Rice engineering shirt turns heads, twists minds

Rice engineering students have come up with what may be the geekiest possible way to spell out “RICE” and are happy to plaster the puzzler on the torsos of fellow students and friends alike.

The engineer-centric code appears on a T-shirt put up for sale at the George R. Brown School of Engineering’s annual ice cream social a few weeks ago. The first hundred shirts sold out, and a quickly printed second batch was on the way to another sellout at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) open house Sept. 6.

T shirt

Andrew Stegner serves customers at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, where sales of a puzzling new engineering T-shirt are supporting the facility.

The students, juniors Andrew Stegner and  Will Kasper, will have more for sale at the Rice Engineering Alumni tailgate gathering at Rice Stadium before the Rice-Kansas football game Sept. 14. Proceeds from the $10 shirts support operations at the OEDK.

So what does it mean?

“We’ve taken equations and notations from science and engineering and spelled out RICE with them,” Stegner said.

“We have the Ideal Gas law. Typically PV equals nRT, and rearranged equates to R.

“We have electrical current, change in charge over change in time, dQ/dt, which is equal to I.

Carbon, six electrons in the Bohr model, is chemically represented by C,” he said. “And we have Young’s Modulus, stress over strain, represented by E in an engineering context.”

Got that? Good. Class dismissed.


About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.