Archive | May, 2013

Nerd Nite Presentation- Death by Chocolate: The Pleasures of Materials Science

11 May

I’m giving a Nerd Nite talk tonight.

Here’s a link to my slides.

Please feel free to leave any feedback in a comment.  I’d love to continually improve my chocolate lectures.  Be as mean as you like…..



Death by Chocolate: The Pleasures of Materials Science
Nerd #1: Colin Gore

Nerd Nite ColineditMaterials scientists use their understanding of physical laws to tailor the properties of industrially important materials like steel, concrete, and…. chocolate! You’d probably never expect it, but the cocoa butter in chocolate forms tiny crystals that determine the look, feel, and taste of a candy bar. Colin will lead you on a journey toward understanding the pleasurable properties of chocolate using both quantitative and qualitative methods, with occasional detours about history, clean energy, and other cocoa-y errata. And yes, “qualitative” does mean “tasting”…courtesy of a local chocolate retailer.

Bio: Colin is a doctoral candidate in materials science at the University of Maryland, College Park. Through his research, he’s trying to save the world by developing conductive ceramics for renewable energy technologies. In order to be reminded of why the world is worth saving in the first place, he spends a lot of time tinkering, cooking, and sharing meals. In fact, he has probably made lab or kitchen equipment from something stolen from your garbage bin. Colin also currently holds a world record in human-powered flight duration, which he has been told rounds out his Daedalus-like inventor qualities (for the record, cocoa butter would make an even worse feather adhesive than wax).