Dateline Rice for Sept. 7, 2017

Editor’s note: You’re receiving two editions of Dateline Rice today. The one sent earlier today was the Sept. 6 edition; although it was emailed yesterday, only a small portion of the readership received it due to some commonly used spam-blocking techniques.


Hurricanes Harvey, Irma stir debate on development
A USA Today editorial quotes Phil Bedient, the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center, on how Houston can prepare for future storms. In other articles he also comments on the low number of deaths from Tropical Storm Harvey.
USA Today
Relatively low Harvey death toll is ‘astounding’ to experts
Fox News (This Associated Press article appeared in more than 300 other media outlets.)
Orange Co. opens temporary morgue for Harvey victims
Beaumont Enterprise
A year before Harvey, Houston-area flood control chief saw no ‘looming issues’
Texas Tribune
Luck helped tackling Harvey
Times Union

Harvey swept hazardous mercury ashore. The mystery: Its source.
Liquid mercury appears to have washed ashore east of Houston in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey. Qilin Li, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, is quoted.
New York Times

Rosa Parks’ house in Berlin has a ticket home to America
The house that once belonged to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks is returning to the U.S. from Berlin. Douglas Brinkley, professor of history, is quoted.
New York Times (This also appeared in Swengen USA.)


College activists march on the cafeteria: What do we want? Hydroponic cilantro!
Universities in the U.S. are accommodating student requests for more locally grown, dietary-specific food options in dining halls. David McDonald, senior business director of Housing and Dining, is quoted.
Wall Street Journal (Subscription required. The full version is available in Cetus News.)
Cetus News

As I see it
Moshe Vardi, director of Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor of Computational Engineering and professor of computer science, is featured and quoted about the future of automation.
Robots could take almost any job, but few Americans are worried
Breitbart (This also appeared in My Informs.)

Mexico not panicking over Trump’s NAFTA threats
Tony Payan, the Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the institute’s Mexico Center, comments on President Donald Trump’s NAFTA remarks.
Fox Business

Nanomaterials could combat climate change and reduce pollution
Rice materials scientists have created a light foam from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal-boron nitride that absorbs carbon dioxide. Pulickel Ajayan, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and founding chair of the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, is quoted.
Scientific American

California’s notorious local tax law loosens its grip
Raising money in California to fund transportation projects has been a failing effort, but recent changes to Sacramento County’s transportation tax could make things easier. Bill Fulton, director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted.

Jewish students, Chabad rabbis and kosher salami firm pitch in to help Houston
Rice students from the Chabad Student Center helped Tropical Storm Harvey victims during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Times of Israel (This also appeared in Cleveland Jewish News and 
Waves of chessed flood Houston

Arthritis drug warning: Taking THIS common medication could lead to hearing loss
A Rice University study has found that the aspirin-like drug diflunisal blocks the action of prestin, a key protein that is required for hearing. Guillaume Duret, research scientist in Rice’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Rob Raphael, associate professor of bioengineering, are quoted.
Diflunisal shown to block inner-ear protein
Technology Works

The Qatari royal close to the Saudi leadership
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, fellow for the Middle East at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted about Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali’s reappearance in public life.
The National

Baker Institute paper offers ideas to design post-Harvey Houston
Jim Blackburn, professor in the practice of environmental law and co-director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center, is cited for his paper, “Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey: Policy Perspectives.”

On Middle East
Ussama Makdisi, the Arab-American Educational Foundation Professor of Arab Studies in History and professor of history, is cited for his contribution to the book “Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East.”
Greater Kashmir


Now: Houston area continues its recovery from Hurricane Harvey
As Texas and Houston recover from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey, Rice University’s Fondren Library has advice for those concerned about cleaning and preserving papers and books impacted by flooding and mold.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

Chronicle critics offer entertainment suggestions
John Sparagana, professor and chair of visual and dramatic arts, is mentioned for his exhibit, “Breather,” at the Sicardi Gallery.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

Oil companies pull more rigs out of Texas shale
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 Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and lecturer of economics, is quoted about oil in Texas and liquefied natural gas exports.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)
No agreement on tipping point for LNG exports
RTO Insider

Guest editorial: Untangling the Lost Cause myth from the American story will be hard
Graduate student William Black authored an op-ed about the removal of Confederate monuments.
Houston Chronicle (This also appeared in Napa Valley Register.)

Long-distance couple ties the knot at Houston landmark
Graduate student Stacey Szydlik is featured for her marriage at Rice.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

The 10 best college dining halls in America
Rice is ranked No. 19 on Niche’s list of the best dining halls in America.
Houston Chronicle (This also appeared in SFGate.)

Texas will — and should — get its federal disaster aid. And then it will keep posturing about secession.
Bob Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, is quoted about Texas’ need for federal aid following Hurricane Harvey.
Daily Kos

Confronting climate change: What can the US and Japan contribute to creating sustainable societies?
Ron Sass, the Harry C. and Olga Keith Wiess Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will moderate a climate change discussion.
Asia Society

Performing Asia: Music of Turkey with Hoppa Project
Rice is hosting a Turkish music festival in September.
Asia Society
21 best things to do in Houston this week: A soaked city searches for amusements
Houston Press

Huffington Award Luncheon
John Diamond, the Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and an adjunct professor of economics, will moderate the Huffington Award Luncheon Oct. 18.
Asia Society


The hundred million dollar question – part one
The Rice 360 Institute for Global Health and its partners are one of eight semifinalists in the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition for their project to improve newborn survival rates in Africa. Maria Oden, director of Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen and a professor in the practice of engineering education, is interviewed.
BBC (This also aired on KNPR-FM, KUOW-FM and KOPB-FM.)

KRGV-TV’s “Inside the Valley”
Richard Tapia, University Professor, the Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering and a professor of computational and applied mathematics, will give a keynote address at the 2017 RGVCTM Conference.

