NERD NITE MELBOURNE EDITION #37
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We have another excellent 3-speaker lineup for you in June where speakers will be discussing using robots for rehabilitation, imaging immune cells and designing escape rooms. Come join us at Howler in Brunswick, for $16 burger and pot deals whilst you are learning.
Robots in Rehab - Are we there yet ? - by Dr Chris McCarthy
Anyone who has undergone intensive physical rehabilitation knows the frustration, boredom and discomfort that comes with repeated exercises over days, weeks and even months. For young children and their families, rehabilitation is often a traumatic and emotional time. Physiotherapists and doctors may be highly skilled in the art of child motivation and distraction, but such motivation costs precious time and resources. In this talk, Chris explores how the advent of social robots is giving rise to new possibilities in paediatric health care and how his team at Swinburne, in partnership with Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, are augmenting the way rehabilitation therapy is being delivered to young paediatric patients (mostly with cerebral palsy) through the inclusion of a robot companion to motivate, instruct and entertain patients. Chris will also address some of the big questions for such applications, like: What benefits does this technology offer? How will patients and health professionals engage with robots in their daily practice? And, are we actually ready to accept robots as health care providers?
Bio: Chris McCarthy is a self-confessed robot geek with a particular passion for building artificial intelligence (AI) systems that perceive their world through pixels, and act to assist human activity. For Chris, it is the multi-displinary nature of his work that truly gets him up in the morning, and where he continues to find exciting new problems to solve using AI and computer vision . Over 15 years as a researcher and engineer, Chris has worked on projects as diverse as honeybee-inspired flight control algorithms, health care robots, and bionic eyes.
Ok Google: Directions to the Nucleus - Alison Morey
Join Alison as she guides you through a blueprint of the nucleus. Understanding how the nucleus is organised is like trying to read a map in a different language. We can see there are roads, dead ends and possibilities of a sneaky shortcut, but we don’t fully grasp what we are seeing. To understand where to go and how to get there, we need to understand the language of the nucleus. For the most part, the nucleus is the site where our DNA is constantly being packed and unpacked, modified, duplicated and regulated to keep our cells functional. Trying to visualise what the nucleus really looks like remains a bit of a mystery. It turns out that DNA is not just stuffed randomly in the nucleus, but rather it is beautifully ordered and we have the incredible images to prove it. Alison will discuss what we know, what we think we know, and what remains a mystery.
Bio: Alison Morey is fresh PhD candidate only a year in at Monash University working in molecular immunology. In her undergrad the topic of epigenetics (DNA modification) completely captured her fancy and now she spends her time trying to piece together the impact epigenetics play in the immune response.
Ever wanted to rob a bank? - Ben McKenzie
Description: In 2016, Ben McKenzie and the team at Pop Up Playground opened Small Time Criminals, an immersive game which let you feel like you were burgling a corrupt investment bank. It was a hit with 2,300 players over twelve months, and built on the “escape room” phenomenon: play spaces where players are “locked” in and must solve puzzles to escape. Ben shares some of the secrets and stories behind live game design, and Small Time Criminals in particular.
Bio: Ben McKenzie is a performer, writer, game designer and nerd for all seasons. He’s written and performed stand-up, sketch comedy, theatre and late night museum tours. He co-created time travel comedy Night Terrace, now playing on BBC radio, and co-hosts the monthly Terry Pratchett book club podcast Pratchat. His games include the hit live bank heist adventure Small Time Criminals, Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown on PlayStation VR, and the upcoming Amateur Hour Apocalypse, a tabletop roleplaying game. His favourite dinosaur is Stegosaurus. He tweets at @McKenzie_Ben.