Nerd Nite 35: Love and War!

We will wander into the path of love and war this Nerd Nite!
Our first speaker Marieke van Gelderen will show us the evolution of psychotherapy and how she spreads her love by helping war-veterans with PTSD using active solutions that involve virtual reality. Afterwards, we’ll be swept way back to the bloody battles in the dark Middle Ages, where Ivan Toshev will crush our misconceptions implanted by non-historians by means of (Hollywood) movies, and guide us through the medieval weaponry! Join us on the 19th of January to debate about love and war, be there and be square!
Oh, and interested in (more) love? Sign up for the speeddating session at 18:30 here: Your Love Path!

DETAILS:

Friday 19 January
Doors open at 20:00
First talk at 20:30

at CREA Muziekzaal
Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam

Facebook event page

Forward, march! Virtual reality and movement incorporated in treatment for war-veterans with PTSD
By Marieke van Gelderen
 
When you think of psychotherapy, you probably think of Freud and a nice fluffy sofa. Well, think again: nowadays you have to get up off the couch and get moving. In her quest to help war-veterans with a posttraumatic stress disorder, Marieke researches how she can combine walking, music, pictures and virtual reality to deliver an inspiring and effective treatment to these veterans. She will show us how all of these elements support the same goal: helping the patients to confront their fears by increasing engagement and lowering avoidance of the traumatic memory. Curious or maybe a bit anxious? Don’t be! Marieke will help you through it…
 
Popular Misconceptions About Medieval European Warfare
By Ivan Toshev
 
Dragons, castles, swords, magic… Perhaps scenes of Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings pop into your mind right now. Actually, many popular books, movies or video games take place in an old-timey setting with all these elements. But when it comes to fighting with medieval weapons there are a lot of myths and misconceptions we learn from these books, movies or games. Ivan Toshev will enlighten our thinking on battles in the Middle Ages and help us answer questions like what the most important piece of armor is or whether swords are really the best melee weapon. He will draw on research and experience of modern Medieval enthusiasts and sharpen our look at Medieval warfare! Make sure to come, wear your heart on your sleeve and listen at Nerd Nite 35!

Nerd Nite 34

 

Let’s get animalistic at Nerd Nite 34! Elmar will tell us all about breeding challenges in zoos and aquaria. Our speaker specializes in helping save populations from extinction and letting them fornicate (almost) like rabbits. This is however not as easy as it sounds but don’t worry, some of the unforeseen challenges encountered will be revealed! Our second speaker Juan will blow our minds by literally keeping our ears busy with psychoacoustics. It is one of the sweet spots where physics meets psychology. Does our personality modify what we hear? Or vice-versa? Come the 24th of November to Nerd Nite 34 to learn more about it! Oh, and don’t forget to wear your Nerdy T to be admission free! Be there and be square!

DETAILS:

Friday 24 November
Doors open at 20:00
First talk at 20:30

at CREA Muziekzaal
Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam

Facebook event page

 

Psychoacoustics: Perception cannot be measured in decibels
By Juan Manuel Perafán

What feeling do you get when you hear nails scratching on a chalkboard? Horrible, right? This is actually simply due to a particular frequency our body would like to avoid hearing. But why do we like a song so much but cannot stand the one our neighbor cannot stop listening to?  This is where it gets even more interesting! Juanphoto1Hearing sounds is not just a pure mechanical process which can be fully described with physics. Your expectation, social context and personality are as important in your perception of sound. In his talk, Juan will elaborate on this sweet spot where physics meets perception. Come to the next Nerd Nite, open your ears and listen carefully!

Bio: Juan Manuel Perafan has always been intrigued by the effect that external influences have on behavior. He has a Master’s in Applied Social Psychology and he currently works as a Marketing Intelligence Specialist. Besides from psychology, his professional interests include data, statistics, graphic design, user research, and linguistics. His hobbies include Toastmasters, cooking, online courses, and playing tennis.

 

Population management in zoos and aquaria
By Elmar Fienieg

Did you ever “like” a video of a cute baby animal or an exciting reintroduction project on Facebook? Chances are, that some of these were Elmara result of one of the 400 breeding programmes, cooperatively run by many different zoos and aquariums under the umbrella of the European Association 
 of Zoos and Aquaria. Come to this talk to learn about animal Tinder; matching on genetics, taxonomy (to hybridise or not to hybridise) and differences in ethics (to cull or not to cull). Let Elmar tell you how the answers do not always come easily!

