BAHFest MIT 2017

BAHFest is a celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect scientific theory. Our brave speakers present their bad theories in front of a live audience and a panel of judges with real science credentials, who together determine who takes home the coveted BAHFest trophy. And eternal glory, of course. BAHFest returns to MIT in conjunction with MIT Lecture Series Committee and Cambridge Science Festival on Sunday, April 23rd at Kresge Auditorium. Show begins at 7PM.

Tickets are now on sale at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bahfest-mit-2017-tickets-32824101772
MIT Student – $5 + $1.27 fee = $6.27
Student – $8 + $1.43 = $9.43
Student PLUS signed BAHFest poster – $13 + $1.71 = $14.71
Non-Student – $18 + $1.98 = $19.98
Non-Student PLUS signed BAHFest poster – $23 + $2.26 = $25.26

Host and Judges

Ben Lillie

Ben Lillie

Host

Ben Lillie is a high-energy particle physicist who left the ivory tower for the wilds of New York’s theater district. He has a B.A. in physics from Reed College, a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stanford University, and a Certificate in improv comedy from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. He is the founder of Caveat, an event space dedicated to intellectual nightlife opening soon. He is also co-founder of The Story Collider, where people are invited to tell stories of their personal experience of science, is a Moth StorySLAM champion, and was a writer and contributing editor for TED.com.

Marc Abrahams

Marc Abrahams

Keynote

Marc Abrahams writes about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK. He founded the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony in 1991, in which genuine Nobel laureates hand out awards at Harvard. Also as part of the ceremonies, Marc has written the librettos for twenty-one funny, science mini-operas. The Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony has been the subject of several documentaries and Marc and several Ig Nobel Prize winners are the heroes in a manga in Young Jump Magazine, Japan’s most popular manga magazine. Additionally, Marc has co-founded and edits the magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), hosts the Improbable Research weekly podcast (distributed by CBS), and This is Improbable, The Ig Nobel Prizes and other books.

Jodi Beggs

Jodi Beggs

Judge

Jodi Beggs is a lecturer at Northeastern University, where she teaches behavioral economics to undergraduate and graduate students. Via her own company, Economists Do It With Models, Jodi creates educational content in various formats to present economics in a way that is timely, relevant, and fun.  In addition, Jodi is a data science consultant and has a number of published articles, most recently in “Nudge Theory in Action.” Jodi has an A.M. in Economics from Harvard University as well as graduate and undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sarah Hird

Sarah Hird

Judge

Sarah Hird is an Assistant Professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at the University of Connecticut (UConn! Huskies!). Her research focuses on the evolution of host-associated microbiomes. Sarah is also interested in phylogeography and bioinformatics. She got Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology at the University of Idaho (I-D-A-H-O!) and a PhD in from Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!). She was also a UC Davis postdoc and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow (Go Ags!). She sometimes blogs for Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! and is an advocate for diversity in STEM. She was the winner of BAHFest West 2014 and judge extraordinaire for BAHFest West 2015. In her spare time she has no spare time, as she is busy reading picture books and playing games with her two small humans.

Robert Gooding-Townsend

Robert Gooding-Townsend

Judge

Robert Gooding-Townsend is a master's student is mathematical biology at the University of Waterloo. His academic career began by completely making sh*t up in a well-received talk at MIT. Since BAHFest 2015, he has brought science comedy to the world of science policy and the regular life of grad school.

Presenters

James Propp

James Propp

Presenter

Jim Propp is a professor at UMass Lowell. He enjoys doing research, teaching, blogging, and tweeting about mathematics. He and his wife are midway through a long-term experiment converting two single-celled organisms into fully-functioning humans.

Olivia Walch

Olivia Walch

Presenter

Olivia Walch is an applied mathematician and a post-doc at the University of Michigan. She also draws the webcomic Imogen Quest. She has long, flowing, beautiful hair.

Ben Tolkin

Ben Tolkin

Presenter

Ben Tolkin makes things out of words, things like poems and songs and stories and, most frequently, emails. He has much practice in pretending to be smart for actually smart people because that's just what living in Cambridge is like.
Beth Bearce

Beth Bearce

Presenter

Beth Bearce is a 4th year PhD Candidate in Cell Biology at Boston College. She studies how the microtubule cytoskeleton is regulated to promote neural crest cell migration, using the model system Xenopus laevis. She loves all microscopes, all dogs, and like, 4 people.

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson

Presenter

Under certain background conditions, Michael Anderson is a former major-league baseball player who teaches string theory at the Institute for Advanced Study. However, in this branch of the multiverse, he is a civil liberties lawyer who got a 5 on his AP physics exam in high school.

Jerry Wang

Jerry Wang

Presenter

Jerry is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. During the day, he uses hilariously large amounts of data to prove careful claims about tiny molecules; on BAHFest evening, he will use comically small amounts of data to advance wild speculations about tiny humans. Time will tell if he keeps his day job.