Celebrate your inner geek (or just one you really admire) at Cal Poly’s Winter Ignite 2012: “GeekLove!” Feb. 17.
The event is hosted by Cal Poly Ignite, an on-campus chapter of a global club which hosts quick-fire presentations — Ignite’s tagline is “Enlighten us, but make it quick.” Presenters are given five minutes to present 20 slides, which auto-advance every 15 seconds.
Ignite clubs exist everywhere from Amsterdam to Wellington, New Zealand according to the organization’s main website.
Alex Dekhtyar is the Cal Poly chapter adviser, as well as an associate professor in the computer science department.
“Somebody decided it was a good idea to have geeks do five minute lightning talks,” Dekhtyar said of what led to the creation of Ignite.
For the upcoming presentation, topics will be specially tailored to touch on love, relationships and Valentine’s Day.
“It’s about what geeks love, how geeks love and who geeks love,” Dekhtyar said. “Everybody’s invited. Traditionally, it’s been kind of an in-house event for computer science, but we’re trying to step outside of that. It’s kind of a geeky event, by geeks and for geeks.”
Dekhtyar said he and his computer science students were first attracted to the idea of starting an Ignite Club after visiting Google’s I/O Conference.
“Ignite had been started by O’Reilly Media,” he said. “They create technical literature that is highly valued by computer scientists. Myself and a group of students attended the Google I/O Conference and there was an Ignite event there. We really, really liked it.”
Speakers for these presentations vary.
“We get a mix of students and faculty,” Dekhtyar said. “We usually try to overbook. We have two to three computer science faculty members for this event, and I think we have one from electrical engineering.”
He also said GeekLove! will include a presentation from iFixit co-founder and Cal Poly alumnus Kyle Wiens.
According to an email from Ignite president Kelli De Vlugt, Ignite’s talks are generally held in bars over beer, but Cal Poly’s Ignite talks are held on-campus over pizza and root beer.
“These topics were a ruse for the real topic of their speeches: project management, engineering the future, knowing what kind of person you are and how to network,” Vlugt wrote in the email.
Brian Danque is Ignite’s vice president and emcee of the upcoming GeekLove! event.
“We don’t usually get to talk about the nerdy stuff that we do in our free time,” Danque said. “We get to see what people are passionate about, and what they really like to do.”
Danque said even though Ignite themes are voluntary, Valentine’s Day provided the perfect opportunity to put on this event.
He also said he is excited to raise awareness surrounding the club.
“All majors are welcome,” Danque said. “We’re hosting an Ignite for the spring quarter as well. We’re looking for anyone on campus who’s willing to participate. And definitely come to our show on Friday.”
Indulge your inner nerd with Ignite on Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. in the Clyde P. Fisher Science building, room 286.