Bio: From an early age, Elmar was intrigued by evolution, not knowing that one day he would be putting evolution on pause in zoos and aquarium populations. As a population biologist working for the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), he helps coordinators of breeding programmes in different zoos maintaining genetically diverse populations for the future and many other challenges. Who wouldn’t love to analyse the genetics of different population every week, while traveling all over Europe? Clearly, he’s living the dream! When not saving animals from extinction, he likes to run away from it all by participating in half marathons.

 

 

Nerd Nite 33

 

Be prepared for the start of this season’s Nerd Nite Amsterdam as we will go into a battle of wills and courage. Have you ever dreamed about having your own company? But are you struggling with the thought of it being only a “one-day-fly”? Then you should definitely listen to Tomislav Ladika! He will explain some helpful concepts to start your own firm and how to survive the first hype to make your dream true. For the second battle-round, hear out Marleen Balvert, fighting against one of the top 10 causes of death with radiation. She will show us that mathematics are the tools to use to kill cancer cells! Join us on the 22nd of September, be there and be square!

DETAILS:

Friday 22 September
Doors open at 20:00
First talk at 20:30

at CREA Muziekzaal
Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam

Facebook event page

Startups: Believe the Hype?
By Tomislav Ladika

ladikaEver heard of startups called unicorns? Today’s high-flying startups are fittingly described like magical creatures, because the way they are valued has more to do with fantasy than reality. How can a company with no sales three years ago be one of the most-hyped public companies now? Or how did Tesla become the most valuable U.S. car company this summer despite negative profits? Tomislav will give you the answers to these illogical questions at the next Nerd Nite. He will guide you through this fantasy of startup valuation by giving an overview of the models used to value young firms. He explains how expectations about the future and the costs to scale-up determine the value and success of these magical animals. Curious? We are!

Bio:  Tomislav Ladika is inherently suspicious of over-hyped investments. His passions include studying young firms’ business models—the Financial Times is prime bedtime reading—and staking out contrarian positions on those that rely on questionable assumptions. He is on the finance faculty of the University of Amsterdam Business School, where his teaching and research focus on how companies make investment decisions, and how analysts in turn value those companies. He has an economics PhD from Brown University.

 

Math to the rescue – How mathematics can personalise radiation therapy treatments
By Marleen Balvert

MarleenBalvert_photoWhen somebody mentions mathematics, you probably think of complex equations. Who doesn’t? But what if you can apply mathematics to have an impact on society? Marleen took on this challenge and began her research on how to best treat cancer. The difficulty in radiation treatment of cancer patients is that the high-energy beams that are aimed to the tumor not only kill the evil cells but also healthy cells and organs. How could you minimize this effect for every individual patient? The complexity of this problem lies in its immense amount of possibilities within the radiation therapy hardware: think about beam position, dose rates and many more! This optimization might already seem impossible to you, and gladly, that’s where Marleen’s math comes to the rescue! Sounds too complex? Come to Nerd Nite and find out!

Bio:   When not running outside – weather permitting – or baking cakes, Marleen loves to solve complex problems using the straightforward logic of math. She also wants to find out the best way to treat cancer without killing the patient. She combined these two passions in her PhD on radiation therapy plan optimization. Currently she continues pursuing her dream job as a scientist and works as a postdoc on the relation between genetics and complex diseases.  During the second talk of the evening, she will share with us a drop of her passion!

Nerd Nite 32

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DETAILS:

Friday 9 June
Doors open at 20:00
First talk at 20:30

at CREA Muziekzaal
Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam

Facebook event page

Fasten your seatbelt and hop on a journey through time at Nerd Nite 32! Our first speaker Arthur Neeteson will take us back to the ancient days when Indo-European still hadn’t evolved into half of humanity’s languages and he will explain how seemingly completely different words are actually related. Don’t like living in the past? Then keep on travelling to the future of encryption with our second speaker Jaya Baloo, Chief Information Security Officer at KPN. Jaya will discuss current developments of cryptography in the light of new quantum computing systems and persistent government surveillance. Looking forward to it? Join us on 9 June, be there and be square!

