Ignite talks have been presented all over the country, and I was thrilled to hear that Ryan Burns was organizing them in Ann Arbor. About 200 people packed into the Neutral Zone on Washington on Tuesday, June 30, for Ignite Ann Arbor. If you missed the event, you can check out the videos posted on the Ignite YouTube channel. I suspect that the videos will encourage you to attend in person when Ignite talks return to Ann Arbor in the fall!
The Ignite format is …. 5 minutes total, with 20 slides, slides advancing AUTOMATICALLY every 15 seconds. I've attended and participated in a lot of 5 minute lightning talks, but the auto advancing of slides adds a new twist! Your timing had better be ON or the slide will go on without you (or linger as you wait, uncomfortably). But, I found that I liked the format. The energy level remained really high and the slides were engaging and interesting. The speakers all did a fantastic job of staying on message and keeping with their slides. I was quite impressed.
Here's a quick summary of what you will find on the You Tube channel:
Eli Neiburger of the Ann Arbor District Library kicked things off in amazing style with "Hack your Library". His energy and excitement really set the pace for the remainder of the evening!
Matt Orishi is a Neutral Zone teen, and he did an amazing job of composing an electronic lullaby. Not to mention, he's a TEEN! Good job, Matt.
I spoke on the Under-representation of Women in Computer Science. I was shocked to learn that the number of women in this field that I truly enjoy has been declining since I graduated in 1986, and felt the need to talk about this. I hope that other computer scientists, male and female, will talk more about what we do. I'll write more about this in an upcoming blog post.
Aydin Akcasu scaled his Wii Will Wii Will Rock You talk down to the Ignite format, and it was quite well received.
James Deakins talked about making your own weather balloon (and sending chocolate into near space!).
Stephanie Murray talked about the past and future of the news in this town.
Zach Steindler thrilled the crowd with a discussion of inexpensive, do it yourself camping gear. My personal favorite? The pop can stove.
Brad Boegler talked about receiving real time NOAA weather satellite imagery in your home (pretty sure that when my husband sees this, we will be hacking along with him).
Laura Fisher talked about classic visual ratios. I didn't know that ratios were so fascinating, but she's right: they are!
Bob Stack talked about his experience with a fabulous group of people, coworking at the Mech Lab.
Kyle Mulka talked about the Many Uses of Twitter.
Eric Jankowski promoted the game Go (he sure makes it sound easy!).
Dave Askins talked about the history of the Ann Arbor Chronicle and the TeeterTalk.
John Barrie wrapped up the night with a discussion about how to end poverty using clean green technology.
Ignite talks will return to Ann Arbor in the fall. I'm already looking forward to them.