Rated as a beta world city, Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, transportation, and health care sectors and is a leading center for building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters in the city limits. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits—attracting more than 7 million visitors a year to the Houston Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and is one of few U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.
The University of Houston is a Tier One public research university located in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1927, it is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. The third-largest university in Texas, UH has over 38,750 students on its 667-acre campus in southeast Houston. It was known as University of Houston–University Park from 1983 to 1991. The Princeton Review has listed UH as one of America's best colleges. The institution ranks among the Top 50 American Research Universities, and it is in the Top 300 Academic Ranking of World Universities.
The university offers over 300 degree programs through its 12 academic colleges on campus—including programs leading to professional degrees in law, optometry, and pharmacy. The institution conducts nearly $120 million annually in research, and it operates more than 40 research centers and institutes on campus. Interdisciplinary research includes superconductivity, space commercialization and exploration, biomedical sciences and engineering, energy and natural resources, and artificial intelligence. Awarding more than 7,200 degrees annually, UH's alumni base exceeds 250,000. The economic impact of the university contributes over $3.1 billion annually to the Houston economy while generating about 24,000 jobs.
Yao Ming (born 1980) is a professional basketball player who plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is currently the tallest player in the NBA, at 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 m). Yao, who was born in Shanghai, People's Republic of China, started playing for the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager, and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), winning a championship in his final year. He entered the 2002 NBA Draft, and after negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick of the draft. He has since been selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game in all six of his seasons, and has been named to the All-NBA Team four times. However, the Rockets have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since he joined the team, and he has missed significant time due to injury in each of the past six seasons. He is one of China's best-known athletes, with sponsorships with several major companies, and he has been the richest celebrity in China for six straight years. (more...)
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a science museum located on the northern border of Hermann Park in Houston, Texas, USA. The museum was established in 1909 by the Houston Museum and Scientific Society, an organization whose goals were to provide a free institution for the people of Houston focusing on education and science. Museum attendance totals over two million visitors each year. The museum complex consists of a central facility with four floors of natural science halls and exhibits, Burke Baker Planetarium, Cockrell Butterfly Center and the Wortham IMAX Theater. The museum is one of the most popular in the United States and ranks second only to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City in attendance amongst non-Smithsonian museums. Much of the museum's popularity is attributed to its large number of special or guest exhibits.