Indo-European – the evolution of half of humanity‘s native tongues
By Arthur Neeteson

How many languages do you speak? Did you know that it is highly likely that those languages once came from the same origin? About half of all the people alive, grew up speaking a language originated from the “InPasfoto Arthur Neetesondo-European” origin, after India and Europe, where most of these languages originated from. In his talk, Arthur Neeteson will take you back in time to show the ancient connection between words like ‘father’ in English and ‘pater’ in Latin. With him, you’ll reconstruct what your linguistic forefathers called their mothers, teeth and feet. You may even be able to count to ten like your linguistic ancestors 200-odd generations back. Come and listen to his talk to be amazed by this origin of languages. Especially if you belong to the 46% of the world with Indo-European roots.

Bio: Arthur Neeteson made his first alphabet when he was five and he has never lost his love for languages. He studied Comparative Indo-European Linguistics in Leiden, while completing another full time study in Groningen at the same time (long live the ov-jaarkaart). Arthur has since left the path of linguistics, and is now developing a seaport in Indonesia.

 

 

 


Everything is quantum! The future of cryptography & quantum technologies
by Jaya Baloo

You finally got used to the extraordinary powers of computers? Get ready for the new kid on the block: quantum computers! A new technology that holds big promises for the future, as can be seen by huge investments made by Microsoft, Google and the NSA. But as the race for quantum computing systems rapidly evolves, the threat to modern cryptography becomes more pressing. Will this lovechild of physics, mathematics and computer science be a blessing or a curse? There must be new strategies and clear options to ensure data protection for the near and long term. Jaya Baloo will discuss current developments and projects in this area, which is set against the background of ever more persistent government surveillance.

 jaya_v67Bio: Security girlboss Jaya Baloo has probably the most busy schedule you could imagine. From dusk till dawn she leads the Chief Information Security Office of KPN. She is a quantum crypto expert and a frequent speaker to share knowledge and raise awareness. In her spare time Jaya has a passion for reading, she is a real content junky. And by the way, she is also learning to be a pilot.

 

 

Nerd Nite 31

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Get ready for some serious science Nerd Niters, and save the date for an evening all about neurology and linguistics! Will there ever be a world without Alzheimer’s? Is it possible to early diagnose this terrible disease? Our first speaker TedX Amsterdam Award winner Jurre den Haan will talk about his research on early diagnostics of Alzheimer’s through the eye and try to find an answer to these questions. And after all, what would science be without the right questions? Our second speaker IgNobel winner Mark Dingemanse will tell us all about their power and share how studying misunderstandings can teach us deep lessons about language itself and human nature. Join us at Nerd Nite XXXI on 31 March, be there and be square!

DETAILS:

Friday 31 March
Doors open at 20:00
First talk at 20:30

at CREA Muziekzaal
Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam

Facebook event page

 

Alzheimer diagnosis: the eye as a window to the brain?

by TEDx Amsterdam Award 2015 winner Jurre den Haan

1The brain is the most intriguing organ we possess. It makes us think, communicate, feel and love. Always wondered what goes wrong in the brain during Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) when you lose all these abilities step by step? How can we end the series of failed trials so far? It turns out the eyes are the window to the… brain! The eye might be the source of early and patient friendly diagnosis. This could mean a first step towards a world without AD. Jurre de Haan will take a bird’s eye view on the advances of 15 years of AD-research and the importance of awareness that AD is a public rather than a medical cause.

Bio: Jurre den Haan is intrigued by the brain and its function ever since he studied medicine at the VU University. In his PhD in neurology he aims to visualize Alzheimer’s disease(AD) in the eye; the retina in specific. He also combines running and charity for AD-research in two editions of ‘de Damloop voor Alzheimer’.

 
 

The Power of Questions

by IgNobel Prize winner Mark Dingemanse

What is the goal of science? Finding answers, you may say — but that means we had better be asking the right questions. What better place to start than “Huh?”, the simplest question known to humans. In everyday life, we use expressions like this all the time to briefly halt the conversation to fix some trouble, then seamlessly pick up where we left off. Amazingly, this practice seems to be uniquely human: no other animals seem to be able to fix communicative trouble ibb_1609_2015_06_square twn this way. Ig Nobel prize winner Mark Dingemanse provides a guide to asking the right questions by taking us into the world of linguistics, the science of language. From “Huh?” he leads us to more complex questions, and shows us that some of the deepest lessons about language and human nature lie in what we do when things go wrong.

