6th Offtopicarium Program

Hacker Movement in the Middle East: headhunting in a different sense (Paweł 'alxd' Chojnacki)

(I highly recommend these people. It will be about them)
While ISIS is publicly boasting about destroying historical artifacts, few people know that they are also hunting hackers, makers, inventors and educators, deeming all people who could influence youth infidels. Between religious fanatics and west megacoprs greedy for money the Arab world is striving to learn self-sufficiency in technology. 

40 minutes with Jacek Kaczmarski (Staszek Krawczyk)

(Could be less or more than 40 min, depending on how much time we have.)
Kind of a recital. Please say if you'd prefer Variant One: "fewer songs with commentary, maybe 1 to 1,5 min of talking for each song", or Variant Two: "more songs, commentary non-existent ot limited".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jc_3jAPb-U (example)

Mind maps from websites (Piotr Migdał)

How to automatically extract the most important topics of a website from its tags, and how to infer relations between topics? Based on http://stared.github.io/tagoverflow/.

Global Education and Voluntourism (Gabriela Górska)

In 2014 I had an amazing chance to take part in internship in Kenya for 3 months and in GLEN - educational cycle which has just finished recently. Me and 65 other 'GLENnies' traveled all over the world to explore, learn and spread our knowledge in Europe. Why? What is the reason of us and thousands of people from different organizations to go to the global South countries? Do we help? Do we want to help? Or do we make more harm? I will try to ask as many questions questioning my and others work as possible. Self-reflection is one of the basis of global education so feel invited for a big dose of criticism!

Live action role-playing games (Zuza Borzymowska)

Short talk about what are larp games, who they are for and why I found them interesting.

Electrophysiology in vivo (Zuza Borzymowska)

Why we want to measure electrical activity in the brain of living, awake animal and how can we accomplish that.

Atmospheric Phenomena (Maciej Kozubal)

Middle length talk.
Presentation of several dozen beautiful optical phenomena, that can be seen on the sky - but are generally not known to people.

Syntactic ambiguity of Polish (Jan Szejko)

I'll show some not obvious examples of syntactic ambiguity in Polish sentences. Sometimes we notice such ambiguities when they lead to confusion, but in fact most sentences are ambiguous in some way. We don't notice that, because either the differences in meaning are too subtle or most of the possible meanings are too weird to be considered.
(The talk will probably be in Polish).

Physics in two dimensions (Błażej Jaworowski)

Something about how the physics make the difference between two and three dimensions, and how it can be seen in artificial two-dimensional systems (2D electron gas, graphene etc). I will talk about phenomena related to quantum Hall effect: Hofstadter butterfly, anyons, the idea of topological quantum computation.

Integrity & fear (Olle Bergman)

A senior meandering on the powers which define us. Among other things, I will dwell on the problem with gramophone minds and jellyfish people, the futility of being anxious and why freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose.

How much knowledge we can eat (Artur Piróg)

While working for some time in basic biological research, I have noticed a inconformity between the amount of generated data, amount of data availabe in form of scientific papers/databases and amount which one can actually analyze and digest. I am going to share some thougths about current science "buisness model", and look for ideas how to prevent lost of information and made the information useful.

My experience with impro theater( Mikołaj Babiak )

That talk can be improvised:)"

Bayesian inference and models of the brain(Daniel Borek)

Bayesian inference - could we use this  statistical approach to model the way  how we learn and update our beliefs about the world around us?

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Different Language - Different Self? (Weronika Boruc)

Do you feel like a different person when speaking different languages? Many bilingual people say they observe a kind of personality shifting when switching languages, which is not related to the level of fluency or situational context. 
I would like to present some linguistic and socio-linguistic experiments in this field,  as well as the most interesting theories trying to explain this phenomenon. However, a large part of my presentation would focus on real-life cases illustrated by video interviews with bi- and tri-lingual students, alumni and employees of the College of Europe.

"Wilamowice – revisited ( Bartłomiej Chromik )

Two years ago I have introduced participants of Offtopicarium to the subject of Wilamowice and its language - wymysiöeryś. Now I would like to say what has changed there since then. It has changed a lot.    "

Railway tariff hacking, only the legal stuff (Oid Maps)

Based on some examples of tickets and ticket-combination I used in the past, I want to introduce you to the basic concepts of international and German railway tickets. The aim of the session is to get a bit of understanding how SCIC-NRT and some other constructs work, to be able to save money or increase flexibility by intelligently buying your ticket(s), splitting them up ("where to buy which tickets?") or combining several journeys into one. Last example: For 30 EUR from west Netherlands to East Germany, bought one day in advance, where I could use any train (within Germany only local trains although), valid at least 6 days (flexible journey breaks allowed), which was based on a German "EuropaSpezial" which had mainly local trains within Germany and a pro-forma unneeded InterCity-part at the end several days after the first day of ticket validity.
All are legal constructs, but a similar rule than for backup systems apply: "Don't use a ticket that is 'more intelligent' as you", since not always do the conductors know what is valid and what not and make up their own rules.

"Norway peregrinations - some stories from vagabondage close to the arctic circle (Jan Jabłonka)

"Rust - a modern systems programming language  ( Aleksiej Khabrov )

Rust is an ownership-oriented systems programming language pursuing the trifecta: safe, concurrent and fast. It accomplishes these goals by being memory safe without using garbage collection. Tailored mainly to C++ programmers it features memory ownership tracking built into language, threading without data races, type system inspired by the Hindley-Milner type inference, trait-based generics and very advanced and flexible pattern matching."

