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About the Speakers

Keynote Addresses

Alex    Pentland

 Professor at MIT

Saturday Keynote

Professor Alex 'Sandy' Pentland Professor at MIT, co-created of MIT Media Lab,. Member board UN Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, board advisor OECD, American Bar Association, Grammy Awards, Consumer Reports. One of the most-cited computational scientists in the world, serial entrepreneur whose spin-offs touch a good fraction of humanity..

Dr. Seth Shostak

Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute

Sunday Keynote

Dr. Shostak  has   a degree in radio astronomy and obtained his Ph.D.  in astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology  Currently he is  Senior Astronomer at  SETI Institute.

Seth is he host of the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show, “Big Picture Science.”

He is enthusiastic in outreach activities: interesting the public – and especially young people – in science in general, and astrobiology in particular.

His numerous publications include:

  • More than 60 research papers in refereed, professional journals
  • Approximately three hundred popular articles published in magazines, newspapers, and the Web, on a wide range of topics.
  • He was editor of two scientific book and contributor to five popular astronomy books.
  • Several commissioned scripts for public relations videos produced for commercial clients and wo scripts for planetarium shows.
  • He’s co-authored a college textbook on astrobiology,
  • Authored three trade books on SETI.

His major awards include:

  • Carl Sagan Award for the Popularization of Science
  • Klumpke Roberts Award for Astronomy Popularization
  • Jaap S. Nieuwenhuis Award, from Netherlands Association for Scientific Film and Television
  • Wubbo Ockels Award, for applied science (image processing in the service of computer animation), The Netherlands
  • Best Bay Area Talk Show, BACE cable TV award


Steve Andersen

Steve Andersen The Eldersinger

I am an 80 yr. old male from Wisconsin who’s been in the CA Bay Area since 1968. I am currently retired living in Alameda with my wife of 25 years. I am ADHD & OCD, compulsively creative in a variety of ways, but wasted most of my life earning a living. I became proficient musically in College in the 1960s but rejected the prospect of a musician’s life and only played the stereo until 2018, when I resumed playing the guitar and started writing songs. My taste in music is both eclectic and selective. I gave up listening to what was being played on the radio in the early 1960s, had the good fortune of employment in a campus record store in college where my lifetime of collecting music began. It continues to this day, covering many different genres. My vocal ability has been helped along by participation is Barbershop quartet singing, Community Chorus singing including a solo, and the coaching of a couple of Bay Area voice teachers. I sing Folk Music because it transcends the boundaries of simple entertainment, and encourages raising awareness of so many relevant aspects of life. I have strong feelings about much of what I sing, and will not apologize for my candor.

Peter Antoniak

Quantum Physics in Space, Biology, and Beyond

Andy Crews


Andy has been a beekeeper and a member of the Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild (SCVBG) for more than a decade. He is currently the co-chair of the SCVBG education committee.

John Caywood

Sub-quarks, Anti-matter and Red Shift

John has a degree in civil engineering and have self-educated about physics, mainly from Wikipedia but also from the Misner, Thorne and Wheeler “Gravitation” and the Wheeler “Spacetime Physics”. The presentation ideas will be in a physics web site, but for now I have been circulating the paper to recent physics scholarly manuscript authors.

Yau-Man Chan

Reality of Reality TV

I’ll tell stories of what really happens behind the scene in the CBS Show Survivor. I was a contestant on Season 14 Survivor Fiji aired in Spring of 2007 and again on Season 16 Survivor Micronesia aired in Spring of 2008.

Rita Charles

Current Hot Topics in Bioethics

Soren Christian

Tales from the Trails – My Time on the Pacific Crest Trail

On May 8th, 2019, I drove to the Mexican border outside of Campo, CA, and set out along the Pacific Crest Trail. 148 days, 2,653 miles, 4 rattlesnakes, 2 bears, and countless raging rivers and snowy passes later, I crossed from Washington into Canada on October 2nd, thereby completing my thru-hike of the PCT. In this talk, I will share stories and insights from my time on trail, both in terms of what life is like on the trail and what I learned about myself in the process.

Joseph Devney

Forensic Linguistics: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say?

