BAHFest MIT 2018

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 22nd at Kresge Auditorium. Show begins at 7PM.

Tickets are now on sale!

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.

Ryan North

Ryan North

Keynote

Ryan North is a Toronto writer who is responsible for Dinosaur Comics, the Eisner and Harvey award-winning Adventure Time comics, the #1 bestselling anthology series Machine of Death, and the New York Times bestselling and Eisner-award winning Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series for Marvel.  His latest book, Romeo and/or Juliet, is a NYT bestseller that allows YOU to play through and make the decisions for Shakespeare's heroes, which is absolutely a great idea and won't cause them to get into trouble three choices in.  He once messed up walking his dog so badly it made the news.  Find out more at ryannorth.ca.

Robin Abrahams

Robin Abrahams

Judge

Robin Abrahams writes the popular “Miss Conduct” social advice column for the Boston Globe Sunday magazine, and is the author of the book Miss Conduct’s Mind Over Manners. Robin works as a research associate at Harvard Business School, holds a PhD. in research psychology from Boston University, and is involved in the local theater scene as an actor and dramaturg.  She is married to Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobel Prizes.

Abby Howard

Abby Howard

Judge

Abby Howard creates the webcomics Junior Scientist Power Hour and The Last Halloween. She is also creating the educational graphic novel series Earth Before Us, which marries her love of dinosaurs and her love of telling people about dinosaurs. She resides in Boston with her cat and her snake.

James Propp

James Propp

Judge

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. Jim also won BAHFest East 2017 and is now the proud owner of the coveted Hennig Brand trophy and everlasting glory.

Max Tegmark

Max Tegmark

Judge

Max Tegmark is a professor doing physics and AI research at MIT, and advocates for positive use of technology as president of the Future of Life Institute. He is the author of over 200 publications as well as the New York Times bestsellers “Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” and "Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality". His work with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey on galaxy clustering shared the first prize in Science magazine’s “Breakthrough of the Year: 2003.”

Presenters

Ben Tolkin

Ben Tolkin

Presenter

Ben Tolkin is eminently qualified to pretend to be a scientist. He was once fifth author on a scientific paper; due to a clerical error, he gets numerous emails addressing him as Doctor; he lives in Cambridge, where people you meet just start by asking what your field is; and he's already spoken at BAHFest, so I guess this year he's just here to make friends.

Amelia Trainer

Amelia Trainer

Presenter

Amelia Trainer is a senior at MIT majoring in Nuclear Science & Engineering (NSE) and Physics, and plans to continue graduate studies in NSE at MIT. Her current research is in nuclear data processing, which helps computer simulations interpret complicated physical parameters. She spends most of her time reading old computer code, brushing her cat, or some linear combination of the two. Her favorite particle is the neutron.

Jerry Wang

Jerry Wang

Presenter

Jerry is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. In this post-Cambridge-Analytica world, he tries to balance protecting all of his data while still sharing very specific details about his life. From a theoretical perspective, he identifies with Sagittarius; from a practical perspective, he feels kinship with Aries. Neither of these is his real zodiac sign. His first car had both a make and a model. The last four digits of his Social Security Number sum to less than 43.

Grace Kuffner

Grace Kuffner

Presenter

Grace Kuffner is an MIT sophomore double-majoring in biology and theater. She enjoys piña coladas, getting caught in the rain, and avoiding clichés. When not in class or lab, Grace can be found acting with the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble or the Musical Theater Guild. She has achieved international renown for the time she pulled on a door so unsuccessfully that she sprained her hand. After college, Grace plans to earn an MD-PhD and be referred to as "Dr. Dr. Kuffner."

Crystal Owens

Crystal Owens

Presenter

Crystal Owens is a graduate student at MIT who has researched diverse areas from the best diet for a cow, to how toy LEGOs fit together, to how to build 3D printers. And now, with the goal of solving world hunger through enhanced agricultural productivity, she has examined how increasing the length of each Earth day from 24 to 26 hours can increase food production.

Gregory Maus

Gregory Maus

Presenter

Gregory Maus is a PhD student at the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering where he researches bots in social media, information science, disinformation science, and innovations in passive-oppression. He has been invited to brief senior Pentagon, DARPA, and Congressional officials on the national security implications of his work, and he has published his writings on the subjects in Foreign Affairs, AI Magazine, and Cracked.com. In his spare time he programs simulations of collapsing civilizations. He’s an upbeat guy, though, really.