#31 Nerd Nite – 18 June 2018 [SOLD OUT]

We have another excellent 3-speaker lineup for you in June where speakers will be discussing art forgeries, quantum computing and the science of Star Trek. Come and secure your seat when doors open at 7pm and enjoy a $14 burger/pot Howler special whilst we get into the nerdy learning.

Monday, 18 June 2018
at Howler 7-11 Dawson Street, Brunswick
Doors 7pm
Tickets: $10 (online) SOLD OUT


*Presentation 1
Magnifying the Distant Universe
by Dr Rachael Livermore

Description: Using the most advanced telescopes in the world and in space, we can now find galaxies so far away that the light left them when the Universe was only a few hundred million years old. This lets us see the very early stages of the formation of galaxies, but it’s incredibly difficult: since they’re in the first stages of formation, the galaxies are small and faint, and being so far away makes them even smaller and fainter. To overcome this difficulty, we use an amazing quirk of the theory of General Relativity that causes dark matter to act as a natural telescope in space, magnifying these very distant galaxies to make them bright enough to see. Is this sounds like magic, that’s because it is.
Bio: Dr Rachael Livermore is originally from England, where she used to be an accountant before she decided that making money is overrated and switched from counting pounds to counting photons. She received her PhD in Astrophysics from Durham University and then crossed the Atlantic in search of sunshine, landing at the University of Texas at Austin. In between discovering tacos and barbecue, she worked with the Hubble Space Telescope to discover the faintest galaxies ever seen in the early Universe. In 2017 she moved to the University of Melbourne, where she continues her search for the most distant galaxies. She is also a science fiction fan, and can be found at the Cinema Nova in Carlton where she ruins everyone’s enjoyment of sci-fi movies by tearing apart the science.

*Presentation 2
Computing with Quantum Physics
by Dr Anna Phan

Description: Because atoms and subatomic particles behave in strange and complex ways, classical physics can not explain their quantum behaviour. However, when that behaviour is harnessed effectively, systems become far more powerful than classical computers… quantum powerful. In this presentation, I’ll attempt to explain how quantum computers work, and describe where we are in terms of building them and understanding what types of problems they might be able to solve.
Bio: Dr. Anna Phan trained as an experimental particle physicist, and has always been interested in the applications of computing to physics and as well as physics to computing. After being part of the team that discovered the Higgs boson at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland, she joined IBM Research and worked in data science; she is now investigating simulations of particle interactions using quantum computers.

*Presentation 3
F-ART: Fakes, Forgeries and Fraud in the Art Market, or, what is Art?
by Petrit Abazi

Description: For the last fifteen years, Petrit has handled, valued and authenticated thousands of works of art. In that time, he has detected dozens of paintings and sculptures which were presented to him as ‘authentic’ or ‘original’ examples by well-known artists but were probably not ‘the real McCoy’. Identifying what is ‘real’ and what is ‘fake’ involves a number of tools including good pattern recognition skills, a photographic memory, meticulous research provenance (ownership history), a basic understanding of history and history of materials, a science lab (to check facts) and a little bit of luck (fortune favours the trained eye, to paraphrase Louis Pasteur). As well as discussing specific international and Australian examples of F-art, Petrit will be extending the discussion to broader social and philosophical concepts: what is ‘real’ and what is ‘fake’? Why do we endow so much value to the ‘authentic’, and finally, that big, seemingly unanswerable question, what is art?
Bio: Petrit Abazi is a Melbourne-based art historian, curator and valuer. He studied art history at the University of Trento, Italy and completed his MA degree in Art Curatorship at the University of Melbourne. In 2004, Petrit and his father founded Abazi Art, an on-line commercial art gallery. During his sojourn in Italy, he curated five exhibitions on Australian Indigenous art and Italian Contemporary art. Petrit has also held positions in several auction houses including Sotheby’s, Menzies and Leonard Joel. His most recent post was ‘Head of Art and Research’ at Mossgreen – formerly Australia’s largest auction house.

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