Nerd Nite 85: No Reservations


Join us on September 11, 2019 for Lawrence Nerd Nite #85 where our presenters will take you on a mouthwatering, delectable journey of gastronomic delights. Since we’re food nerds, does that make us taste buds?

Doors at 7, presentations start at 8. $1 cover at the door.

If the talks make you peckish, it’s beer-y lucky that there’s a bar where you can grab a drink or get a pizza that action for $2.50.

Our presenters want to taco ’bout the things we like to eat/drink! Meat Them!

Matthew Cramer: Flavor building and cooking science

Matthew Cramer is a personal chef out of Lawrence, KS. He owns and operates The Restorative Chef and is a graduate of the JCCC culinary apprenticeship program. His passion for food started with an interest in health and wellness and food’s functionality in athletic performance. Matthew specializes in specialty diets such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten free cooking and is a constant student of his trade. Because why sacrifice flavor for health or health for flavor? There is no need.

Leah Shinkle: Coffee?

Leah Shinkle has spent over 10 years working in, around and with the specialty coffee industry which has led to a life of being a food, flavor and beverage experience fanatic. She has competed, judged and coached in the US Barista Championships all while working as the head of training and education for a specialty coffee roaster. Food and beverage continues to fuel her love for life and connection when traveling and always seeking out new and unique experiences. She believes life happens most over food and beverage.

Nerd Nite 84: “Summer Shorts!”

Summer Shorts is coming…
Join us July 10 for our annual frenzy of short presentations!

Doors open at 7pm and talks begin at 8pm, $1.00 cover at Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire

Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy $2.50 slices of pizza as you get your nerd on!

There are so many great presentations that we can barely contain our excitement! Will they keep it to 3 minutes?! Will they Michael Pope it?! Catch these fascinating presentations by these equally fascinating folks:

“Platonic solids: geometry, cosmos, and origami” – Laura Jiménez

“Epigenetics: Establishing Cell Identity” – Chad Pope

“Dungeons & Dragons & Diversity” – Skyler Rehm

“From Silicon to Ceramics: Blending Science and Art” – Julian R. Silverman, PhD

“Theta Eruption and how it ruined society” – Allison Puderbaugh

“The History of Physics, in only 5 minutes” – Ben Gross

“Digital Idols in a Digital Age: a Crash Course on Vocaloid” – Bree Shaffar

“The Superhero Theory of Transit Ridership Decline” – Pat Trouba

“Transformers” – Shawn Franklin

“The Importance of Sound: Radio Drama and the art of Foley” – Tim Burns

“The Art of Ventriloquism” – Bonita Yoder

“A Nerd-Nite Investigation Supporting This One Neuron”- Jason Keezer

“Breakfast with Strangers” – Jenny O’Brien

Nerd Nite 83: “Connections”

Nerd Nite 83

Doors at 7pm, talks begin at 8pm, $1.00 cover at Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire
Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy $2.50 slices of pizza as you get your nerd on!
Join us for Lawrence Nerd Nite #83 as our presenters connect the dots between this, that and everything else!
The Presentations:
“I Got Loyalty & Algebra Inside My DNA” – Shakiyya Bland
What do you wonder? What do you notice? Mathematics is interactive, creative, cultural, music, art, language, relationships, beauty, and ever evolving. We will explore the humanity of mathematics in spoken word and visual arts with respect to #HipHopEd.
“Rubik’s Cube and Six Degrees of Separation” – Federico Castillo
We will explore all configurations of the Rubik cube and see how close they are to one another. In parallel we will see how connected we are all (7+ Billion) humans in the world.
“Albums, Theme and Structure” – Zach Koehn
The often hidden and always fascinating themes and structure found within your favorite artists albums.
The Presenters:
Federico Castillo – “My Name is Federico Castillo. I’m from Colombia. I was born in a city called Bucaramanga, went to Bogota as a math undergrad and then came to USA to complete my math PhD in UC Davis in 2017. Since Spring 2018 I’m a Visiting Professor in KU in the math department. I research on discrete mathematics.”
Shakiyya Bland – Shakiyya Bland is an instructional learning coach and culturally responsive mathematics curriculum consultant. She strives to design curriculum with students to achieve educational equity. She is researching the use of guided inquiry in mathematics. In her spare time, she travels, writes poetry, enjoys car karaoke, and reviews articles for the Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12.
Zach Koehn – Zach T. Koehn has dropped out of college three times. When he’s not managing Breakout, he’s attempting and subsequently giving up on countless creative endeavors. You can find him listening to music and thinking about it way too hard.