Joseph Devney, M.A., is a linguist with a particular interest in the intersection of language and law. He studied linguistics at Georgetown University and forensic linguistics at Hofstra University. He has taught at universities in the Bay Area, and given continuing education classes to lawyers on the topic of forensic linguistics. He is a member of the International Association for Forensic and Legal Linguistics, and has delivered papers at their conferences in Portugal, China, and the Netherlands. Joe has been a Mensa member for many years, and has given several presentations to Mensa regional gatherings

Michael Eager

History of Chocolate and Chocolate Tasting.
Mike will talk about thehistory of chocolate with new material from his visits to thSchokoladenmuseum in Cologne, Germany, and Planeta Cacao near Puerto

Ejner Fuglsang

On Becoming a Spacefaring Society

Currently working on the fourth book of a six-book hard SciFi series called The Galactican Series.

Eijner dlew choppers for the Army in 1969-70. BS Engineering West Point 1974. Various software engineering and marketing jobs for twenty years after leaving the Army. Ten years at NASA Ames Research Center helping scientists write proposals for space missions. Currently retired writing The Galactican Series.

Fred Fuld

Stock Market Trivia

It will include such topics as: The cannabis stock that issued stock certificates made out of marijuana plants The stock that traded for over a million dollars a share How a stock symbol may affect the company’s stock price The company that paid millions of dollars for a domain name The stock that owned a rock with George Washington’s graffiti on it The first woman stockbroker who was also the first woman presidential candidate The chocolate chip cookie stock market correlation and much more

Mark Jackman

Gonzo Trivia


Our Gonzo Trivia! emcee Mark Jackman wishes he could remember actual useful information nearly as well as the myriad pointless tidbits indelibly stuck in his head, but he’s at least found a fun outlet for them. Though his day job is with Apple, to his own astonishment he’s somehow also managed to become a professional trivia host. He enjoys long walks on the beach and world peace.

Willis King

USS Midway Museum

LtCol USMC retired 1968-1990
Naval Aviator 3000 hours 448 Landings aboard various ships
Professional Referee and Umpire 1990-2015
Docent on the USS Midway Museum 2013-current
Prostate Cancer Survivor 2019-current

Andy Lampenfeld

Lightning Talks

This is an opportunity for participants to speak briefly on any subject . . . to a guaranteed-intelligent audience.

James Lewis

Games, Games and more Games

James is the games guru of Mensa.  He has beenconducting his interesting and inovative games at various Mensa RGs for several years.

At this RG he will be offering

  • Oh Hell!
  • Trivia
  • Scattergories

Edward Marshal

Joke Off

Roberta Maguire

Walk to Muirwood Park

Marty Nemko

Music of Love and Life

When You’re Feeling Irrelevant

I enjoy sharing what I do, whether in a session like this, as a career and personal coach, and in writing, for example, the Intelligencer column.

I too am starting to have to fight becoming irrelevant. My Mensa-related efforts at forestalling that are presenting at RGs and writing the “How to Do Life” column in the Intelligencer. I also continue to love working with my career and personal coaching clients and writing.

Michael Ott

Endogenous aldehydes – An under-appreciated cause of disease, morbidity, and mortality

Professionally, I am an electronic engineer, specializing in machine vision, currency automation (e.g. counterfeit detection), and digital libraries. I also have been an amateur scientist in biochemistry for 20 years, with 12 patents teaching dietary methods for disease prevention and treatment (including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Lewy body disease, MS, CTE, and anti-aging).

Joe Pierre

Conspiracy theories: Mistrust, misinformation, and mitigation

Joe is a psychiatrist and Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at UCSF. My academic work focuses on the psychology of false belief.

Melanie Swan

Quantum Physics in Space, Biology, and Beyond

Melanie Swan is a Research Associate in Quantum Technologies at University College London. She has a PhD in Philosophy (German Idealism) from Purdue University, an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Georgetown University. Her research focuses on conceptual advance in physics, biology, literature, and smart network technologies.

Elna Tynes

What Hath COVID Wrought?

After 30+ years in the computer industry, Dr. Tymes found her generation more interesting and earned another Master’s and doctorate at the age of 80. She has a private practice in Mountain View specializing in Alzheimer’s and other dementias, as well as senior health policy work at the county and state levels
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