"How to build a thesaurus from scratch without knowing what you're doing  ( Arjen van Kol  )

My interest in web technology and in writing and translating songs prompted me to go try and build my own online thesaurus for the Dutch language from scratch, mostly for the experience and my own personal use.  With little knowledge of the technology involved, apart from the fact that I knew it existed and that it could probably do the job, I managed to build a first somewhat working version in about two months time. In the meantime it's the most popular thesaurus in the country and earns me a decent living. 
I'll present what I did wrong by mistake, and what I did right, some of it also by mistake. I'll point out a few things in particular that I did right, that contributed greatly to its success. Most of those still apply for any web site today and are of interest for anyone directly or indirectly involved in any venture online."

"Swap Kidney" (Anna Kornakiewicz)

Kidney paired donation (KPD) has emerged as an innovative option for recipient and their incompatible donor to be paired with another donor and recipient. Usually exchange  involves two pairs; however longer cycles are also possible.  The algorithms to optimize the use of live donor organs  has revolutionized the way kidney transplants are performed in the USA. Modified top-trading-cycles algorithm has been used for solving optimal allocation problem for kidney exchange in longer cycles.  I will talk on my project launched together with Piotr Dworczak on estimation of potential gains from KPD  in Poland and developing software to mach donors and recipients to maximize number of transplants performed  in long chains.

"Is Luck Real: the brief theory of luck"   (Dominik Kufel)

Today many people believe that luck can affect their lives. In one way, this is just a superstition. In another, such a belief can influence perception and behavior, thus playing a role in the success of people who believe they are lucky.
In this topic I will discuss why many people believe in luck and what is an effect of such belief on their lifes. Besides I will consider relationship of statistics and randomness with this topic.

“Topic: Sex, drugs and self-control: science of self-control failure and success. “  (Karol Lewczuk)

What is self-control, why it is so significant, why we suck at it and how to improve it?
It's high time to answer some very important questions about self-control, for example: how significant a single Marshmallow can be? How to deplete your ego? Is willpower a limited resource? Is meditation a "religious woo woo" or a useful way to improve your self-control? Is Ulysses contract a good deal? And others. Presentation will be based on recent scientific research on self-control, self-regulation and cognitive functions. 
Footnote: It's probably more than I can present in 20 minutes even on a good day, but we'll see. 
Also, I can give one 20-minute presentation (it can also be longer, i'm one of these "flexible people") - or i can give two presentations - one about research on the nature of self-control processes and another on techniques/ways to improve your self-control ability."

“Self-plurality”(Agnieszka Łyś)

I'm going to say something about self-plurality (in Polish: wielość Ja). According to the concept of self-plurality (developed inter alia by Hubert Hermans) no-one (or almost no-one?) is completely coherent and we all have at least 2 sub-personalities. My talk is going to induce a reflection: "Is it necessary to be coherent? Is the self-plurality good or not?"

"Does intelligence need a body?”(Michał B. Paradowski)

In the dualistic Cartesian approach that has characterised much of even twentieth-century thought, cognition has been seen as manipulation of symbolic, mental representations, with the brain conceived of as an input-output processor running abstract, generalised computational programs which enable us to process incoming data into a perception and interpretation of the outside world. Language, too, has for a long time been viewed as a system operating largely independently from the body (articulatory-perceptual organs notwithstanding).
A rich and diverse inventory of heterogeneous evidence against such a view will be presented, addressing the issue of the link between cognition, language, body, and environment.
(required time slot: around 35+ minutes for the talk itself)

How evolution creates information ( Jakub Piątkowski )

The most commonly used definition of information was coined in 1948 by Claude Shannon. This talk will focus on the issue of if (and how) this definition can be applied to biological information that is the product of darwinian evolution.


Most people have an opinion about how other languages sound. For instance, German is considered ugly by many Polish people. We can also recognize a non-native speaker - what we call an ""accent"". I'm going to talk about something that contributes to these phenomena - the phonemes, basic units of the spoken language. Although most European languages use the same Latin alphabet, the phonemes can differ significantly. I hope that it will help you understand better the pronunciation of languages that you speak or want to speak, as it helped me with German.  
I'm not a linguistic expert, I first got interested in this subject when I moved to Germany. I didn't consider German ugly at all, on the other hand, I had big problems speaking it correctly. A few years ago I gave a 15 minutes talk about Polish to German Mensa members and during the research I had to do for it I learned about phonemes and why they matter."

"What do you mean?"(Olga Pokorska)

I'm going to give a talk about word formation processes in children.

How creativity enhances science and everyday life? (Adrianna Smurzyńska)

In my presentation I would like to present a phenomenon of creativity (from psychological perspective). I will present some theories and it’s applications – both in science (especially in cognitive science) and in everyday life. If there will be a need and time – I can provide some exercises form creativity training – both connecting with scientific or non-scientific subjects.

Online reputation systems(Kacper Wikieł  )

“Law as a graph on Polish and Irish Law” (Adam Zadrożny)

How the network was constructed before 1939 and how it is nowadays? 
Inflation of polish Law how is visible on Law network. 
What, happen if we consolidate law and introduce changes at one time. Based on changes in Irish tax law in late 90s. 

“Creativity” (Krzysztof Zieleniewski)

Talk on creativity - because it's hard for me to come up with any proper topic for Offtopicarium. How would you define creativity? What is lateral thinking? How would you train it?

"Science fiction" (Marcin Ziemniak)

Science fiction (how much actual science we can find in sf books and films - some comparison and discussion whether mainstream sf could provide an appriopriate depiction of science and technology; is it necessary for having fun watching/reading such stuff)"

Conspiracy theories (Jan Żerański)

I would like to talk about conspiracy theories and the science of conspiracy theories. Why are we so eager to believe in UFOs, the hidden agendas and why the hell Reptilians killed JFK? Why the Jesuits rule the world and what is Majestic 12?  

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