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Exploding Stars & TV Ratings - Using Big Data to Explain Life, the Universe and Everything
October 17th at 7:30PM
PianoFight, San Francisco

Jeffrey Silverman is a Data Scientist at Samba TV where he uses Big Data to, among other things, figure exactly how many people are watching Westworld and Game of Thrones. Before moving into the tech industry, Jeff was an astrophysics researcher at the University of Texas at Austin and earned his PhD at UC Berkeley working on exploding stars and dark energy. He will be joined alongside hosts science communicator Allen Saakyan and comedian Kevin Whittinghill as well as a couple of the Bay Area's funniest comedians. See you then flesh vehicles housing consciousness! 

 
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What's so Magnificent about the Brain?  
November 14th at 7:30PM
PianoFight, San Francisco 

Indre Viskontas is a Lithuanian-Canadian neuroscientist and operatic soprano. She holds a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience and a M.M. in opera and now serves on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Viskontas's research has explored the neurological basis of memory, reasoning and self-identity, and most recently she has studied creativity in people with neurodegeneration. This is an appealing area to study, according to Viskontas, because it allows her to "marvel at what's magnificent about the brain rather than just bemoan what's been lost when things go awry." Techniques used in her research include single-unit recording in patients with epilepsy, high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging, eye-movement tracking, voxel-based morphometry, and various behavioral tasks in healthy adults, patients with epilepsy, and patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia and Alzheimer's disease. She has published over 30 research articles and book chapters. Viskontas is affiliated with the Memory and Aging Program at the University of California at San Francisco and is an editor of the journal Neurocase.