Dateline Rice for March 4, 2014


Rice study looks to prevent asthma attacks
Rice researchers, with support from Houston Endowment, will develop a system to warn schoolchildren who have asthma about changing air quality up to three days in advance of increased airborne risks. Katherine Ensor, professor and chair of statistics, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (This article appeared on the front of the City and State section.)
Goal: Alert Houston children with asthma about air danger


Fewer errors when people vote via smartphone
Researchers studying a potential mobile voting system found that smartphone owners made fewer errors voting with their mobile devices in a mock election than they did voting via the traditional system. Michael Byrne, professor of psychology, and Phil Kortum, assistant professor of psychology, are quoted.

Idealistic engineers
Erin Cech, assistant professor of sociology, is referenced for her survey research concerning engineering students.
Inside Higher Ed

Cruz steering Texas Republicans further right in primary fights
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted about the Texas primary.
Reuters (This article also appeared in and 49 other affiliates.)
The Texas primary is Tuesday. Here are 5 things to watch for.
The Washington Post (This article also appeared in the Presidency and La Opinion.)
Texas primary to test strength of GOP challengers
Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)
In tight Texas Lt. Gov. race, little space left on the right
National Public Radio (This broadcast also appeared on WUWM-FM and 12 other affiliates.)
First thoughts: 6 things to watch in Texas Tuesday
Ted Cruz’s influence dominating Texas primary
The Globe and Mail
How Ted Cruz has ‘scared the daylights’ out of some Texas Republicans
Business Insider
Why will Wendy Davis lose? The trust problem
Austin American-Statesman
Party polarization: Is the Tea Party changing the GOP?
Things to consider before voting in the Texas primaries
Houston Public Media
Governor’s funds under scrutiny by candidates
Primary hopefuls move further right
The News

Netanyahu tells Obama: We’re doing all we can for peace
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Barack Obama on Monday that “Israel has been doing its part” to forge peace, but that it’s been met with “incessant Palestinian incitement.” Edward Djerejian, founding director of Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and former U.S. ambassador to Syria and Israel, is quoted.
Miami Herald (This article also appeared in Anchorage Daily News and 22 other publications.)

Expert TA advances STEM with ‘one-for-one’ sales model
Rice’s OpenStax College is featured in an article about enhancing STEM education.

Interview: Climate change to blame for extreme winter: US expert
Ronald Sass, the Harry C. and Olga Keith Wiess Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is interviewed about this year’s winter storms affecting climate change. (This article also appeared in, People’s Daily and

Rice University hits record with freshman applications
Rice has seen a 15 percent increase in the number of applications for admission in fall 2014, the largest year-to-year increase in the institution’s history. Chris Muñoz, vice president for enrollment, is quoted.
Universities News (This article also appeared in


Despite new law, Algebra II still a college requirement
Though Algebra II is no longer a course requirement for a high school diploma, colleges will not change their admission standards to drop the math course. Rice is mentioned.
The Texas Tribune (This article also appeared in My High Plains.)

New EPA fuel standards to impact Houston businesses
Charles McConnell, executive director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative and former U.S. assistant secretary of energy for fossil energy in the Department of Energy, is quoted in an article about the new federal fuel standards.
Houston Business Journal

Houston author David Dow’s death and dying lowdown
David Dow, the Rorschach visiting professor of history, is featured for his new book, “Things I’ve Learned from Dying: A Book about Life.”
Texas Observer

14 Houstonians make Forbes’ billionaires list
Rice trustee and alumna Randa Williams ’85 is included on Forbes’ list of billionaires.

Houston Symphony coming to Clear Lake
The Houston Symphony will perform at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church March 15. Frank Huang, artist teacher of violin, will perform.
Bay Area Citizen

The arts & happenings
The Rice Design Alliance invites Houston-area architecture students and young design professionals to design the prize that will be awarded to SPOTLIGHT winners for the next five years.
Houston Lifestyles


Rice University investigates metabolic changes in failing liver
In a new study that could help doctors extend the lives of patients awaiting liver transplants, a Rice-led team of researchers examined the metabolic breakdown that takes place in liver cells during late-stage cirrhosis and found clues that suggest new treatments to delay liver failure. Deepak Nagrath, assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, is quoted.
BioNews Texas
Liver metabolism study could help patients awaiting transplants
Metabolic profiling of liver cells suggests new treatments for cirrhosis patients
Medical Xpress

Family and socio-economic resources prevent suicide more effectively together
Family support and socio-economic resources (such as education and employment) may be more likely to prevent suicide when a person has both, according to new research from Rice. Justin Denney, assistant professor of sociology, is quoted.
Medical Xpress

Nanotracer tester tells about wells
A device created at Rice gathers data on how tracers move through deep rock formations that have been opened by hydraulic fracturing. Andrew Barron, the Charles M. Duncan Jr., the Welch Professor of Chemistry and professor of materials science, is quoted. Alumnus Samuel Maguire-Boyle ’12 is mentioned.
Energy Daily

Will harsh winter boost AutoZone sales Tuesday?
A Rice stock market study is referenced.
Seeking Alpha


Height still a major factor when choosing a romantic partner
According to new research from Rice and the University of North Texas, the height of a potential partner matters more to women than to men, and mostly for femininity and protection. Michael Emerson, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology and co-director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted.

Bitcoin believers keep the faith
Alumnus and CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong ’05 is referenced in an article about Bitcoin, authored by alumna Dana Blankenhorn ’77.
The Street


125th Annual Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship almost washed away in rain
Rice sophomore Gustavo Gonzalez and Bojan Szumanski, assistant men’s tennis coach, won 7-6 in a tennis six-game pro set at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.

Short-handed Owls fall at Middle Tennessee
Rice men’s basketball fell to Middle Tennessee 65-41 at Murphy Center.
Memorial Examiner

Luke Willson performs ceremonial ball toss
Alumnus Luke Willson ’12 is featured.
Our Sports Central

About Rice News Staff

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