Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to give Waynick Lecture

University Park, Pa. — Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will give the 2011 Arthur H. Waynick Memorial Lecture at 8 p.m. on April 6 in Eisenhower Auditorium on Penn State's University Park campus.

Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He has hosted NOVA and NOVA ScienceNOW on PBS.

The event, sponsored by the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Student Programming Association, is free and open to the public.

Tickets for Tyson's lecture are available to students now and to the general public on March 30. Tickets can be picked up during the weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Eisenhower Auditorium, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the HUB-Robeson Center information desk and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Penn State Downtown Theatre. Tickets also will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at the Penn State Downtown Theatre.

Tyson's research interests include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies and the structure of our Milky Way galaxy.

He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on two commissions — one studying the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and the other on American space exploration policy.

The New York City native is the recipient of NASA's Distinguished Public Service medal and numerous honorary degrees. The International Astronomical Union recognized his work in promoting awareness of space to the public by naming an asteroid in his honor, 13123 Tyson.

Tyson has authored numerous books including "Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries" and "The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet."

He holds a bachelor of arts in physics from Harvard University and a doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia University.

The lecture is named in honor of Arthur H. Waynick, former department head in electrical engineering and the first departmental Robert A. Noll professor until his retirement in 1971.

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Last Updated June 22, 2011