Nerd Nite 82: “Nerds Find a Way”

NERD NITE 82Doors at 7pm, talks begin at 8pm, $1.00 cover at Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire

Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy $2.50 slices of pizza as you get your nerd on!

The Presentations:

“Being the doctor of our Earth – how do I diagnose?” – Chi Zhang
What do you know about what is going on underground? How do you know? And how do scientists know? Chi will tell you how geophysicists use different tools to figure out the structure, the components, and the movement of Earth’s interior, especially when things go wrong in the shallow underground zone that is critical to all life on Earth.

“Jurassic Park and the Ethics of Adaptation” – Clara Cobb
I’m going to be talking about the Ethics of Adaptation; the main questions I want to ask and answer is “why do we make what we love, why do we make what we don’t, and what gets lost in translation along the way?”
Jurassic Park is an apex point because of how it both does and doesn’t fit into the “adaptation” descriptor. I’ll be examining correlations between literature and film versions of stories, and discussing the reasons those stories change.

“Artificial Intelligence” – David Menager
Many intelligent agents available today are not able to remember their past interactions with users and cannot explain their decision-making processes. As a remedy to these issues, we propose a novel theory of event memory that can provide an infrastructure for such capacities. The psychologically plausible theory enables the agent to store both individual instances and probabilistic schemas of personal events. Using the contents of this memory, intelligent agents can interact with their users in a contextually relevant manner and provide explanations and justifications for their decisions. In this talk, we describe representation and processes of this framework and discuss its implications to intelligent agency.

Our Esteemed Presenters:
Chi Zhang – Chi is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Geology at the University of Kansas. Growing up in the Gobi desert, Chi is now studying the water-rock interactions using geophysical tools. Chi is interested in sharing the beauty and facts of our Earth with others. Chi travels the world to talk about geophysics and to do research, sometimes with her outdoor enthusiast husband and their strong-minded young child.

Clara Cobb – Clara Cobb is an expert on nothing at all, but she once considered getting an English degree. She loves dinosaurs, sketch comedy, her family and Jurassic Park. All that compounded love has turned into a passion for researching connections, big and small, between the things she cares for. A Lawrence native, she was thrilled at the chance to speak at Nerd Nite, and although she could, never stopped to think if she should.

David Menager – David Menager is a PhD student at the University of Kansas. His research uses computational models of event memory as a core technology for answering research questions about artificial intelligence. His current interest is to understand the role of event memory for explainable AI in single-agent and multi-agent domains. David spent last summer as an intern at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works researching machine learning. In his free time, David likes to produce music and go running.

Nerd Nite 81: “Chaos Theories”


Doors at 7pm, talks begin at 8pm, $1.00 cover at Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire

Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy $2.50 slices of pizza as you get your nerd on!

“Ludwig Boltzmann, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Entropy” presented by Chris Fischer

“Mathematicians, Algorithms, and Love: Making Optimal Choices” presented by Jonathan Lane

“Crazy Shirts” presented by Anne Patterson

Our presenters:

Chris Fischer
Chris has been a Lawrence citizen since 2004 and a nerd since the early 80s. He is currently corrupting the youth at KU as a professor of physics and astronomy. He sometimes finds time to teach courses in-between meetings.