Bio: Mark Dingemanse is a language scientist who studies people in the wild and in the lab to understand why languages are the way they are. He and his team discovered that rarest of things, a word shared by languages across the globe — a serendipitous finding weird enough to be awarded with an Ig Nobel prize in 2015. He works at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

 

Nerd Nite 30

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The new year has just begun and what better way to start than sprinkling it with a bit of nerdiness? Join us on 3rd February for an inspiring evening on maths, language and love at Nerd Nite 30! Want to find out if you and your significant other have the right numbers? Our first speaker Tim Bush will reveal how he can predict divorces by simply using the most universal language of all: mathematics! More interested in syntax than algebra? Fear not! Our second speaker Melanie Mueller will talk about Dothraki, Loglan and Esperanto, discuss why people construct artificial languages and delight us with an Esperanto crash course. Finally, if you’re still looking for your soul mate you can sign up for our pre Nerd Nite speed-dating here https://goo.gl/forms/jP8GmftdOcFEEXhk2! Be there and be kvadrato!

 

DETAILS:

Friday 3 February
Doors open at 20:00
First talk at 20:30

at CREA Muziekzaal
Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam

Facebook event page

 

The mathematics of love: a combination of the sensual and the statistical

By Tim Bush


TimBushPictureWant to save yourself from the pain of one-sided love? Tim Bush will save your love life using maths! Unrequited love is not something you wish for your worst enemy, even more so when your loved one is leading you on. He’ll discuss a mathematical model describing a famous instance of unrequited love using data that goes back to 14th century love poems. Afterwards the evening will be brought to a climax by discussing another mathematical model with a shockingly high success rate of 90% at predicting divorces, based simply on a 15 minute video of the couple.  Are you ready for a combination of the sensual and the statistical, the arousing and the analytical, the titillating and the trigonometric, the X-rated and the exact? Learn to look at love from a mathematician’s point of view!

Bio:

Tim Bush became interested in the mathematical modelling of romantic love while studying for his PhD in Physics at the University of Edinburgh. He has also worked on mathematical models of bacteria, honeybees, geology and astrobiology, and now works as a Data Scientist in London. Previously, he worked on mathematical models of lakes at the University of Amsterdam. In his free time he enjoys board games, video games and boxing.

Esperanto, Loglan and Dothraki: Why do people construct new languages?

by Melanie Mueller

MelanieDid you know that there’s a language that can be played on musical instruments? That there are native speakers of Esperanto? That there’s a language with only 120 root-words? That languages were designed to test a scientific hypothesis? In this talk, I’ll give a short tour through the colorful and eccentric world of constructed languages, and the reasons behind them. I’ll end with a mini crash course in Esperanto. Estu tien aŭ kvadrata!

Bio:

Melanie likes to find patterns, and play around with them. This led her to play with Lego, get a PhD in Theoretical Physics, speak Esperanto, and do biology research at Harvard. Currently, she works as a data scientist at Booking.com, where she helps to transform patterns in customer data into fun holidays.

Nerd Nite Speed Dating

Sign up here for Nerd Nite Speed Dating #5

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Nerd Nite #29: Nerdxplorers

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Brace yourselves Nerd Niters, and prepare to get adventurous! At Nerd Nite 29 you will discover how to go from couch potato to ultramarathon runner with our first speaker Duco van Lanschot. Duco will share the five lessons he learnt from extreme sports and take us far away to Sahara Desert and Mont Blanc. Not far enough? The journey continues with our second speaker Natasja van Knippenberg who will take us to the the land of the morning calm, South Korea! Join us to explore korean culture, food, fashion and manners. Finally, it’s your time to shine during our annual Dry T-shirt Contest: wear your favourite nerdy T and admission will be free. Be there and be square!

 

DETAILS:

Friday 25 November
Doors open at 20:00
First talk at 20:30

at CREA Muziekzaal
Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam

Facebook event page

 

5 lessons from Extreme Sports
by Duco van Lanschot

Most of us think about running like this: 10 K will Zoom in - Photo Duco van Lanschot - Blendle (HD)be okay, 10 Miles will take a while and a Marathon will be a bit too long. What if you have to run a marathon 5 times within 5 days? Are you already exhausted thinking about it? In 2015, Duco van Lanschot finished the Marathon des Sables, a 248km self-sufficient race through the Moroccan Sahara Desert. This race is ranked by Discovery Channel as The Toughest Foot Race on Earth. Last summer, he finished the TDS, a 119km nonstop race with +7250m elevation. He will tell us all about the lessons he learned from these challenging races. Curious to find out how he did it and why you can do it too? See you at Nerd Nite!

