Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES)

Guest Speaker

ACES 2011
Keynote Talk
March 23, 2011,
Time: 8 PM,
Lone Star Auditorium
Free and open to the public.

The ACES keynote speaker is included in the Maverick Speakers series and is generously funded by the Office of the President, the College of Science and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Image of Bill Nye

Bill Nye
Scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor

B.S., Cornell Univeristy, 1977

Honorary PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic, 1999

Honorary PhD, Goucher College, 2000

PhD Honoris Causa, Doctor of Humane Letters, Johns Hopkins University, 2008


Bill Nye, scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor, is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work.

Bill's fascination with how things work led him to Cornell University and a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he headed for Seattle and work as an engineer at Boeing. It was in Seattle that Bill began to combine his love of science with his flair for comedy, when he won the Steve Martin look-alike contest and developed dual careers as an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night.

Eventually, he quit his day engineering day job and made the transition to a mid-morning-to-late-at-night job as a comedy writer and performer on Seattle's home-grown ensemble comedy show "Almost Live" where "Bill Nye the Science Guy®" was born. Bill made a number of award winning shows, including the show he became so well known for, "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Bill won seven national Emmy Awards for writing, performing, and producing. The show won 28 Emmys in five years.

Bill's latest project is hosting a show on Planet Green called "Stuff Happens" about environmentally responsible choices that consumers can make as they go about their day and their shopping. Bill's next project is "Solving for X," where he'll show audiences how to do algebra along with the P, B, & J – the Passion, Beauty, and Joy – of math.

For the last few years, Bill has served as Vice President of The Planetary Society, the world's largest space-interest group. He recently spoke on behalf of the Society at the International Astronautical Federation Congress in Glasgow, Scotland. He has also spoken in Hyderabad, India and Beijing, China. Bill is also very proud of his connection with the MarsDials, the two sundials residing on Mars, and the EarthDial project, a set of sundials around the world visually reminiscent of the MarsDials and linked together on the World Wide Web.

Bill, the inventor, has two patents on educational products – a magnifier made of water and an abacus that does arithmetic like a computer. An occasional athlete, Bill has a patent pending on a device to help people learn to throw a baseball better. His next patent is an improved toe shoe for ballerinas.

Bill Nye is a graduate of Cornell with a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He holds three Honorary Doctorate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Goucher College, and Johns Hopkins. Bill is currently the Executive Director of The Planetary Society, the world's large space interest organization.