Dateline Rice for Dec. 19, 2017

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

University presidents: We’ve been blindsided
Rice President David Leebron is quoted in an article on concerns about losing public and political support for higher education.
Politico
http://politi.co/2kNZ6au

25 colleges with ‘no student loans’
Rice is included on a list of universities and colleges that do not require students who meet a financial aid threshold to take out loans.
Forbes (This article also appeared at MSN.com.)
http://bit.ly/2BAlwns

GOP tax bill also manages to needlessly screw up the health care system
A column on tax reform legislation quotes Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and professor of economics.
Los Angeles Times
http://lat.ms/2oMZqLB

Fast fluids pull ‘wet noodle’ electrodes into brain
Rice researchers have invented a device that uses fast-moving fluids to insert flexible, conductive carbon nanotube fibers into the brain, where they can help record the actions of neurons. Study co-authors Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry, and Jacob Robinson, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering, are quoted.
Futurity (Similar articles appeared in more than 20 other media outlets.)
http://bit.ly/2AZJ6st
Nanotubes go with the flow to penetrate brain tissue
TMC News
http://bit.ly/2D67IRO

Male professors give 69 percent of invited talks on campus
Male professors gave more than twice as many talks as female professors in departments at the country’s 50 most prestigious universities during the 2013-2014 academic year, according to new research from Rice, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the City University of New York. Christine Nittrouer, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Rice and the study’s lead author, and co-author Michelle Hebl, the Martha and Henry Malcolm Lovett Chair of Psychology, are quoted. Graduate student Rachel Trump-Steele and David Lane, associate professor of psychology, statistics and management, are mentioned.
Futurity (Similar articles appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)
http://bit.ly/2BfbKKp

Use of free textbooks is rising, but barriers remain
Rice-based publisher OpenStax, which develops open educational resources, is mentioned.
Chronicle of Higher Education
http://bit.ly/2BfIbsj

Politics moves fast. Peer review moves slow. What’s a political scientist to do?
Justin Esarey, associate professor of political science, is quoted.
FiveThirtyEight
http://53eig.ht/2BAH1oi

Juniors: Use the holidays to make an SAT, ACT prep plan
An article on test preparation by alumna Sonya Ellis ’10 mentions the average ACT scores of fall 2016 freshmen at Rice.
U.S. News and World Report
http://bit.ly/2CEXtDg

There’s proof that scientists don’t hate Christians
“Religion vs. Science: What Religious People Really Think,” a book co-authored by Elaine Howard Ecklund, founding director of the Religion and Public Life Program and the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, is reviewed. Ecklund co-authored a summary of the book for BioLogos.
Christianity Today
http://bit.ly/2Bf60k3
What do religious people in the US really think about science?
BioLogos
http://bit.ly/2B0afvq

Venezuela’s oil industry is falling apart
Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American energy policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in an article on a drop in production of crude oil in Venezuela amid an economic crisis.
Inter Press Service
http://bit.ly/2BLLo2k

HOUSTON/TEXAS

The architect who made Houston modern with the Astrodome, Allen Center and Greenway Plaza
“Constructing Houston’s Future: The Architecture of Arthur Evan Jones and Lloyd Morgan Jones,” a book authored by alumnus Ben Koush ’02, is reviewed.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This appeared in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine and was on the front of the Star section in the Dec. 19 print edition with a different headline, “A nod to mod.”)
http://bit.ly/2Betwh7

Upcoming battles in the ongoing Texas GOP civil war
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, authored an op-ed on Texas Republicans. Jones also is quoted in an article on the race for Texas agriculture commissioner.
Texas Tribune
http://bit.ly/2BMrkN9
Republicans trade barbs as Texas agriculture commissioner race heats up
Texas Public Radio
http://bit.ly/2BKJUFm

After Harvey, some South Texans more wary than ever about plan to build landfill near flood plain
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, is quoted in an article on a plan to develop a landfill outside Laredo.
Texas Tribune (This article also appeared in The Eagle.)
http://bit.ly/2kKs2jq

Area researchers want to implement a new flood warning system for Greater Houston
Antonia Sebastian, a research associate at Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, discusses a project that would create a real-time flood alert system on an episode of “Houston Matters.”
Houston Public Media
http://bit.ly/2Bziik2