Jon Lane
Jon explains that usually, algorithms are limited in discussion to computers and technology, however, people use many of the same processes that computers do when making decisions. Human decisions like picking a parking spot or hiring an employee often have a set of logic that can be distilled into an algorithm and optimized. Even finding love and the perfect partner be modeled by an algorithm.
Learn about mathematicians, algorithms and the best strategy for true love.

Anne Patterson
Illustrator, educator, maker of things
Although born in rural Warwickshire in England, and educated at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland, Anne has lived in Lawrence for 29 years and has been teaching Architecture foundations design studio and freehand drawing electives at KU for 23 of those years. She loves her job: opening minds and unlocking the creative potential of students.

We won’t bore you with the details of her recent awards because that’s not why you’re here. Suffice it to say that an English eccentric has always been interesting to Americans and Anne is a woman with many creative interests which include Architectural drawing, Theater Design, Parade floats, Hats, Cake decorating, Watercolors, Gardening, Piano, Cooking, Indoor soccer, Paper sculpture, Costume Design, Meat pies, Pop-up models, Hybrid drawing, and Sewing whose most recent manifestation is a plethora of crazy-shirts.

When not building or making shit, Anne is either asleep, singing hymns, or drinking dark beer.

Nerd Nite 80: “Games People Play”

53664142_2034594663275843_6552484003214000128_oThis Nerd Nite is all about games! Join us at Maceli’s Banquet Hall (1031 New Hamshire Street, Lawrencem KS) for a fun night of nerdery!Doors at 7pm, talks begin at 8pm. $1.00 cover.

The talks:
“The History of the Kaw Valley Kickball League” by Jacki Becker

“The Rise of Table Top Gaming” by Nate Morsches and Matt Pool of Trader’s Cache

“All Made Up, Improv Games” by John Robison of The Guild Theater

The presenters:
Jacki Becker, Kaw Valley Kickball League

I am a 16 year player in the KVKL, who has played on 5 teams, been on the board, been a commissioner but never been a captain. When I am not thinking about kickball I am an independent concert promoter with Eleven Productions and Mammoth Inc. I am the mom to three cats (Sparkles, Eddie Money and Toasty) and one twenty two years old tarantula named Shania and I love to grow and cook my own food.

John Robison, The Guild Theater of Lawrence

John Robison has been making things up in front of audiences for nearly 35 years. From his first starring role as an evil child mayor to improv shows in Chicago and New York to his upcoming project as Jeff Goldblum in a live version of Jurassic Park, there’s never been a role he didn’t like. As artistic director of Lawrence’s non-profit Guild Theater, it’s his mission to spread the love of and teach performance art and comedy to as many people as possible. He’s pleased to bring some love to you tonight as he talks about how learning improv will straight up make you a better person. And please head to Facebook and “Like” the page called “Guild Theater – Lawrence.”

Nate Morsches and Matt Pool, Trader’s Cache

Nate Morsches and Matt Pool have been best friends for almost 10 years. They’ve done almost everything side-by-side, from starting families, leading in the community and even starting businesses together. Board Games have been a major part of our lives, as well, over the many years filled with great memories.

A new season of Nerd Nite Lawrence begins now!

Wednesday, Sepember 12 Doors open at 7:00, presentations start at 8. Cost is one dollar.
1031 New Hampshire St, Lawrence

nerdnite74 logo


We’re bringing you 3 intriguing talks covering lesser-known history that you might not be aware of and are sure to leave you thinking a little differently.

Maceli’s will have drinks and light food available. We’ll be bringing back our popular raffle prize drawing, and you’ll see old friends, maybe make new friends, and enjoy an evening of learning!

Keeping Legends Alive
by Jancita Warrington

In October 1926, the dedication ceremony of the Haskell Stadium and Memorial Arch took place. This dedication was important for many reasons – it still stands as the largest event in the history of Lawrence, KS, the archway is the first WWI memorial in history, the fancy dance we know at powwows today originated at Haskell in 1926, the stadium was the first lighted stadium in the Midwest bringing night games to this portion of the country, the only stadium of its kind at the time fully paid for, and KU’s first night game in the school’s history was made as Phog Allen borrowed the lights from the Haskell field and temporarily installed them for the game against Haskell in 1930. This ceremony in 1926 reminded dominant society that Tribal peoples no longer represented the “Indian” that once aroused fear and animosity among mainstream society.

