Science & Technology SIG

A SIG is a special interest group. The MWW Science & Technology SIG consists of people with a wide range of interests and a shared love for science and technology.

For many years we met under the name Science SIG at a member’s home in Redmond on the third Friday of every month at 7:30 pm.

In January of 2016, Science SIG was expanded to include technology and has a new name: Science & Technology SIG (S&T SIG). We now meet at a member’s home in Lake Forest Park, still on the third Friday at 7:30 pm.

May 2016: Hiatus

No meeting will be held in May, as Ned and Nancy will be at MakerFaire: The Greatest Show on Earth. Mensans interested in science, technology, making, DIY, innovation, and the next big thing should check it out ( This is our 5th year and we wouldn’t miss it.

June 17, 2016: Gravitational waves

Dr. Krishna Venkateswara

Dr. Krishna Venkateswara

Wow! We are extremely honored to welcome Dr. Krishna Venkateswara, one of two University of Washington scientists intimately involved in the recent exciting confirmation of gravitational waves by the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicted that gravitational waves were produced during the collision of black holes, but until September 14, 2015, these ripples in spacetime had never been measured. Detecting these traces of cosmic activity nearly 1.3 billion light years away is one of the greatest scientific achievements of the century and ushers in a new era of astronomy. During this process, Dr. Venkateswara, along with fellow UW researcher Jens Gundlach, designed and constructed ultrasensitive tilt meters for the Hanford LIGO detector and analyzed unwanted noise created by residual gas molecules and tiny electrical charges.

For more about this discovery, click the following link:

We hope to see you in June for discussion of this incredible breakthrough. Guests and significant others are invited as well. Cats in residence.

Social time is from 7:00 to 7:30, followed by the presentation. Contributions of food and beverages are always appreciated and consumed. Please park on the street or in the long driveway.

Members: For location and contact information, see your ToteMs, or the Event Calendar in the Members section of this site, or the article on the News! News! News! page in the Members section.

Previous Science SIG talks

Some of our past Science SIG talks and Science & Technology SIG talks included the following speakers, their topics, and the dates on which they spoke:

  • Sarah Gaichas (NMFS, UW): Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem (January 2005)
  • Fritz Reitz (UW): Tracking Enzymes (April 2006)
  • Donna Shirley (Former Director of the Mars Exploration Program at JPL ): Mars Rover (June 2006)
  • Jon Neher, M.D. (Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at University of Washington): Medical Research Design (July 2006)
  • Jodi Sass (Supervisor of the DNA unit at the state crime lab in Seattle): The Science Behind DNA Matching (May 2007)
  • Jon Neher M.D. (Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at UW): Theories of Aging (October 2007)
  • Betty Parry Fisher (Genzyme Corporation): Vitamin D-iscussion (June 2008)
  • Richard Stachurski (Boeing): Henrietta Leavitt and Standard Candles: The Key to a Cosmological Revolution (July 2008)
  • Brian Tillotson (Boeing): Dark Energy (September 2008)
  • Jon Neher (Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at UW): Medical Aspects of Salt and Water Metabolism (October 2008)
  • Lyle Rudensey (Owner of BioLyle’s Biodiesel Workshop): Biodiesel (November 2008)
  • David Vossler (Director of the Washington Neurosciences Institute): Mechanisms, Genetics, and Rational Treatment of Seizures (March 2009)
  • Mark Ahlers (Boeing): Aircraft Environmental Control Systems (ECS) (May 2009)
  • John Brew (Boeing): Convergence of Biological and Electronic Systems: Past, Present, and Future (July 2009)
  • Rhonda Kaetzel (Exponent): Toxicology Principles and Applications (August 2009)
  • Marcia Baker (UW): Why is Climate Sensitivity So Unpredictable? (January 2010)
  • Kevin Siedentopf (Boeing): The Science and Craft of Beer (March 2010)
  • Philip Horner (UW): Stem Cell Biology and Adult Neural Regeneration (April 2010)
  • Kathryn McGonigle, MD (Women’s Cancer Care of Seattle): Robotic Surgery Is it Fad or For Real? Applications in Gynecologic Oncology (May 2010)
  • Theodore W. Pietsch (UW): Oceanic Anglerfishes – Extraordinary Diversity in the Deep Sea (June 2010)
  • Tom McCarthy (Panthera): Snow Leopards – Update of Latest Research (July 2010)
  • Nicholas Wolf (UW): Ecology of Western Sandpipers (Calidris Mauri) (September 2010)
  • Alicia Hotovec (UW): Screams and Drumbeats: Strange Seismic Observations During the 2009 Eruption of Redoubt Volcano (October 2010)
  • Sarah Reichard (UW): Aliens Among Us: Invasive Species (November 2010)
  • Michael Shadlen (UW): How the Brain Makes Decisions (April 2011)
  • Katie Kaku: Impact of Aerosols on Climate Change (May 2011)
  • Firas Khatib (UW): FoldIt – Crowdsourcing Protein Folding (June 2011)
  • Setthivoine You (UW): Plasma Physics and Astrophysical Jets (July 2011)
  • Timothy Nelson (SPU): Red, Green, and Brown Tides: Ecology, Significance and Vexing Questions (October 2011)
  • Kirstin Holsman (NOAA): How do Dungeness Crabs Master the Risks and Opportunities of their Habitat? (November 2011)
  • Matthew Bachmann (USGS): Water Wars (February 2012)
  • Eleanor Kirtley (Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers): Marine Vessel Environmental Performance Assessment (March 2012)
  • Dominick Auci (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance): Cancer Vaccines (June 2012)
  • James L. Bodkin (Alaska Science Center): Mysteries of Sea Otters and their Nearshore Ecosystem (August 2012)
  • Daniel Rouseff (UW): Underwater Acoustics (November 2012)
  • Robert Holzworth (UW): Lightning (January 2013)
  • Nathaniel Howe: Devil in the Details: New Research on the Historic Swedish Warship Vasa (March 2013)
  • Alex Goldstein, PhD: Towards a Male Birth Control Pill (April 2013)
  • Jon Neher, M.D. (Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at UW): High Blood Pressure (May 2013)
  • Jared Roach (Institute for Systems Biology): Family Genomics Research (November 2013)
  • Scott Scholz: Ethnomusicology (May 2014)
  • Brian Tillotson (Boeing) Are All the World’s Scientists Lying? We’re Measuring the Absorptivity of Carbon Dioxide Gas Ourselves (June 2014)
  • Daniel Finkel and Katherine Cook (Math for Love): Prime Climb (September 2014)
  • Anton Mates (UW): The Social Life of the Extremely Common Crow (October 2014)
  • Michael Khbeis (UW): Field Trip to Washington Nanofabrication Facility (April 2015)
  • Supasorn Suwajanakorn: Virtual Obama: Capturing and Visualizing Persona Through Faces — Face Reconstruction, Tracking, Alignment, and Multitexture Modeling to the Puppeteering Problem (April 2016).