Event: Nerd Nite Hong Kong: Edition #4
Date: 31st July 2017
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Mezcalito; 27/F, 18 On Lan St, Central.
Entry Fee: Free! Thanks to the support provided by the venue! You just got to buy your own drinks!

Speaker 1: Prof. Cameron Campbell
Topic: Big Data for Chinese History
Quick Nerdisms: Just as big data is transforming our understanding of the contemporary world, it is also leading to a new understanding of the past. For China, results from analysis of novel big historical data both confirm and contradict longstanding assumptions about society and the economy. I will show how big data is transforming the study of Chinese history, with examples from an ongoing project to study the Qing civil service in its entirety, using a massive database of surviving personnel records
Nerd Cred: Cameron Campbell is Associate Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His research focuses on kinship, inequality, and demographic behaviour in China and in comparative perspective. With James Lee and other collaborators in the Lee-Campbell group, He has published on a wide variety of topics, including economic, family and social influences on demographic outcomes such as birth, marriage, migration, and death, fertility limitation in historical China, and the role of kin networks in shaping social mobility. With other members of the Lee-Campbell group, he is now conducting a study of the careers of government employees during the Qing by construction and analysis of a database of personnel and examination records. Before moving to HKUST in 2013, he was in the Department of Sociology at UCLA for 17 years. He originally earned his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, and his Bachelor’s degree at the California Institute of Technology in 1989. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004 and was named a Changjiang Scholar by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China in 2016, nominated by Central China Normal University. To learn more about his research, please see the website of the Lee-Campbell Research Group: http://www.shss.ust.hk/lee-campbell-group/
Speaker 2: Mr. Eric Byron
Topic: Juggling Tech Stacks – How to Keep Up With Technology Changes
Quick Nerdisms: Surviving in a tech career means constantly learning new skills and technology. Eric will share lessons learned in his 25+ years as a technologist, life-long learner, and fun seeker.
Nerd Cred: Eric has 25+ years of business and leadership experience in Information Systems and Technology. Eric has ~10 years of experience working in the video game industry. He has been living and working in Asia for 5 years and has extensive experience working for and with large multinational companies like Disney and Electronic Arts.
Speaker 3: Dr. Stuart Taylor
Topic: The Universe’s Missing Planets
Quick Nerdisms: Planets don’t form anywhere at random, but somehow pileup around favored periods (the time it takes the planet to go around the star). That was expected, but I have found a mysterious region right in the middle of the pileup where if the star has more planet-making material than the sun, there are no planets. This is really strange because it is where there should be the most planets, but there are none! There are planets in this period range for stars with less planet-making material, so does this mean that planet formation dislikes having too much material?
This case of the missing planets must be solved in order to understand how planets are formed. If we want to find life on other worlds, it is important to know where planets and their moons are — and where they are not.
Nerd Cred: Stuart Taylor has been studying exoplanet-related subjects since 1992, before the exoplanets that started the explosion of exoplanet research were found in 1995. This has led him to his most recent research, studying the distribution of planets by their periods, masses, and other parameters.
After obtaining his Ph.D. from BYU, he has studied the changing brightness of the sun at Caltech, and then measured features of the star Regulus with an array of telescopes called CHARA that can see features on the surfaces of stars with the highest resolution of any optical telescope in the world. Dr. Taylor set up the exoplanet observation program at a new worldwide observatory of globally linked telescopes.
Stuart “hot balls of gas” Taylor has lived in HK for five years where he often performs comedy and storytelling, where his funniest stories often come from saying the wrong words in Cantonese.