of Bair Island and see how we are turning the former salt pond back into a healthy tidal marsh. RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED. 


What is Phythopthora and Sudden Oak Death? - 11/19/2016 10:30 AM
Environmental Volunteers EcoCenter, Palo Alto

Join Environmental Volunteers and Save the Bay for a special talk on the impact of Phythopthora and Sudden Oak Death on the health of bay area ecosystems. Following the talk, Save the Bay will lead a short restoration activity to enhance the native flora and fauna of the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. The event meets at the EcoCenter and will include a short walk through the preserve to the restoration site.


Meet the Birds at Lake Merritt - 11/19/2016 11:00 AM
Lake Merritt Rotary Nature Center, Oakland

Migrating birds are here! See what winter visitors are currently at Lake Merritt, the nation's oldest wildlife refuge. 

A naturalist from the Rotary Nature Center will lead a short walk along the lake. Learn about the Pacific Flyway and how to identify some winter migrants as well as year-round residents.

We'll begin the walk in front of the Rotary Nature Center. Bring your own binoculars, or borrow a pair courtesy of the California Center for Natural History.


Probing the ocean carbon cycle with autonomous robots - 11/19/2016 11:00 AM
Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Berkeley

Is the very fast Ocean Biological Carbon Pump Stable? Berkeley’s new generation of autonomous robots aim to find out.

The ocean’s biological carbon pump (OBCP) moves 10 Pg (1 Pg=10^15 grams) of carbon per year from surface waters to the deep sea. The strength of the pump is the same as present human emissions of CO2 (as carbon) to the atmosphere. Without the OBCP, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would go up by 30%. Is the pump stable? This presentation provides an overview of the role of ocean biology in the global carbon cycle and of robotic methods being developed at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory to address this question.

Speaker: Jim Bishop, UC Berkeley


Sunday, 11/20/2016
Science Sunday: The Giant Ocean Coloring Book: What the Ocean Taught Me about Art - 11/20/2016 01:00 PM
Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab, Santa Cruz

Science Sunday lectures are designed to make science interesting and “user-friendly” for EVERYONE.
Science Sunday is free with membership or admission. UCSC undergrads free with valid student ID.

Speaker: Peter Winch, Education Specialist for The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Artist


Solar Energy Training in Santa Cruz: Free Workshop on Rooftop PV Systems - 11/20/2016 02:30 PM
Peace United Church of Christ, Santa Cruz

Join others who are interested in helping save the environment one rooftop at a time. This free, 3-hr. training workshop will teach you the basics of rooftop solar energy and insights on how to install rooftop photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. 

The workshop is offered by SunWork (SunWork.org), a Bay-Area nonprofit that installs rooftop PV systems on low-energy-footprint homes -- those that use less than $100/mo, excluding electric-vehicle usage. We also do installations for other nonprofits, such as schools and churches. Our mission is to make solar energy more available and affordable to these markets which are often overlooked by for-profit installers. 

SunWork is more affordable for homeowners and nonprofits because of its cadre of trained volunteers who help install rooftop systems under the direction of our professional Project Leads. Once volunteers take the 3-hr. training, they’re eligible to participate in SunWork's installations and get hands-on experience. No prior experience of any type is needed.

The workshop is free, but registration is required.  


Owl Pellet Dissection and Night Hike - 11/20/2016 04:00 PM
Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland

Join Owls 4 Oakland (O4O) for an owl pellet dissection followed by a night hike! Learn about what O4O is doing to create better habitat for owls in Oakland and then hike in the Redwoods at dusk. Bring your own headlamp or flashlight, wear sturdy shoes, and bring layers in case it gets chilly after the sun goes down.


Monday, 11/21/2016
Variability of bottom-water dissolved oxygen off North- Central California - 11/21/2016 12:00 PM
UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory Research Talks, Bodega Bay
Tuesday, 11/22/2016
When Two Plus Two Doesn't Equal Four: Multiple Stressors and Antartic Fishes - 11/22/2016 12:00 PM
Sonoma State University - Biology Colloquium, Rohnert Park
How galaxies are influenced by the largest structures in the Universe - 11/22/2016 12:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, Mountain View
Saturday, 11/26/2016
Family Bird Walk - 11/26/2016 10:00 AM
Don Edwards Refuge Headquarters & Visitors Center, Freemont
Science Saturdays: Monarch Magic - 11/26/2016 10:00 AM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Pacific Grove
Ship Operations in the Bay - 11/26/2016 10:30 AM
Bay Model Visitors Center, Sausalito
Indicators That Fox Are in Your Area - 11/26/2016 02:00 PM
Don Edwards Refuge Headquarters & Visitors Center, Freemont
Sunday, 11/27/2016
Sunrise Tour of Muir Woods - 11/27/2016 07:00 AM
Muir Woods Visitor Center, Mill Valley
Marine Science Sunday: An Ocean Feast - 11/27/2016 10:00 AM
The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito
Monday, 11/28/2016
Solving big problems with small accelerators: from colliders to medical devices based on laser plasma accelerators - 11/28/2016 04:00 PM
Sonoma State University - What Physicists Do, Rohnert Park
Hal Harvey, CEO, Energy Innovation Policy & Technology LLC - 11/28/2016 04:30 PM
Stanford University Energy Seminar, Stanford
Nerd Night East Bay 48: Stoicism, Dark Energy, Health - 11/28/2016 07:00 PM
Club 21, Oakland
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