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‘Scientist Guy’ Bill Nye is next UTPA speaker

20140314 BillNyepixMediaScientist, engineer, comedian, author and inventor Bill Nye will be the next presenter in The University of Texas-Pan American’s Distinguished Speakers series on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the UTPA Fieldhouse.

For most of his life, Nye has entertained and helped the public to better appreciate the science that makes the world function through his humor and insightful presentations.

While growing up in Washington, D.C., Nye discovered his talent for making complicated subjects interesting and fun. As a popular high school tutor, Nye spent his afternoons and summers de-mystifying math and science for his classmates. His favorite hobby was taking apart his bicycle and then reassembling the parts just to investigate how simple machines operated.

Nye’s early fascination and curiosity with mechanics led him to Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., where he obtained a degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, Nye headed to Seattle, Wash. to join the Boeing engineering team.

It was in Seattle that Nye’s passion for science collided with his flair for comedy. After winning a Steve Martin look-alike contest, Nye became engineer by day and stand-up comic by night.

His comedic talent and science background opened up a unique opportunity as a writer and performer on a local Seattle-based ensemble comedy show "Almost Live" and eventually appearing on "Saturday Night Live" and “Comedy Central.” The "Science Guy" show first landed a regular weekend spot on PBS then went on to air five nights a week and in syndication up to seven days a week.

While working on the "Science Guy" show, Nye won seven Emmy awards for performing, writing, and producing. In his spare time, Nye also dabbled in children’s literature and published five science books for kids. In addition to his television success, Nye is the vice president of the Planetary Society, the world’s largest space-interest group. He holds two honorary doctorate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and Goucher College in Baltimore, Md.

Nye also hosted "The 100 Greatest Discoveries" on the Science Channel, "The Eyes of Nye" on PBS, and "Stuff Happens" on Planet Green.

This event is free and open to the public with seating available to 1,500 persons. Doors will open at 7 p.m. for UTPA students, faculty and staff with a valid UTPA ID and at 7:20 p.m. for the general public. Overflow seating will be held in the Student Union Theater. Nye's presentation will also be streamed live at

For more information or special accommodations, call 665-7989.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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