So, last night I went with Gopi to a World Affairs Anthenaeum and had an incredible time!
The presenter was Cliff Stoll. He's an astronomer and mathematician (among many things) at Berkeley and his talk was titled, "Extracting Money from the Fourth Dimension".
I was trying to figure out who he reminded me of and I finally figured out that it was Doc Brown from back to the future. (Only Cliff is even cooler)
What an amazing person! The best part about the evening was before supper, Gopi and I were the only people sitting at our table...until Cliff, the presenter, came and sat down with us! We talked about absolutely everything: Gopi's dissertation, parenting, the use of technology in the classroom, astrophysics, and lots more things that I can't even remember. Cliff was genuine, compassionate and hilarious
Once the presentation started, I had to nudge him to stand up and go do his thing (because during the introductions, he was still talking to us and shoveling the last bits of food into his mouth).
The picture at the top is of Cliff holding a Klein bottle. (It's sort of like a 3D version of a Möbius strip) Now here's where I get confused. Apparently a Klein bottle is really a four dimensional object, and the picture shown above is just a 3D version of it. Cliff makes the glass Klein bottles as well as Klein bottle knitted hats Möbius strip scarves and (and that's how he "extracts money from the fourth dimension")
During the talk he quickly became the crowd favorite by drinking some random audience member's coffee, quickly exclaiming that it needed cream and then grabbed a fork and scraped a dollop of frosting off someone else's plate and stirred it into his coffee. Yay for sharing!
If you want a small taste of how awesome this guy is, watch this: