Dateline Rice for Dec. 5, 2017

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Gulf nations await crucial summit on Qatar diplomatic crisis
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, fellow for the Middle East at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in articles on the United Arab Emirates announcing an economic partnership group with Saudi Arabia separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council. Ulrichsen also is quoted in an article on the death of former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Washington Post (This Associated Press article appeared in more than 400 media outlets.)
http://wapo.st/2AuV9Rv
Saudi king absent at GCC summit overshadowed by Qatar crisis
Bloomberg
https://bloom.bg/2BB6lsR
Yemen Houthi rebels kill former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Maritime First
http://bit.ly/2AwWmFG

Researchers develop a way to train robots with just a gentle nudge
Like toddlers, robots can use a little help as they learn to function in the physical world. That’s the purpose of a Rice program that gently guides robots toward the most helpful, human-like ways to collaborate on tasks. Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science Marcia O’Malley and graduate student Dylan Losey, who have refined their method to train robots by applying gentle physical feedback to machines while they perform tasks, are quoted.
Futurity (Similar articles appeared in more than 20 other media outlets.)
http://bit.ly/2BBy7pl

How natural materials like teeth and shells stay tough
How a material breaks may be the most important property to consider when designing layered composites that mimic those found in nature. A method by Rice engineers decodes the interactions between materials and the structures they form and can help maximize their strength, toughness, stiffness and fracture strain. In a study that required more than 400 computer simulations of platelet-matrix composite materials like mother-of-pearl, Rouzbeh Shahsavari, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, and visiting scholar Shafee Farzanian developed a design map to help with the synthesis of staggered composites for applications at any scale, from microelectronics to cars to spacecraft, where lightweight, multifunctional structural composites are key.
Futurity (A similar article appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)
http://bit.ly/2AxrtB3

Here’s why consumers have fewer choices than they used to
A study by Gustavo Grullon, the Jesse H. Jones Professor of Finance at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, and professors at York University and Cornell University is mentioned.
CNN Money (This article appeared in more than 10 media outlets.)
http://cnnmon.ie/2AvauS5

HOUSTON/TEXAS

A&M System Board of Regents hires Prairie View A&M president along with the Aggies’ next football coach
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the hiring of Rice trustee Ruth Simmons as Prairie View A&M University’s president Dec. 4.
WTAW.com
http://bit.ly/2iTe41N

Houston universities respond to Supreme Court order on travel ban
Rice is mentioned in an article on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Trump administration to enforce a ban on travel to the U.S. by residents of six mostly Muslim countries. The online version of the article quotes from an email that Rice President David Leebron sent to the Rice community in January..
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. Information from this article appeared in the Dec. 5 print edition with a different headline, “Third version of travel ban to take effect.”)
http://bit.ly/2ioEkgQ
http://bit.ly/2AsmEee

Blackburn: Floating ideas on how to live around water
Jim Blackburn, a professor in the practice of environmental law and the co-director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, authored an op-ed on being prepared for future flooding in the Houston area. Blackburn will be the keynote speaker at a symposium titled “Greater Houston After Harvey” Dec. 6.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the Dec. 5 print edition with a different headline, “Floating ideas on living around water.”)
http://bit.ly/2AStJFE

Tax plan could pose big problems for Houston universities
Graduate Student Association President Sydney Gibson is quoted about how graduate students might be impacted by the proposed federal tax overhaul.
Houston Business Journal (Subscription is required.)
http://bit.ly/2jUY1gr

Houston BCycle introduces student memberships, adds stations at Rice University
A story on Houston BCycle mentions the program’s expansion to Rice’s campus.
KTRK.com
http://abc13.co/2BAsXd5

Sen. Seliger: The odd man out faces tough re-election campaign
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor of political science, fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted in an article on a possible divide between Texas Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
Texas Insider
http://bit.ly/2BCL3uO

The Menil’s 30th anniversary soars to the stars with $2.5 million raised and a supermoon
An article on the Menil Collection’s 30th anniversary gala mentions alumna Suzanne Deal Booth’s endowment of James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace on Rice’s campus.
PaperCity Houston
http://bit.ly/2ipNklK

Lifting the city’s spirits
An article on flood damage at Houston’s Theater District mentions the Houston Symphony moved some of its performances from Jones Hall to Rice’s Shepherd School of Music.
Downtown Houston
http://bit.ly/2BJAWp9

BROADCAST

‘The Gospel Truth with Andrew Wommack’
Alumnus Aaron Perdue ’11 is mentioned.
KTXA-TV (Dallas)
http://bit.ly/2zQPGkM (Click the video button to watch the broadcast, which aired on more than 30 stations.)

