Dateline Rice for May 3, 2013


OpenStax is making quality textbooks for students, and they’re not charging a cent
Richard Baraniuk, the Victor E. Cameron Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and founder of OpenStax, is featured in an article about how OpenStax is changing online education.

NSF Science Now
A video features research on partial melting magma by Rajdeep Dasgupta, assistant professor of Earth science.

Stem cells ‘talk’ to heart cells but don’t touch
Amniotic fluid stem cells and heart cells can pass signals without touching, but these electrical connections aren’t enough to prompt the stem cells to turn into cardiac cells. Jeffrey Jacot, assistant professor of bioengineering, is quoted. A link to a Rice news release about this research was featured on the homepage of
Heart cells change stem cell behavior


Security dominates talk of US-Mexico relations
Ahead of their meetings in Mexico City this week, President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto hinted that they wanted to put economic ties atop their agenda. Tony Payan, scholar for immigration studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted. (This article also appeared on, [Idaho Falls, Idaho] and [Spokane, Wash.].)

Perceived value of ‘hard’ versus ‘soft’ engineering might drive gender pay gap
Women engineers are underpaid for their contributions to technical activities, due to cultural ideologies in the engineering profession, according to Rice University research. Erin Cech, assistant professor of sociology, is quoted. (This article also appeared on

A most profound math problem
Moshe Vardi, the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor of Computational Engineering and professor of computer science, is quoted in an article about the "P=NP problem" in mathematics.
The New Yorker

Louisiana Science Education Act repeal fails, keeping door open for teaching of creationism
A Louisiana law that allows public school science teachers to use supplemental materials in their classrooms will remain on the books, despite criticism that it’s a back-door way to teach creationism. Hanszen College sophomore Zack Kopplin is quoted.
Louisiana again rejects repeal of creationism law
United Press International
Louisiana senators reject repeal of science education act; creationism teaching continues
Christian Post
Senators reject repeal of science education act

NRA convention: Wayne LaPierre ‘exploits people’s fears,’ says Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly, the husband of the former U.S. Congress member Gabby Giffords, has called on the leadership of the National Rifle Association to step aside and allow a new generation of more moderate NRA chiefs to emerge. The annual Kinder Houston Area Survey is cited.
The Guardian (U.K.) (This article also appeared on

An insider’s view of AMD’s war with Intel
Alumnus Hector Ruiz ’73 is quoted in an article about the competition between AMD and Intel.

The Roots’ Questlove tells Nardwuar ‘Rodney Dangerfield was a rap pioneer’ in epic interview
A photo slideshow accompanying an article about an interview with The Roots drummer Questlove includes a picture of Houston rapper Bun B and notes that he once co-taught a class on religion and hip-hop culture at Rice.


WOAI-AM (San Antonio)
Some Rice University engineering students think they can make the perfect cup of coffee with a 3-D printer for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Will Rice College sophomore Robert Johnson is quoted.

KEX-AM (Portland, Ore.)
A story about the 142nd NRA annual national meeting in downtown Houston cites the annual Kinder Houston Area Survey.


‘Cyber Risk Intelligence’ for total security
An article discusses the paper "Risk-Intelligent Governance in the Age of Cyberthreats" by Chris Bronk, fellow in information technology policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Industrial Safety and Security Source

Smart paper makes traceable money possible
U.S. researchers have developed a new way of embedding traceable chips within "smart" paper — raising the possibility of banks and governments guarding against counterfeiting and even tracking the usage of paper money. Rice research is cited.
IEEE Spectrum


Alborn honored by high school
Ruidoso, N.M., Mayor Ray Alborn was one of four honorees at the Lamar High School Alumni Association’s annual Distinguished Alumni Luncheon. The article notes that he once served as Rice’s head football coach.
Las Cruces Sun-News (This article also appeared in the Alamogordo Daily News.)

With two Kazakhs arrested after Boston, eyes now turn, unfortunately, to Kazakhstan
Alumnus Casey Michel ’10 authored this op-ed about the Boston bombers.


‘Going negative’ pays for nanotubes
A Rice University laboratory’s cagey strategy turns negatively charged carbon nanotubes into liquid crystals that could enhance the creation of fibers and films.

About Patrick McLaughlin

Patrick McLaughlin is a news assistant in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs. Patrick is responsible for production of the daily newsletter Dateline Rice and maintaining databases of metrics of mentions of Rice in the news media.