Nerd Nite December 8th

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Nerd Nite December 8th

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a social mixer!

When and where

Date and time


Spirit Hall 242 51st Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Map and directions

How to get there

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a social mixer! Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions, and beforehand there is an entirely optional social game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Social game starts at 6:30, Doors open for the show at 7:30, show starts at 7:45. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at! December 8th will show the following presentations:

The Science of Holiday Meals:

Rikki Rabbin is a registered dietitian nutritionist with degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Pittsburgh. She attended her first Nerd Nite in Washington, DC in 2010, and presented in her chosen hometown of Pittsburgh in 2021. She loves food safety, but she’s not one to leave an M&M behind if it’s been less than 5 seconds, either. Join Rikki for a wild ride of food safety and to finally find out why you get so tired after Thanksgiving dinner. If you think it’s just tryptophan, you’re dreaming!

A Plaine and Simple Introduction to the Lute:

Ever wondered what people were rocking out to in the Renaissance? For a while the lute was the "king of instruments", and everyone from the countryside to the court wanted in. From 1400-1750, the lute was putting out hits left and right, but what happened? Where is the lute now? These questions answered and more in this spectacular presentation on the lute, featuring baroque bops, historical sad bois, and ye olde TikTok.

Levon Ritter is somewhat of a renaissance man himself; a professional musician who does software engineering, sewing, and learning Krav Maga in his spare time. He studied lute with Scott Pauley of Chatham Baroque and has written a thesis on the lute the size of a small novel. He plays bass in the Pittsburgh-based metal band Wake of the Blade, as well as jazz and sacred music as the gigs come.

Robots Gone WIld: Mistakes and Lessons Learned in Field Robotics

Making robots is really difficult. If you think Honda Asimo falling down the stairs or the Mars Climate Orbiter dying a fiery death due to a unit conversion error are signs of gross incompetence, think again. Those robots were pushing the limits of what was possible at the time and consequently necessitated a high degree of complexity and risk. Things don’t always go as planned when you’re pushing the technological envelope to that extreme. Every mistake presents an opportunity for growth and this talk aims to explain and solidify that philosophy while divulging war stories and showing the audience some epic robot fails.

Spencer Krause has spent over 22 years of his life building robots for a variety of purposes. He hasn’t worked on Asimo or the Mars Climate Orbiter but he has seen (and caused) a lot of mistakes and learned something from every one of them. In his spare time Spencer records a Podcast - “Collaborative with Spencer Krause” where he drinks heavily and talks to people doing interesting things in technology, research, and entrepreneurship -

Social game:

Our social game will take place before the show from 6:30-7:30. Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, then you can fill out an online form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll email you your matches! You are welcome to join late, but if you want to get the most of it arrive at 6:15 to register and the first round will start at 6:30.

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our youtube channel

This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over