Queer Mad Scientist Speed Dating

Time: April 01, 2016 at 08:00 PM
Length: about 3 hours
Location: Golding 101

Event Staff

Blurb

MadCon. New York's annual convention for makers, tinkerers, would-be science entrepreneurs, and mad scientists of all stripes. Enjoy music performances played on Tesla coils, robotics and artificial intelligence competitions, and demonstration of the latest mad technology, from skintight spacesuits to jetpacks. Grad students go when their uptight advisors aren't looking—the more understanding advisors come with their students, to communicate to the general public about cutting-edge progress in their fields.

As an interdisciplinary conference, MadCon prides itself on providing ample space for people to find work partners for their projects. A time-honored tradition is the robotics center, giving experts in mechanical engineering, machine learning, and programming meet and form teams for next year's competition. But by now nearly any field that combines several disciplines' knowledge features its own center, and there is plenty of space for ideas for next year.

It's never actually clear whether it's more a convention or a conference. The science people communicate is real, and the con organizers brag about the papers that come out of collaborations formed at MadCon. But with all the performances and demos and pizzazz, it sometimes feels like a Ren Faire. A Ren Faire of the technology of ten years from now rather than of the 1600s. It's science, but it's also mad. Or maybe it's mad, but it's also science?

A professional conference would never have this, but MadCon has a speed dating event. It started two years ago, and a hundred people showed up, and the matchmaking descended into chaos. This led to awkward attempts to split it up into smaller groups, by interest. Last year, under pressure from LGBT groups, there were separate events for gay and lesbian mad scientists as well as the main straight event. This year, the convention has added a fourth track, for queer dating, independent of gender. Twelve people have signed up.

Room at the convention is scarce: the biggest spaces are taken by the robotics contest, the performances, and the outdoor demonstrations of drones and other flying technology. For the speed dating, the organizers only have one room, for which they have to compete with lectures and panels; the queer event managed to get space for just three hours, and even that took some convincing, with two anti-harassment panelists volunteering to help set it up and take it down quickly.

Description

MadCon. New York's annual convention for makers, tinkerers, would-be science entrepreneurs, and mad scientists of all stripes. Enjoy music performances played on Tesla coils, robotics and artificial intelligence competitions, and demonstration of the latest mad technology, from skintight spacesuits to jetpacks. Grad students go when their uptight advisors aren't looking—the more understanding advisors come with their students, to communicate to the general public about cutting-edge progress in their fields.

As an interdisciplinary conference, MadCon prides itself on providing ample space for people to find work partners for their projects. A time-honored tradition is the robotics center, giving experts in mechanical engineering, machine learning, and programming meet and form teams for next year's competition. But by now nearly any field that combines several disciplines' knowledge features its own center, and there is plenty of space for ideas for next year.

It's never actually clear whether it's more a convention or a conference. The science people communicate is real, and the con organizers brag about the papers that come out of collaborations formed at MadCon. But with all the performances and demos and pizzazz, it sometimes feels like a Ren Faire. A Ren Faire of the technology of ten years from now rather than of the 1600s. It's science, but it's also mad. Or maybe it's mad, but it's also science?

A professional conference would never have this, but MadCon has a speed dating event. It started two years ago, and a hundred people showed up, and the matchmaking descended into chaos. This led to awkward attempts to split it up into smaller groups, by interest. Last year, under pressure from LGBT groups, there were separate events for gay and lesbian mad scientists as well as the main straight event. This year, the convention has added a fourth track, for queer dating, independent of gender. Twelve people have signed up.

Room at the convention is scarce: the biggest spaces are taken by the robotics contest, the performances, and the outdoor demonstrations of drones and other flying technology. For the speed dating, the organizers only have one room, for which they have to compete with lectures and panels; the queer event managed to get space for just three hours, and even that took some convincing, with two anti-harassment panelists volunteering to help set it up and take it down quickly.

Attendees

12 attendees
0 open slots: 0/12