Dateline Rice for May 23, 2013


Shoes could help charge artificial heart pumps
Rice mechanical engineering students Carlos Armada, Julian Castro, David Morilla and Tyler Wiest have created PediPower — a device embedded in the soles of shoes that generates power to charge the batteries of mobile devices. A Rice-produced video is featured.
Stuff ‘Office Cat’s Diary’ — May 21
Shoe-mounted generator powers portable electronics
PediPower turns your morning run into clean electricity
College students invent a shoe that generates electricity with every step
A shoe that can generate energy with each step
Prototype provides pedestrian power


Children whose parents are married are half as likely to be obese
Children living in households where the parents are married are less likely to be obese, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Houston. Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, assistant professor of sociology and director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s Urban Health Program, and Jennifer Augustine, adjunct assistant professor of sociology, are quoted.
Daily Mail (U.K.)
Married parents and single dads have leaner children
Children living with married parents less likely to develop obesity
Kids of married parents less likely to be obese (This Asian News International article also appeared on and

A growing role for the president: America’s consoler in chief
When President Barack Obama travels to Oklahoma on Sunday to meet with the survivors of Monday’s tornado, it will mark the third time this year that he has journeyed to a patch of America to console a community on behalf of the country. During his five years in office, this presidential ritual has become as familiar a symbol of sadness as the sea of stuffed animals and flowers that accompany these mournful scenes. Douglas Brinkley, professor of history and fellow in history at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
Washington Post (This article also appeared in the Portland Press Herald and the Oregonian.)

India takes steps to prevent ‘brain drain’
India’s new science policy aims to position the nation among the top five global scientific powers by 2020. This cannot be achieved without qualified academics, researchers and scientists, yet India has to contend with large numbers of postgraduate students leaving to complete their studies and pursue careers abroad. Alumnus Vinay Ribeiro ’99 is quoted.
Chronicle of Higher Education (This article also appeared on

Will there be any jobs left for humans?
Moshe Vardi, the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor of Computational Engineering and professor of computer science, is quoted in an op-ed about automation and the job market of the future.
Taipei Times

Women’s tears ‘kill arousal in men’
According to research, tears contain chemical signals that decrease sexual arousal and testosterone levels in men. Denise Chen, adjunct assistant professor of neuroscience, is quoted. (India)


Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair talks Africa at Rice
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair discussed his vision for Africa at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. A link to the broadcast version of this story is not available.

Suburbs, oil and gas fuel Texas population growth
Texas towns accounted for eight of the 15 fastest-growing "large cities" in the U.S. in the latest batch of population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Steve Murdock, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology and a former director of the U.S. Census Bureau, is quoted.
Dallas Morning News (subscription required)
Are cities that lost population making a comeback?

Defendants in Leach lawsuit seek dismissals
Lawyers in former Texas Tech University head football coach Mike Leach’s defamation lawsuit won one early agreement that came early during more than three hours of arguments. Alumnus Scott McLaughlin ’85 is quoted.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (This article also appeared on

New Caney High honors the 2013 valedictorian and salutatorian
Rice is mentioned in an article about New Caney High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian.
East Montgomery County Observer


KIII-TV (Corpus Christi, Texas)
A story about social media marketing cites Rice research.


How to tailor optical processors
Rice University scientists have unveiled a robust new method for arranging metal nanoparticles in geometric patterns that can act as optical processors that transform incoming light signals into output of a different color. Naomi Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, director of Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics and professor of physics and astronomy, chemistry and biomedical engineering, and Peter Nordlander, professor of physics and astronomy and in electrical and computer engineering, are quoted.
Controlling light … with light (This article was featured on the homepage.)
Color-mixing light device could lead to optical computing

STEM schools put high priority on digital skills
A sidebar accompanying an article about how programs build partnerships to provide the kinds of high-tech skills students need for college and careers mentions Rice’s Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning’s "Germ Blaster" iPad app.
Education Week

To boost lithium-ion batteries, add boron
Calculations show that a graphene/boron anode should be able to hold lots of lithium and perform at the right voltage for use in lithium-ion batteries. Boris Yakobson, the Karl F. Hasselmann Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and professor of chemistry, is quoted.

Wison VP to speak at FLNG conference
Alumnus Tor-Ivar Guttulsrod ’88 will speak in the Strategy Roundtable of Floating LNG 2013.


US restudying drug smuggling
With the Sinaloa drug cartel acknowledged as a dominant presence along the San Diego-Baja California border, U.S. agencies have launched a renewed push for information about drug trafficking groups operating smuggling routes in the region. Nathan Jones, the Alfred C. Glassell III Postdoctoral Fellow in Drug Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
San Diego Union-Tribune

Rachleff reflects before swan song at Philharmonic
Larry Rachleff, the Walter Kris Hubert Professor of Orchestra Conducting, will be named music director emeritus at a May 24 Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra concert.
Windy City Times

Cowan’s back to heat up the pipes
Ken Cowan, associate professor of organ, will perform in Hamilton, Ontario.
Hamilton Spectator (Ontario)

The executive diplomat
Chandler Davidson, the Radoslav A. Tsanoff Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Sociology, is mentioned in an op-ed about a trip to the University of Houston to give remarks at the induction ceremony for the Phi Beta Honor Society.
Executive Diplomat Newsletter

Case study: Mentoring — women’s energy network and Leadership Rice
An op-ed discusses Leadership Rice’s women’s mentoring program.
Executive Diplomat Newsletter


Kubitza, Rice shut down UAB in C-USA tourney opener
Articles discuss a baseball game between Rice and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Houston Chronicle
Rice 3, UAB 1
Houston Chronicle
UAB falls to No. 19 Rice in Conference USA Tournament opener
Birmingham News (Ala.)

Robinson sisters keep Rice records in the family
Wiess College sophomore Sharae Robinson and alumni Krystal ’06 and Tina Robinson ’11 are profiled for their performance on the Rice Owls’ women’s track-and-field team.
Houston Chronicle (subscription required)

Sam Houston State wins Southland opener
Rice is mentioned in an article about the Sam Houston State University and University of Memphis baseball teams.
Houston Chronicle (subscription required)
Memphis downs UCF in C-USA opener
Asheville Citizen-Times (N.C.)

Who steps up after Michael Crabtree’s injury?
An article about the San Francisco 49ers mentions former Rice football player Vance McDonald. (Editor’s note: A correction on his name has been requested.)


Pollster James Zogby to discuss Iran’s decline in Arab and Muslim public opinion at Rice’s Baker Institute May 30
Arab American Institute President James Zogby will discuss the circumstances behind Iran’s "precipitous" decline in popularity among Arabs and Muslims May 30 at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

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.