He graduated from Cornell University's Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1977 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. At Cornell, he studied under Carl Sagan. He is a licensed mechanical engineer in the state of Washington since 1983. As an engineer, he developed a hyrdaulic-pressure-resonance suppressor used by Boeing in its 747 airliner
Nye got his television start performing on a Seattle-area sketch comedy show called Almost Live, and appeared regularly on the show for many seasons.
Nye's main source of fame is from hosting the Emmy Award-winning preteen educational program Bill Nye the Science Guy from 1992 to 1998. The show was incredibly popular in the 1990s and has been likened to a modern Mr. Wizard. He has also written several books as the Science Guy. In addition to hosting the show, he was also a writer and producer for it.
Bill's TV persona is a tall and slender scientist wearing a lab coat and a bow-tie. He attempts to mix the serious science of everyday things with fast-paced action and humor.
In 2001, he was appointed as Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 University Professor at Cornell University for three years. He has received two honorary doctorates, one from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and another from Goucher College.
Bill Nye is currently working on a new prime-time science television series, called Eyes of Nye, aimed at more mature audiences than his previous show.