By now it's been pounded into your head over and over, if you want more speed out of modern processors, you're going to have to adopt concurrency and parallelism (even the suits are talking about it (http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/29/moores-law-computing-processing-opinions-contributors-bill-dally.html)). The problem is, concurrency is REALLY HARD (http://www.infoq.com/presentations/goetz-concurrency-past-present) in pretty much all of our most popular programming languages! So why not get an introduction to a new programming language that purports to make this problem manageable?
Scala is a statically typed, Functional/OO hybrid language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (I realize that's a mouthful, but I promise you'll enjoy Scala and it'll make life easier!). We'll (Nathan Hamblen (http://code.technically.us/) and Dustin Whitney (http://twitter.com/dustinwhitney)) give an introduction to Scala's basic syntax, it's functional aspects, it's object oriented aspects, and we'll take a quick look at its actors library. We'll be sure to emphasize how Scala makes concurrency and parallelism easier by virtue of the fact that it makes A LOT of things easier.
And... we'll have free beer, pizza, and at least two Scala books to give away!