What we're about

We're a community of data practitioners, software developers, researchers, creative technologists and just plain thinkers. We get together to discuss the technical, practical, innovative and whimsical aspects of how technology and humanity - data plus creativity - can happily interact to generate new, exciting ideas and make them real.

We plan to keep things interesting by providing a diverse calendar of events that rotate through 4 different categories, exploring data and creativity from a number of different angles:

1. Getting Technical: These will be in-depth technical sessions. We might look at particular data-visualization techniques, or data-science algorithms, or investigate data architectures that promote insight, but the common thread in this category will be getting into the implementation details and helping developers and designers think about development and design in new ways.

2. The Human Component: In these sessions we'll focus on the role of people in the intersection between data and creativity. This might include an investigation into the neurology of insight, or looking at the latest research about what happens in the brain when jazz musicians improvise. Or it might involve looking at large groups of people - the cities they live in, the data they generate, and the ways they interact.

3. Exaptation in Action: Exaptation is when something that started out for one purpose gets co-opted for something completely different and thrives there. We'll devote these sessions to looking at real-life examples where this has occurred in the data domain. This might include thermal equations that were exapted to play the stock market, storm-tracking applied to hallucinating fish, or the latest creative exaptation from one of our members.

4. Nerdy Movie Night: Yummy Food + Thought-Provoking Movie + Interesting People = Great Fun. On nerdy movie night we'll pick a movie that in some way embodies the intersection of data and creativity. It might be a documentary on Lego, or an exploration of generative art, or the story of a deaf drummer that makes you rethink what music is. We'll serve some food and wine, and hope that people will stay after the movie to discuss what they just saw and share whatever thoughts it might have generated for them.

Upcoming events (1)

Exaptation in Action: Collaboration through Space and Time

NEW Exaptive office

NASA's Payloads Operations & Integration Center (POIC) is the primary science and research command post for the International Space Station (ISS) investigations and payloads. The center -- housed at the Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama -- coordinates all United States science and commercial experiments on the ISS. The center also manages communications between the ISS crew and researchers worldwide. The POIC's unique capabilities allow science experts and researchers around the world to perform cutting-edge science in the unique microgravity environment of space. At this meetup, Penny J. Pettigrew, ISS Payload Communications Manager (PAYCOM), talks about the collaborations that can take years to coordinate with scientists before the experiments make it to outer space. She'll also talk about how the data collected flows back from astronauts to researchers through NASA and the POIC. Penny will be the first one to tell you she has the coolest job in the world! Come hear her stories about working with researchers and astronauts on a daily basis. As always, expect this free event to have free food and great discussion. What out-of-this-world ideas will this meetup spark for you?

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