Nacho pops science
10 March 2014
Particle physics, astronomy, bioethics - Nate 'Nacho Pop' Mendelsohn's interests are as varied as his mastery of dance styles, from hip hop to boogaloo, from puppet style to Harlem shaking.
Now his curiosity about science has led this accomplished dancer, choreographer and DJ to undertake a Bachelor of Scienceat the University of Sydney.
"You can do a billion things with a maths degree, but for the moment I'm here for the thrill of learning for the sake of learning," said Nate, who wants to major in advanced mathematics.
He is currently studying physics, mathematics, bioethics and Spanish.
"So far I'm loving the classes. The lecturer gets straight to it and the class is incredibly focused, so it is a great atmosphere."
Nate came to Sydney from New York in 1999. On arrival he undertook a diploma of electrical engineering but his working life in Australia has been in dance - from film clips and commercials to working with artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, Pharrell Williams, Bliss n Eso, and Justice Crew.
He went on to host and choreograph for television dance program So You Think You Can Dance Australia and has become an established Sydney DJ.
"I've enjoyed maths and dance since I was a kid. I guess they both have foundations and rules but when I dance I'm loose and going with it, not thinking. If I start thinking I'm a mess but with maths I like making sense of it, its order and structure."
"The field of science I would love to work in would be astrophysics - or to be honest just working with numbers."
As for being a geek, Nate said:
"That word has a lot of different connotations. Some people think they are geeks if they just watch The Big Bang Theory but to me a true geek, who honourably earns that title, is someone who is really into something."
"That's what I like - people who go all in on the things that interest them."
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