Nerd Nite A2 is all about approaching things from new perspectives this month. Sure our phones are smart now, but let’s consider the value of making other electronic devices intelligent enough to sense and transmit useful information – such as getting a heads up from your fridge before you’ve poured recently-spoiled milk over your cereal. We’ll review the sweeter side of presidential history with a project that re-interprets U.S. presidents as cupcakes, a lens through which even the worst policy decisions can become into melt-in-your-mouth magic. And finally, we’ll think about using social media to encourage voters to get to the polls, instead of as a method of sharing cat videos – and with the November election just behind us, we’ll even get to hear about how well it works! So come hungry for nanotechnology, Commander in Chief-flavored cupcakes, and civic-minded social media and join us for another nerdy good time.

When: Thursday, November 19, 2015, doors at 6:30pm, talks at 7pm!
Where: LIVE, 102 S First St, Ann Arbor
$$$: NO COVER! Courtesy of your pal, the Ann Arbor District Library!!

matt dejarldMatt DeJarld – How Nano-electronics might allow you to communicate with your refrigerator
Imagine having a refrigerator that can tell you when food has spoiled! The next technological revolution will be turning every appliance we use into a smart device. To create these devices, we need tiny sensors to allow the electronics to interact with the environment. Today these sensors are too large or too expensive, but luckily, engineers are working to reduce this sensor size and cost with the help of nano-electronics.


About Matt: Matt is a doctorate student at the University of Michigan. For the past few years, he has worked heavily with semiconductor nanostructures in efforts to improve the future of solar and indoor lighting technologies. In his free time he enjoys hiking with his dog, music, and movies/television.


IMG_9842Sherlonya Turner – 35 Offbeat Ways of Looking at the POTUS
Sometimes the President of the United States seems larger than life. This humorous talk will bring them down to size with anecdotes that present them as more man than myth. The Head of State Cakes project, in which a cake recipe is created in honor of each president, is what happens when you cross a lifelong interest in presidential history with a love of baking. The results are not only tasty, they’re pretty fun to talk about.


About Sherlonya: Sherlonya has an all-consuming and perhaps overwhelming love for the presidents. She’s interested in them less as politicians and more as men. Her history degree helps her put things in context. Her library degree gives her research tips and tricks. Her love of cooking has inspired her to create a tribute cupcake for each US President; see them all at headofstatecakes.com. Her son is tired of hearing her talk about Lyndon Baines Johnson, her president boyfriend.


sam headshotSam Firke – Twitterbot Says Vote!
There are 90,000 registered voters in Ann Arbor. Most don’t vote. I built a Twitter bot that matched voter names to Twitter accounts, then sent reminders to vote in local elections.  Learn more about the problem, the project, and how it worked!


About Sam: Sam is a data analyst at an education nonprofit and a former high school math teacher.  He’s active in local politics, makes things, and raises a couple of small nerdlings. He’s involved with the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild (aabg.org) and you can find him on Twitter at @samfirke.