Dateline Rice for Aug. 6, 2013


New Princeton University president assigns summer reading in an effort to strengthen freshman class community
Rice University’s practice of encouraging incoming freshmen to read a specific book during the summer is mentioned in this article on the adoption of a similar policy by Princeton University.
The Times of Trenton –

Emotion-sniffing is the next bizarre trick your phone is learning
Rice University scientists, working with Microsoft Research, have created a long-term mood-detecting device that can ascertain a user’s emotions with up to 93 percent accuracy.
Fast Company – Online


The vision of the Texas Medical Center’s CEO
Robert Robbins, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center, discussed his ideas for the center’s campus enhancement to foster greater collaboration between the 54 members of the Texas Medical Center, including Rice University.
Houston Chronicle (subscription required) (This story appeared on the front page of the Chronicle.)

Rabbi Amy Weiss wants undies for everyone
Rabbi Amy Weiss, who has been accepted to the Rice Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives, is collecting underwear to give to disadvantaged children before the start of the new school year.
Houston Chronicle (subscription required)

A UT degree ranked third most valuable in Texas
A degree from Rice University is ranked the most valuable in Texas in a recent analysis by Affordable Colleges Online.
Austin Business Journal (This article also appeared in Big News Network.)
Say what? Texas A&M degree deemed more valuable than University of Texas diploma
Rice University was ranked by Affordable Colleges Online as having the best return on investment among private schools in Texas.
KYTX-TV (This segment also appeared on KAUZ-TV [Wichita Falls, Texas], KJTV-TV [Lubbock Texas] and KVUE-TV [Austin, Texas].)


Christopher Bronk, a fellow in information technology policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, commented on the FBI’s reported ability to remotely activate microphones on Android smartphones. Bronk also commented on hackers’ ability to use smart TVs to spy on consumers.

Newfoundland TV
Jim Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science, is profiled for his faith and his science.

World Radio Switzerland
Ian the Gadget Guru talks about Rice University’s innovative satellite-shaped autoclave, which harnesses the sun’s energy to sterilize anything without the need for electricity.


Next-generation compounds key to regenerative medicine
Graduate student Saniya Al and colleagues at Rice have created a biodegradable hydrogel-based scaffold containing laminins. These peptides are key components of cells’ extracellular matrix and play a critical role in the attachment, movement and organization of endothelial cells, which form the lining of tubules such as blood vessels.

Battle looms over expanding shipments of coal in Houston
Environmentalists are mounting a campaign to stop the refurbishing of two docks and a dozen other proposed shipping projects along the Gulf Coast because the docks, if built to capacity, could export as much as 200 million tons of coal per year from Appalachia and the Rockies to Asia and Europe. Environmentalists said exporting coal will threaten local air quality, particularly near docks and rail lines, while encouraging China and others to burn more coal and increase emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-altering gases. Ken Medlock, the James A. Baker III and Susan Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics and senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute and adjunct assistant professor in economics, is quoted.

Final 12 teams selected in Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE demonstrate potential breakthroughs in health sensing technology
A team from Rice University is one of 12 teams from the United States, Japan, Israel and United Kingdom to advance to the final round of the first competition in the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. The Rice team, committed to improving the speed, accuracy and affordability of disease diagnosis, developed a programmable bio-nano-chip. Final judging and an awards ceremony will take place at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in Silicon Valley, Calif. Oct. 2.


Fredericka Meiners will speak at the Chattanooga Writers Guild Aug. 13
Rice University alumna Fredericka Meiners ’63 will speak on using real history in fiction at the Chattanooga Writers Guild Aug. 13. Meiners, who received three degrees at Rice before becoming a romance novelist, said history can make a story richer, add details, explain motivation and create a world for characters.

Career lessons from Lindau
The Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings aim to foster close scientific exchange between early career scientists and Noble Prize winners. Rice University alumnus Troy Ruths ’10 is quoted about his experiences at the 2010 Lindau meeting.


Manziel’s issues could cloud Texas A&M camp
Several articles reporting on an investigation of alleged rules violations by Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel mention the Aug. 31 football game against the Rice Owls.

Sumlin: Manziel will remain Texas A&M’s quarterback while university does due diligence

Johnny Manziel to practice in A&M camp opener, but not speak

Vegas sportsbook pulls A&M games amid Manziel probe (Wash.) (This article also appeared in Bloomberg News.)

Las Vegas Review-Journal


Rice ranks No. 1 for best quality of life and No. 2 for happiest students in new Princeton Review college guide
Rice University grades its students throughout the school year, and now the students have graded Rice via the Princeton Review’s annual survey.  Rice received a solid A in the form of top rankings for quality of life and happiest students. Rice President David Leebron is quoted.

About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.