Dateline Rice for Nov. 15, 2013


2 senators offer bill promoting open-access textbooks
A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate Thursday would encourage the creation of free online textbooks by offering grants for pilot projects that produce high-quality open-access textbooks, especially for courses with large enrollments. Rice’s OpenStax College, among the best-known of open-access ventures, is mentioned for having recently added a sixth title to its offerings, with five more in the works. Officials said they expect to save $3.7 million for 40,000 students during the current academic year.
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Obama offers health fix, but impact here unclear
It’ll be up to Texas insurers to decide whether to reinstate scores of health policies they terminated because of the Affordable Care Act — despite President Barack Obama’s executive order Thursday giving them that option — because the state insurance commissioner, unlike others, has not prohibited cancellations. Elena Marks, scholar in health policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required. This story appeared on the front page of the Houston Chronicle.)


America’s smartest colleges
A researcher at Lumosity, a cognitive training site run by Lumos Labs, sought to find out with a series of games which of America’s leading higher education institutions is the most intelligent. Rice ranked No. 7.
Business Insider (This article also appeared on the Houston Chronicle,, Yahoo!Finance and about five other media sites.)

G.I. Joe College
An article about the number of undergraduate veterans enrolled in select colleges mentions Rice.
Slate (Editor’s note: The article does not point out that 32 dependents of veterans are currently enrolled as Rice undergraduates using VA education benefits. Also, the 27 reported last year included 26 dependents of veterans who were enrolled as Rice undergraduates using VA education benefits. This article also appeared in Inside Higher Ed.)


Upset by unknown, Hoang to challenge Vo for state seat
Houston City Councilman Al Hoang, who narrowly lost his re-election bid in a surprise upset last week, has filed paperwork to challenge state Rep. Hubert Vo for his District 149 seat next fall. Robert Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required. This article appeared on the front of the City & State section.)

Only 3,000 enrolled so far for Obamacare in Texas
Fewer than 3,000 Texans selected a health insurance plan in the first month of enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, according to much-anticipated federal data released Wednesday. Health policy scholar Elena Marks is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

After being told he’d never walk again, rider is back on bike
A feature about the recovery of a young man who suffered a paralyzing injury mentions a physical therapy trial he participated in at Rice using the RiceWrist, which helped retrain muscle mobility in his forearm.
Beaumont Enterprise (Texas)

Houston photographer got closer than he wanted to JFK’s funeral
An article about photographer Bob Gomel mentions John F. Kennedy’s speech at Rice Stadium in 1962.
Houston Chronicle


Al Jazeera America
A profile features Rice running back Jayson Carter.


Prize will expand use of life-saving neonatal device in Africa
A low-cost device that Rice bioengineering students invented to help premature babies breathe more easily will be rolled out to teaching hospitals in three African nations, thanks to a $400,000 award from pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and London-based charity Save the Children. Jocelyn Brown, Michael Pandya, Joseph Chang, Haruka Maruyama and Katie Schnelle, all Rice 2010 graduates who developed the device as undergrads, were mentioned. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice’s Stanley C. Moore Professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering and director of both Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB) and Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies, and Maria Oden, professor in the practice of engineering, director of Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen and co-director of BTB, are quoted.
Medical Xpress

Researchers create new statistical tools to find clues about cancer from raw data
Researchers at Rice, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas at Austin are working together to create new statistical tools that can find clues about cancer that are hidden like needles in enormous haystacks of raw data. Genevera Allen, the Dobelman Family Junior Chair of Statistics and assistant professor of statistics and electrical and computer engineering, is quoted.
News Medical
New statistical tools being developed for mining cancer data
Medical Xpress

Spintronics: Nano magnets arise at 2-D boundaries
According to a new theory by Rice University scientists, imperfections in certain two-dimensional materials create the conditions by which nanoscale magnetic fields arise. Boris Yakobson, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, professor of chemistry and member of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, is quoted.
Science Daily (This article also appeared on, Bio-Medicine, Nanowerk, Nanotechnology Now and

5 ways science will save your smartphone
An article about innovations that will protect cellphones from damage mentions that researchers at Rice and MIT have developed polymer coatings that have a “layer-cake” structure — rubbery layers providing resilience and glassy layers providing strength.

Church credit cards: Picking a card and accepting donations
An article about credit cards for church administrators quotes Angela Seaworth, director of the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rice.

Brilliant refraction action by Soo Sunny Park
An article about artist Soo Sunny Park discusses an installation at Rice Art Gallery.
Visual News

Showing: Gaia — ‘Marshland’ @ Rice Gallery
An article features the current installation at Rice Art Gallery.
Arrested Motion


Bay Area snapshot: Where the smart, rich, innovative folks are
Super zips, the zip codes where the rich and highly educated live, are part of the growing division in America. Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology and co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted.

Are women in politics more honest?
A column discussing the gender gap in political corruption mentions a new study by Justin Esarey, assistant professor of political science, titled “‘Fairer Sex’ or Purity Myth? Corruption, Gender and Institutional Context.”
Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.),0,2567209.column


LA Tech football heads to Rice Saturday for C-USA West Division tilt 
For the first time this season, Louisiana Tech will face a team it played last year as the Bulldogs travel to Houston to face Rice Saturday at 6 p.m. at Rice Stadium.

Louisiana Tech (4-5) at Rice (6-3)
A preview of Saturday’s football game between Rice and Louisiana Tech appears.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (This article also appeared on the Merced Sun-Star, the Tri-City Herald and the Charlotte Observer.)

Powerade 24: Christian Covington
A video profile features Rice University tackle Christian Covington.


Prize will expand use of life-saving neonatal device in Africa
A low-cost device that Rice University bioengineering students invented to help premature babies breathe more easily will be rolled out to teaching hospitals in three African nations, thanks to a $400,000 award from pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and London-based charity Save the Children. The technology, which is known as “bubble CPAP,” earned the top prize in GSK and Save the Children’s inaugural Healthcare Innovation Award program.

About Rice News Staff

The Rice News is produced weekly by the Office of Public Affairs at Rice University.