On Thursday, February 28th, the academic chair of the Graduate Student Council (GSC), Rich Lopez, hosted Nerd Nite, an event that provides an opportunity for graduate students to present their work to a general audience. The event was held at One Wheelock in Collis, and there were six presenters, a record for this year’s Nerd Nite events!
The presenters were:
-Kirsten Dalrymple (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences)
-Rebecca Shapiro (Department of Computer Science)
-Kelli Hvorecny (Department of Biochemistry)
-Everett Sullivan (Mathematics Department)
-Justin Foy (Department of Chemistry)
-Gilbert Rahme (Department of Genetics)
This Nerd Nite was divided into two sessions fueled with snacks, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. Every presenter had ten minutes to present their work followed by a three-minute question and answer session.
The topics were extremely broad. Hvorecny explained a technique called X-ray crystallography used to visualize molecules like proteins and DNA. Dalrymple talked about her research on prosopometamorphopsia, a disorder of face perception in which faces appear grotesquely distorted to the perceiver. Other topics included wireless communication security, presented by Shapiro, and the study of mathematical knots and their complexities, discussed by Sullivan. Foy presented on proteins contained within each cell that function as motors. Rahme talked about stem cells that are the source of all functional cells in our bodies. He explained the relationship between stem cells and cancer development and maintenance.
All six presenters did a great job and got people very interested in their work. The audience continued to ask questions even after the event ended.
When asked about the frequency of Nerd Nite, Lopez said, “I am trying to make this event happen twice every semester. So far it has been a success, and I have had a good number of speakers.”
Follow the Dartmouth GSC on Facebook and check out the events calendar on the new GSC website to know when the GSC is hosting other similar events!
by Gilbert Rahme
photographs by Lisa Jackson