April 17, 2012

Ruel wants indigenous nerds

"Jim Ruel, a standup comic with a degree in electrical engineering, describes the value of science–as well as the importance of being a well-rounded person–during the 40th Annual Symposium on the American Indian."

Ruel wants more natives on TV

By Betty Ridge“Native Americans don’t get on TV very often or in the media very often,” Ruel said Friday, during the 40th annual Symposium on the American Indian at Northeastern State University.

Ruel’s speech, “Indiginerd—A Presentation on Indigenous Nerds,” was sponsored by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Among the audience for Ruel’s message was a group of students from Sequoyah High School.

“One thing you don’t see on TV is Indian nerds,” Ruel said. “It would be nice to have [Indian] characters on TV shows who aren’t stoic or overly romantic.”

While studying electrical engineering at Stanford University, Ruel was active in AISES and has worked with the organization since then. His most current project, filmed the week before his Symposium experience, was recording the ideas of American Indian scientists around the country. He showed a rough cut of part of that documentary during the speech.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Lakota Teams Compete in Robotics and Sioux Student Earns Physics Degree.

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