Nerd Nite SF #71: DNA Day, Butterfly Genomics, Baseball Analytics, & Tobacco ControlWednesday, 4/20/2016
Doors at 7, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

Toast to the double helix with the most at this month’s Nerd Nite SF! But that’s not all – we’ll learn what baseball analytics has to teach us about data science, and how vaping is changing the tobacco control game. Plus there’ll be science rhymes, bao, librarians, libations, and a whole lotta smart people in the audience. Get your start codon together, because it’s on!


National DNA Day
DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project and the publication of DNA’s double helix structure in Aprils 2003 and 1953, respectively. We’re doing our part in a very Nerd Nite way with Tom McFadden kicking the night off with a science history rap battle of Rosalind Franklin vs Watson & Crick, and serving up DNAquiries – a strawberry + rum shot where the strawberry DNA precipitates out and forms a nice viscous layer in the drink. Yum!


Guest MC: Tom McFadden
Tom is the host of “Science with Tom”, and he’ll be your MC for the evening. Tom works with middle school students to research, write, and perform their own science raps, and he has been known to spit hot lyrical fire of his own. Tom started science rapping in 7th grade, then at Stanford, then with kids around the world. He got a Masters in Science Rapping on a Fulbright Scholarship in New Zealand. He’s now teaching 8th-grade science at The Nueva School in Hillsborough.


“The Science, Joy, and Heartache of Baseball Analytics” by Tracy Altman, PhD.

A beautiful thing about data science is that so-called outsiders can contribute meaningfully. Baseball analytics is a perfect example: An early version of citizen scientists recorded MLB play-by-plays for geeks everywhere – triggering lawsuits and fueling tech companies. Tracy will show how sports analytics parallel most applications of data science. ‘Inside baseball’ is a great place for anyone who wants to understand how data helps people make better decisions.

Tracy Altman, PhD, is the founder of Ugly Research in Oakland. She has wrangled data and created analytical content for decision makers in oil and gas investing, science publishing, pharmaceutical R&D, and baseball statistics.


“Hot Aerosol: E-Cigs, Tobacco Control, and the Nicotine Endgame” by C.A.B. Fredericks

Cigarettes are SPECTACULARLY bad for you. There are few things you can do to reduce your chances of dying awfully more than quitting. E-cigarettes are Not Cigarettes, and this has generated lots of enthusiasm, confusion, and very decisive statements in the face of vast voids of knowledge. This presentation explores three big debates about e-cigs/vapes: do they help you quit, are they harm reduction, and what does nicotine addiction really mean?

C.A.B. Fredericks is a former smoker who now works for the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. His interests include addiction research, behavioral health in vulnerable populations, and fantasy baseball, which he probably should’ve lectured on instead.


With: Alpha Bravo, who’ll be spinning tunes specially selected to match the presenters’ themes. Follow the setlist on Twitter @djalphabravo.

Food: Delicious pork belly bao and other bun-goodness from CrossHatch Eatery.

Plus: The San Francisco Public Library will be on hand to dole out library cards, reading lists, and the hottest branch gossip.