WYPR-FM (Baltimore)
University of Maryland researchers will lead the Center for Engineering Complex Tissues. Rice is mentioned as a partner.

KOGO-AM (San Diego)
Rice is mentioned. (This also aired on WTAQ-AM, News Radio 1330 and KLBJ-AM.)


System bits: Aug. 29
Rice materials scientists have created a light foam from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal-boron nitride that absorbs carbon dioxide. Jun Lou, professor and associate department chair of materials science and nanoengineering, is mentioned.
Semiconductor Engineering
WSCL-AM (Salisbury, Md.)

Laser-induced graphene is made from wood
Rice chemists have produced a catalyst based on laser-induced graphene that splits water into hydrogen on one side and oxygen on the other side. They said the inexpensive material may be a practical component in generating the hydrogen for use in future fuel cells. James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering, and graduate student Ruquan Ye are quoted. (This also appeared in My Informs.)

Carbon-nanotube yarn converts motion into electricity
Researchers in the U.S. and South Korea have found a new way to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry and department chair of chemistry, is quoted.

Administration delays publication of climate science special report
John Anderson, the W. Maurice Ewing Chair in Oceanography and professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, is quoted about climate change censorship in Texas.
Climate Science Watch

Magnetized viruses attack challenging bacteria in water treatment systems
Magnetic nanoparticle clusters have the power to punch through biofilms to reach bacteria that can foul water treatment systems, according to scientists at Rice. The nanoclusters developed through Rice’s Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment Engineering Research Center carry bacteriophages and deliver them to targets that generally resist chemical disinfection. Pedro Alvarez, the George R. Brown Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, is mentioned.
Chemical Engineering

Data mining finds more than expected beneath Andean Plateau
Seismologists investigating how Earth forms new continental crust have compiled more than 20 years of seismic data from a wide swath of South America’s Andean Plateau and determined that processes there have produced far more continental rock than previously believed. Postdoctoral research associate Jonathan Delph is quoted.
Space Daily

New methods analyze asphaltene deposition and fouling in reservoirs
Francisco Vargas, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, co-authored an article about the problems created by asphaltene deposition in reservoirs.
Journal of Petroleum Technology

Moving the needle
Alumnus Rod Larson ’82 is featured.
Offshore Engineer Digital


Philosophical adventures
Timothy Morton, the Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English and professor of English, is mentioned.
Larval Subjects

Hurricane Harvey and libraries
Fondren Library reported no significant damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Classes resumed Sept. 5 at Rice.
American Libraries

20 colleges with the happiest students!
According to the Princeton Review, Rice is ranked No. 2 for having the happiest students.
US 99.5 (This also appeared in

The best MBA return on investment in the Houston metro
Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business is featured as a top business school based on return on investment and average starting salaries.

Desert Vista grad represents state at prestigious STEM camp
Jones College sophomore Alice Wong represented Arizona at the National Youth Science Camp.
Ahwatukee Foothills News

The pioneering MBAs in the Class of 2019
Graduate student Vishruti Jakhar is featured.
Poets & Quants

US space company ‘NanoRacks’ teams up with Chinese client to make history
David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute and professor of physics and astronomy, is quoted about NanoRacks, a commercial space transportation program.

Robotic prosthesis takes step forward with cheaper alternatives, haptic feedback
Engineers working to add “muscle sense” to prosthetic limbs found that tactile feedback on the skin allowed blindfolded test subjects to more than double their ability to discern the size of objects grasped with a prosthetic hand. Graduate student Janelle Clark is quoted.
One Angry Gamer

Column | Meera Komarraju: Plenty to look forward to at SIUC
Shih-Hui Chen, professor and chair of composition and theory at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, was a guest composer at Southern Illinois University’s Outside the Box New Music Festival 2017.
The Southern Illinoisan

Authentic learning, authentic assessment
Telluride Mountain School Spanish teacher Ross Perrot attended a four-day International Baccalaureate workshop at Rice.
Telluride Daily Planet

Bush AG to give talk at Harding on service
Alumnus Alberto Gonzalez ’79 spoke at Harding University.
Arkansas Online

New faculty begin in the College of Arts and Sciences
Alumna Julie Hogan ’12 will be an associate professor of physics at Bethel University.
Bethel University


David Bailiff explains how Rice has dealt with an unusual start to the season
Head coach David Bailiff reports the hardships some football players are facing after Hurricane Harvey. The Rice Owls will play against the University of Texas at El Paso Sept. 9 in El Paso.
Miner Rush
Rice at UTEP: Two teams looking for early season positives square off Saturday
Miner Rush
Breaking down Rice at Texas-El Paso
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

TAMIU’s cross-country teams ready for 2017 season
Rice is hosting the Norry Hersey Invitational Sept. 8.

QMH: Penn Athletics officially welcomes everyone back
Rice men’s head basketball coach Scott Pera is mentioned.
Penn Athletics

Kings news: De’Aaron Fox donates $25,000 to Rice University men’s basketball flood relief fund
Sacramento Kings player De’Aaron Fox donated $25,000 to the Rice men’s basketball flood relief fund.
Clutch Points

MiLB announces August Players of the Month
Former Rice baseball player Kevin McCanna was named an August Player of the Month Award winner.


Baker Institute paper offers ideas to design a post-Harvey Houston for the future
Being honest about the extent and urgency of the Houston-Galveston region’s flooding problem will not harm the community but will form the basis for recovery, according to a paper by an engineering and environmental expert at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Rice experts available to discuss cleaning, preserving damaged papers and books
As Texas and Houston recover from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey, Rice University’s Fondren Library has advice for those concerned about cleaning and preserving papers and books impacted by flooding and mold.

About Arie Passwaters

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