Little-Known Slave Rebellions in the Americas
by William Garcia

We’ll be covering a few moments in history where groups of enslaved people risked it all to obtain their freedom We’ll examine slave insurrections in Latin America and the Caribbean such as Sebastian Lemba, Benkos Bioho, Carlota, Gaspar Yanga, Jose Leonardo Chirino, and Jose Antonio Aponte among others.

German Spies In Kansas, 1935 
by George Laughead

In June 1935, a group of Germans traveling on the German ship “Berlin” landed in New York and started on a tour of the USA, from Maine through Illinois, and Kansas, and back to Virginia. They took hundreds of photographs and made a movie. The reason for the trip to see “every Hanover in the world” — as stated by the Landeshauptmann (President) of the state of Hannover, Germany. They said they were from the Institute of Civic Development of Hannover, and that three of them were “a historian, a geographer, and a photographer.” The trip took them within miles of virtually every important US army base, army airfield, and navy port that existed in 1935. Eighty years ago, the Germans sent back a leather-covered book of photographs. The album was sent to the mayor of Hanover, Kansas, in July 1936, as a “thank you” for their visit in August 1935. They include photographs of German Navy uniformed men and a party flag over their car hood, outside of Hanover, Kansas.


Jancita Warrington (Potawatomi/Ho-Chunk) is a graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University and currently serves as the director and curator of the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum

William García is an Afro-Puerto Rican raised between New York and Puerto Rico. William has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in History from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras where he focused on Caribbean music and transnational migration between the United States and the circum-Caribbean. While completing this project, he worked as an educator in Austin, Texas, which later prompted him to move to New York City and complete a Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College-Columbia University. William’s Action Research Project focused on the lack of historical literacies in elementary schools.
As a PhD student in American Studies at KU, William’s research is aimed at re-narrating black diasporic historiography in the United States through an afro-diasporic lens in order to explore how Afro-Americanness—as a homogenized identity that has been mediated through the nation—invisibilizes diasporic blackness such as black migrant creolizations, resulting in a U.S. black-white bifurcated re-coloniality of racial discourse and citizenship. He believes that uncovering the reasons why Afro-Americans have more representation in the media and institutions than other marginalized groups at the expense of diasporic blackness and other narratives from people of color will foster more unity and inclusive narratives among marginalized groups.

George Laughead was a student of the late Dr. Lynn H. Nelson, University of Kansas History Professor Emeritus, the author of the first history sites on the web. George has been a museum volunteer for decades and was on the board of the Mountain Plains Museums Association and Kansas Museums Association. He is retired from magazine publishing.

Nerd Nite Summer Shorts



JULY 11, 2018

Doors open at 7:00 pm. Presentations start at 8:00 pm.  $1 to get in

Maceli’s – 1031 New Hampshire LFK

We’re closing out the 2017-2018 series of Nerd Nite Lawrence events with Summer Shorts! Instead of three twenty-minute presentations we will have fifteen* three-minute* presentations. Get ready for some fast-paced nerdery. We’ll let you in starting at 7 so you can grab a chair and an icy beverage before presentations start at 8. Dollar cover.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Three minutes? I could talk about anything for that long!” then you should sign up to present! We will continue to take volunteers until July 1st. Just email us at with your name, an oh-so-brief concept for your presentation, and an assurance that yes, you really can keep it to three minutes.


Thank you and we’ll see you there!!!


Lights! Camera! Nerds! Our theme this June is the movies, from appreciation to analysis to criticism. In addition to our night of cinematic adventure, our beloved hosts at Maceli’s are offering a Beer Blowout! Tank 7 will be $4, Free State Wheat and 3 Blind Mice will be $3, and Bud Light will be $2. That’s of course in addition to our usual $1 cover. Doors open at 7 and the featured attraction starts at 8.