Bio: Duco van Lanschot (1988) ranked 45th in the Marathon des Sables 2015, a 248km self-sufficient race through the Moroccan Sahara Desert. Duco is currently Head of Benelux of Stripe, the “easiest way of accepting payments online”. Stripe, founded in 2010, handles billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking business around the world. Prior to working at Stripe, Duco worked as a comedian, consultant at McKinsey & Company and Head of International at Blendle, an iTunes-like system for journalism.

 

 

The Story of Kim & Kim: Quirks of modern-day South Korea
by Natasja van Knippenberg

What do you know about the land of the morning calm? The country with the fastest internet and the most dangerous border on earth has many secrets. Our speaker Natasja van Knippenberg will take us on a journey to South Korea where we will learn about this dynamic country through funny, shocking, and eyebrow-raising facts. Kimchi, Kpop, plastic surgery; all will be addressed in this short trip to the other side of the globe to a country where the fast first world lifestyle meets deeply rooted traditions. The country that went from a third world country to one of the most developed societies in 50 years’ time has many stories left to tell!

Bio: As a proper Korea-obsessed person, Natasja van Knippenberg works for the Korean company LG Electronics as a marketing coordinator. When she isn’t trying to coax people into buying Korean products, she is trying to get them to join her in celebrating the Korean culture through her foundation “Stichting Promotie Koreaanse Cultuur”. During the free time she has left, she enjoys a good game of Dungeons and Dragons, cosplay, and video games.

 

Nerd Nite 28: Aquanerdics!

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Summer might be at an end, but season 6 of Nerd Nite Amsterdam is just getting started! Join us on September 23rd for a night all about H2O aka water! Are you ready to (non-literally) dive into it? Our first speaker David Zetland will show how water policies affect billions of people in a world of climate change and political unrest. Thirsty for more? Our second speaker  PhD researcher Jink Gude will share with us the secrets of water treatment and arsenic removal in the Netherlands. Be there and be square!

DETAILS:

Friday 23 September
Doors open at 20:00
First talk at 20:30

at CREA Muziekzaal
Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam

Facebook event page

 

Waterfails: Why are we so bad at managing water when we need it to live?
by David Zetland

 

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We depend on water for food and drink (beer!), but if you think this vital liquid gets the attention it deserves, then think again. All too often, we hear about smart management but see stupid results. How is it possible that 3 billion people cannot drink their water? Why are ecosystems destroyed for almond butter? Can the Dutch keep their feet dry with rising seas? With over 10 years of experience in this field, David Zetland will introduce us to his quest for understanding water policy, explain failures to implement “obvious” solutions, identify who benefits when your community loses, and introduce his most recent attempt to help us help ourselves. Grab a beer, lend an ear, and question without fear!

Bio: David Zetland is an assistant professor at Leiden University College, where he teaches various classes on economics. After earning his PhD at the University of California, Davis in 2008, he held positions at UC Berkeley (US),Wageningen University (NL), Simon Fraser University (CA) and KAPSARC (SA). He blogs on water, economics and politics at aguanomics.com, has two books (The End of Abundance: economic solutions to water scarcity and Living with Water Scarcity), gives many talks to public, professional and academic audiences, and writes for popular and academic outlets. David lives in Amsterdam.

 

Drinking water: Insight in the production of the most valuable resource for life
by Jink Gude

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Have you ever wondered if you could get sick, or even die, when running the tap at home? Despite drinking water quality disasters hitting the news in the USA and in New Zealand, safe drinking water is something we often take for granted. Tonight you will find out why. Our speaker Jink Gude will unravel the Dutch approach to producing the best drinking water in the world and he’ll tell us more about his research on removing arsenic from drinking water. Truly life-saving and refreshing research!

Bio: Jink Gude is a PhD student at Delft technical university and has worked over a decade on improving drinking water all over the Netherlands. Structuring large data files, making complex water quality models and stirring in jars for 14 months makes him feel like a fish in water.

 

New bosses wanted!

NN Amsterdam bosses wanted

We’re on the hunt for 2-3 people to become Nerd Nite Amsterdam bosses for the next season! You must be organized and good at working both independently and in a small team. This is a volunteer gig — we do it for the nerdy love of it. Send us an email if you’re interested!

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