TRADE/PROFESSIONAL

NEST360’s low-cost jaundice detector passes first test in Africa
The first clinical study of a low-cost, hand-held jaundice detector invented by Rice students couldn’t have come at a better time for NEST360°, an international team of scientists, doctors and global health experts preparing for a Dec. 11 competition for $100 million from the MacArthur Foundation. The money would allow the team to carry out its visionary plan to halve the number of newborn deaths in African hospitals within 10 years. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, the Malcolm Gillis University Professor, professor of bioengineering and of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health and a study co-author, and Pelham Keahey, Rice graduate student and study co-author, are quoted. Keahey is pictured with Rice students Mathieu Simeral and Kristofer Schroder.
Phys.org (This article also appeared in Space Weekly, Military Technologies and BrightSurf.)
http://bit.ly/2igC4rH

Frank Lloyd Wright redesigned the suburbs — today’s architects should do the same
Lars Lerup, the Harry K. and Albert K. Smith Professor of Architecture, and Albert Pope, the Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture, are mentioned.
Metropolis
http://bit.ly/2zQYFm3

Nano-summit in Luxembourg: Single-wall carbon nanotubes
Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry, participated in the Nanoaugmented Materials Industry Summit in Luxembourg.
Specialty Chemicals Magazine
http://bit.ly/2BB9VTW

OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST

Study uses Google Street View to accurately predict neighborhood demographics
Rice researchers were part of a study that used Google Street View to attempt to identify socioeconomic attributes of certain ZIP codes based on cars sitting in driveways.
Inman
http://bit.ly/2kmv4ht

How big data can support treatment of epilepsy
An article on medical data mentions Rice researchers developed an algorithm to predict when epileptic seizures might occur.
The Horizons Tracker
http://bit.ly/2jfnaTl

NEWS RELEASES

Rice University signs global virtual exchange agreement with 8 universities worldwide
Rice has signed an agreement with eight other elite universities around the world that will allow students from the participating schools to enroll in select online courses from the other member schools and receive transfer credits for them. Rice is the first university in the U.S. to offer this kind of collaborative international learning environment to students.
http://bit.ly/2AveWAh

NEST360º’s low-cost jaundice detector passes first test in Africa
The first clinical study of a low-cost, hand-held jaundice detector invented by Rice students couldn’t have come at a better time for NEST360°, an international team of scientists, doctors and global health experts preparing for a Dec. 11 competition for $100 million from the MacArthur Foundation. The money would allow the team to carry out its visionary plan to halve the number of newborn deaths in African hospitals within 10 years. The clinical study, which is based on tests in February and March on 68 patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, will appear this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
http://bit.ly/2Bx5xVO

Rice to host groundbreaking for new music building Dec. 7
Rice will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking Dec. 7 for a new music building that together with the Shepherd School of Music’s Alice Pratt Brown Hall and the adjoining plaza will form the Rice University Music and Performing Arts Center.
http://bit.ly/2BytTyE

Baker Institute expert: Burden of sales tax rate increase may actually fall more heavily on households with higher lifetime incomes
Although sales taxation often faces opposition in the United States based on the assumption of a strict relationship between income and taxes paid, sales-taxable consumption actually rises with income, according to an analysis by an expert at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Jorge Barro, fellow in public finance, outlined his insights in a new issue brief, “Are Consumption Taxes Really Regressive?”
http://bit.ly/2AUP5C6

Rice U. study: Parents grade public schools lower than private and charter schools
Public schools are less likely to earn an A or A-plus from parents than private or charter schools are, according to a new study by scholars at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. The inaugural 2017 Collaborative for Customer-Based Execution and Strategy (C-CUBES) Benchmark K-12 School Study was based on a nationally representative online survey of 7,259 parents conducted during October through November. The goal of the ongoing study is to provide an evidence-based approach to incorporate the stakeholder input in strategic planning and execution for public schools.
http://bit.ly/2BBBYml

Rice University students to relax and unwind with therapy pets during finals
During final exam days, Rice students will have the chance to socialize and share furry snuggles with dogs and cats of various breeds Dec. 6-8 at the Fondren Library. The library has again invited Houston pet therapy organization Faithful Paws to bring its most companionable canines and a few friendly felines to the first-floor reference collection area of Fondren from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 and 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 8.
http://bit.ly/2A6poyR

About Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is a news analyst in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.