“How to watch movies like a film critic (the basics),” by Abby Olcese.

What separates a great movie from a terrible one? What elements go together to create an enduring classic? How do you describe your favorite movie to a friend, family member or spouse beyond the words “awesome,” “beautiful” or “Keanu Reeves?” In this talk, you’ll learn what the people who write about movies for a living think about when they watch a film, and how to use that knowledge to deepen your own understanding of your favorite flicks.

“A Movie That Knows It Is A Movie,” by Ghiyong Patrick Moon.

This presentation explores the theoretical concept of self-reflexivity, addressing movies from Godard’s French New Wave films to Deadpool and Hot Fuzz. A few philosophical ideas in film theory regarding this topic will be explained in easy and friendly terms.

“The Art of Being an Old Movie Weirdo,” by Kellee Pratt.

Kellee will discuss classic film, and its sub genres, then discuss the culture of classic film fandom.

Our speakers:

Abby Olcese is a film critic who contributes to Kansas Public Radio and Sojourners, as well as She’s also a member of the esteemed PBR Book Club, and hopes they’ll still think she’s cool enough to come to meetings after this presentation. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @indieabby88 if you’re into that kind of thing.

Ghiyong Patrick Moon graduated Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea in 2016 with a Master of Arts degree majoring in cinema. His current research interest as a graduate student in the University of Kansas lies in the relationship between cinema and politics, which is also related to the topic of this presentation.

When not performing marketing and social media for where she also discusses classic comedy on her ‘The Funny Papers’ column, Kellee Pratt writes for her own classic film blog, Outspoken & Freckled ( Kellee teaches classic film study for Lawrence Parks & Rec Adult Ed (next courses: Film Noir 2 and Ray Harryhausen). Unapologetic social butterfly, she’s an active tweetaholic, Social Producer for Turner Classic Movies (2015, 2016), and busy mom of four kids and 3 fur babies. You can follow Kellee on twitter at @IrishJayhawk66.


In May we are bringing you video games, videodiscs, and The Boss. It’s Video Killed the Radio Star. Come meet in our abandoned studio (well, Maceli’s) for presentations that will begin at 8. Doors open at 7. Dollar cover.

Our presentations:

“Exploring Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town,'” by Conor Taft
A crash course on one of the rock icon’s greatest and most under-appreciated albums.

“StarCraft: The Last Bonjwa,” by Jon Lane
Jon will explore the ways in which media has shaped StarCraft from a video game into an entire subculture that has revolutionized the way video games were perceived and played.

“Movies Are Better on Vinyl: A Brief History of the RCA VideoDisc,” by Ben Gross
For most of the 20th century, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was synonymous with consumer electronics. RCA established the first radio network and pioneered the development of both black-and-white and color television. But not all of the company’s innovations were commercially successful. This presentation will consider RCA’s short-lived campaign to dominate the 1980s home video market with a system that allowed consumers to watch movies encoded in the grooves of vinyl records.

Our presenters:

Born and raised in the Chicago area, Conor Taft came to LFK for school and loved it so much that he stuck around. Aside from his day job at KU Endowment, he enjoys going to concerts, reading, running, and occasionally competing in air guitar competitions under his stage name “Rockward Silence.” Yes, he IS related to President Taft, and no, we aren’t forgetting an “n” in his name.

Collegiate StarCraft competition and high school computer science teacher, Jon Lane founded KU’s StarCraft 2 team and competed against some of the best college StarCraft players during the height of StarCraft 2.

Ben Gross is the Vice President for Research and Scholarship at the Linda Hall Library, the world’s foremost independent research library devoted to science, engineering, and technology. He moved to the Midwest in 2016 and regularly attends Nerd Nites in Lawrence and Kansas City. His first book, “The TVs of Tomorrow: How RCA’s Flat-Screen Dreams Led to the First LCDs,” was published in March by the University of Chicago Press.