Our next event, Nerd Nite #42 is happening at WURST on March 21:

When: Thursday, March 21, 2019 (Doors open at 6:00pm, talks start at 7:00pm)
Where: WURST (2437 4 St SW)
Tickets: $10 plus fees – SOLD OUT (waitlist available on Eventbrite)

This is an 18+ event.

City Fibre as a Sensor
Rob Ferguson, PhD, P. Geoph, Principal Investigator, City Fibre as a Sensor (CFaaS)
Associate Professor of Geophysics, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary

The re-purposing of an oilfield technology called Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) allows us to visualized all natural and anthropomorphic motion at street level. Designed monitor the sound of gasses leaking from pipelines, DAS is simply a high-stability laser plus photo-detector attached to one end of a fibre optic line wrapped around pipe. Leaks hiss, and the hiss stresses the fibre and reveals the position of leak. In 2017, we connected a DAS unit to a City of Calgary telecom fibre that follows the LRT, and voila! we can see the position, heading, speed and acceleration of all of the LRT trains as well as all the cars on the road nearby. We even tracked ELA during the recent autonomous vehicle trial in Calgary. In that moment, our we founded City Fibre as a Sensor (CFaaS) on the idea that we adapt earth-science practices like geophysics to solve urban problems on a scale that is city wide. One of these problems is how to manage traffic and transit. GPS and microwave triangulation are much less accurate and reliable than we might think – have someone view your Map app as you drive and watch it jump around and we see DAS as a high accuracy alternative that never drops out. Right now, we are developing an app that gives the position, heading, speed and acceleration for all LRT trains in Calgary no GPS dropouts! Our DAS app will soon give LRT operators train arrival times to the nearest second! For cars, DAS will inform variable speed limits that minimize traveltime, maximize fuel efficiency and help to prevent accidents. For the environment, can we see a pothole form? Is global warming wakening our bridges? Also, we know how fast you are driving – should we mail a ticket you your house every time you exceed the speed limit?

Alternative and Augmentative Communication Systems
Margaux Keith,
Registered Speech-Language Pathologist


Margaux is a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist who works primarily in the area of Alternative/Augmentative Communication Systems with children with complex needs.   She work with children between the ages of 2 1/2 all the way up to 18.  The majority of the children that she works with have significant disabilities related to a variety of developmental or acquired diagnoses (e.g. Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Brain Injury), and are not able to communicate using verbal speech.  Solutions range from paper books, to touch-access ipads, to use of head switches, eye gaze, and more.  Her role is to support matching the child’s language needs to the right system, and to provide intervention that will help them to become autonomous communicators.

Fitting in and Standing out at Work
Dr Derek Chapman,
Associate Professor, Industrial & Organizational Psychology, University of Calgary

We all want to belong. Figuring out how we accomplish that has been the subject of my research at the U of C over the past 15 years.   I will present some highlights and insights into person-organization fit and the antecedents and effects of fitting in at work.