Dateline Rice for Sept. 12, 2013


James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science, comments on the ease of producing sarin nerve gas, the deadly chemical weapon used in Syria. (Click broadcast.)

Edward Djerejian, founding director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, comments on the crisis in Syria.


7 college jobs that will turbocharge your resume
Nicole van den Heuvel, director of Rice University’s Center for Career Development, provides tips to students on how they can improve their post-graduation job prospects.
U.S. News & World Report

Princeton tops US News annual college ranking
An article about the 2014 national university ranking by U.S. News & World Report notes that among the top 20 universities, only Rice and the University of California at Berkeley had tuition and fees less than $40,000 a year. Rice is No. 18 in the ranking.
MSN Philippines
KTRH-AM (Click audio.)

Meet the inspiring woman breaking news about Syria as she reinvents digital journalism
Lara Setrakian, the founder of the single-topic news site Syria Deeply, is developing a policy crowd sourcing tool with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. (New York)

Today in history
In 1962 in a speech at Rice University, President John F. Kennedy reaffirmed his support for the manned space program, declaring: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
The Star Tribune (Minneapolis. This Associated Press article appeared in 24 other news outlets and on five broadcast outlets.)
Fox News’ ‘Your World with Neil Cavuto’ (Click broadcast.)

Public records suit filed against superintendent
Hanszen College junior Zack Kopplin, currently taking a year off from Rice, filed a public records lawsuit against the Louisiana superintendent of education and that state’s education department.
The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)
KALB-TV (Alexandria, La.)


An arms race, of sorts, in lieutenant governor race
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, comments on the race for Texas lieutenant governor. (Austin, Texas)

Prepping for national role, Powers talks higher ed future
Rice University’s membership in the Association of American Universities is mentioned.
Texas Tribune

Culture scene: Sept. 12-18
The Miro Quartet will perform Sept.17 at Rice’s Alice Pratt Brown Hall.
Houston Chronicle


Don H. Johnson, the J.S. Abercrombie Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of statistics, performed an X-ray analysis to help identify a painting as an authentic Van Gogh. (Click broadcast.)
Rice professor reveals ‘fake’ Van Gogh work to be real
Houston Chronicle (This story was featured on the homepage of

Patricia Reiff, professor of physics and astronomy, comments on Comet ISON, a comet making its first visit to our solar system later this year. (Click audio.)

Richard Stoll, the Albert Thomas Chair in Political Science and scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, comments on the Syria crisis.
(A link was not available.)

Andrew Bowen, Baker Institute Scholar for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, comments on President Obama’s national address on Syria. (Click broadcast.)

Rice is tied for No. 18 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 list of best universities.

WFMY-TV (Greensboro, N.C.)
Statements made last year at Rice by U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts on the clash between modern technology and privacy are cited.


Energy economics conference suggests upcoming plummet in oil prices
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 lecturer of economics, and Mahmoud El-Gamal, Chair in Islamic Economics, Finance and Management, professor of economics and scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, spoke about the relationship of oil prices to other economic indicators at an energy market conference hosted by the Baker Institute.

Applying analytical tools key to resolving variability in Eagle Ford horizontal wells
Rice alumnus Allen Gilmer ‘83 co-authored this analysis of Eagle Ford shale oil and natural gas production in South Texas.
American Oil & Gas Reporter (Derby, Kan.)

Must-see: Amazonian butterflies drink turtle tears
Graduate student Phillip Torres notes that butterflies are likely attracted to turtles’ tears because the liquid drops contain salt, specifically sodium — an important mineral that is scant in the western Amazon.

Bismuth nanotubes enhance stem cells on CT
Rice researchers have created a bismuth-carrying nanotube that can tag stem cells for tracking and creates CT images brighter than those created using iodine-based contrast agents. Lon Wilson, professor of chemistry, is quoted.

Using nanoparticles to generate steam
Rice researchers have developed a prototype solar-energy technology that uses nanoparticles to convert water into steam without boiling the water. A video segment with Naomi Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, director of Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics and professor of chemistry, biomedical engineering and physics and astronomy, is linked to the article.
Sterilizing medical instruments with the sun’s help
Solar powered sterilization converts energy into heat to kill bacteria

Help a roboticist out, play a game
The next experiment from Rice University’s Multi-Robot Systems Laboratory could happen on your desktop. The lab’s researchers are refining their control algorithms for robotic swarms based upon data from five free online games that anyone can play. Aaron Becker, a postdoctoral researcher, and lab director James McLurkin, assistant professor of computer science, are quoted.

Tiny switch toggles the position of a single atom
Douglas Natelson, professor of physics and astronomy and of electrical and computer engineering, comments on research in Germany and Spain that led to a single atom being held between two sharp points to create the smallest-ever memory device.

NASA aircraft to be visible in skies over Houston area
Two NASA airplanes will fly over the Houston area this month to measure air pollution. The planes are part of an effort to improve the ability of satellites to detect air quality at the surface of the Earth. Rice is a partner in the NASA study.


Remembering Kim Thompson
Rice alumnus Robert Boyd ’92 writes about Fantagraphics Books co-owner Kim Thompson, who died in June at age 56. (Seattle)

Stage notes: Akron symphony opens season with pianist Hammer
Akron Symphony Assistant Conductor Levi Hammer ’04 will perform Sept. 15 in Akron, Ohio.
Akron Beacon Journal


Power ranking all 126 college football teams for week 3
Rice is No. 75 in this week’s rankings by Bleacher Report.

KOAM-TV (Joplin, Mo.)
The Sept. 14 Rice-Kansas game is previewed. (Click broadcast.)
KWCH (Wichita, Kan.)
Owls quarterback Taylor McHargue is mentioned. (Click broadcast.)

The Bayou Bucket series between the Houston Cougars and Rice Owls will return to Houston’s Reliant Stadium Sept. 21.

Cross country set for Rice Invitational Friday
The 38th annual Justin F. Cooper Memorial Rice Invitational will meet at Rice Sept. 13.

Rice University hires new athletics director from Stanford University
Rice announced the hiring of Joe Karlgaard as the school’s next director of athletics.
Universities News (New Delhi, India)

Alabama offensive line’s maturation key to matchup with Texas A&M
The Aug. 31 Rice-Texas A&M football game is mentioned. (Articles mentioning the Aug. 31 Rice-Texas A&M game appeared in 234 other news outlets and on three broadcast outlets.)


Rice prof’s sleuthing helps ID lost Van Gogh
A Rice University professor’s super sleuthing made the connection between a painting once thought to be a fake Vincent Van Gogh and a real — and already famous — Van Gogh hanging at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Don H. Johnson, the J.S. Abercrombie Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of statistics, performed statistical analysis of X-ray images of the canvas behind the previously unknown “Sunset at Montmajour.” His research aided experts at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in authenticating the painting.


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