MiNT protein a fresh target to attack disease
A two-faced protein in a chain that regulates iron and other elements in cells could provide a new target to treat cancer, diabetes and other diseases. A team of researchers at Rice, the University of California at San Diego, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of North Texas detailed the structure of a protein called mitochondrial inner NEET (MiNT), part of a pathway that stabilizes mitochondria, the organelles that produce energy for cells. José Onuchic, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Chair of Physics, a professor of physics and astronomy, of chemistry and of biosciences, is quoted.
TMC News (A similar article appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)
http://bit.ly/2CG9kRA

9 post-Harvey research projects receive funding from Rice Houston Engagement and Recovery Effort
Nine projects for post-Hurricane Harvey research have been awarded funding by the Rice Houston Engagement and Recovery Effort. The projects are aimed at making the city of Houston and surrounding areas stronger and more sustainable following the devastation caused by the storm’s record rainfall.
Houston Style Magazine (A similar article appeared in Houston News Info.)
http://bit.ly/2D74sWi

Particle size matters for porous building blocks
Porous particles of calcium and silicate show potential as building blocks for a host of applications like self-healing materials, bone-tissue engineering, drug delivery, insulation, ceramics and construction materials, according to Rice engineers who decided to see how well they perform at the nanoscale. Rouzbeh Shahsavari, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, is quoted. Graduate student Sung Hoon Hwang is mentioned.
Houston Style Magazine (A similar story appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)
http://bit.ly/2BetqWv

Transforming community health: The Baylor Teen Health Clinic
Former Rice psychology professor Peggy Smith is featured.
Houston News Info
http://bit.ly/2BBniVz

Screen Asia: ‘Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming’
The Houston Iranian Film Festival, which is co-hosted by Rice Cinema, is mentioned.
Asia Society
http://bit.ly/2oPuD0C

UHD students take their superhero alter egos to kids in homeless shelters
Justin Bowyer, a controls and instrumentation technician at Rice, participated in Cosplay for Kids.
Houston Press
http://bit.ly/2oKQtT0

BROADCAST

‘Imus in the Morning’
Professor of History Douglas Brinkley is mentioned.
WABC-AM (New York)
http://bit.ly/2yXIeDc (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast, which aired on more than 60 radio stations.)

TRADE/PROFESSIONAL

Groups sue, petition EPA in Texas haze fight
Analysis of coal-fired power plants’ impact on sulfur dioxide emissions in Texas by Dan Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is mentioned.
Environment & Energy News
http://bit.ly/2BJ4R3r

‘Weyl-Kondo semimetal’: Physicists discover new type of quantum material
U.S. and European physicists searching for an explanation for high-temperature superconductivity were surprised when their theoretical model pointed to the existence of a never-before-seen material in a different realm of physics: topological quantum materials. Qimiao Si, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics and Astronomy; postdoctoral fellow Hsin-Hua Lai; and graduate student Sarah Grefe are quoted.
Product Design and Development (A similar article also appeared in Military Technologies.)
http://bit.ly/2kKTUUA

Can SNOWater fix fracking treatment?
SNOWater, a solar-powered water desalination technology pioneered by researchers at Rice, is featured. Postdoctoral research fellow Alessandro Alabastri is quoted.
Water Online
http://bit.ly/2oM0q2Q

Valuation scenarios for Mexico’s big gas discovery
Alumnus Siddhartha Sen ’09 co-authored an article.
IHS Markit
http://bit.ly/2yYc6iJ

Top 10 Design Engineering stories of 2017
A year-in-review article mentions nanotechnologists from Rice and China’s Tianjin University used 3-D laser printing to fabricate centimeter-sized objects of atomically thin graphene.
Design Engineering
http://bit.ly/2kkT3KY

OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST

James McLurkin visits Adafruit
James McLurkin, senior hardware engineer at Google and former Rice professor, is featured.
Adafruit
http://bit.ly/2yYnJGn

SPORTS

KOAT-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.)
The Rice men’s basketball team faces the University of New Mexico Dec. 19 in Albuquerque.
http://bit.ly/2oKI9ml (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)
Men’s basketball: Lobos to host Rice on Tuesday
Daily Lobo
http://bit.ly/2B0cZZK
Lobos host Rice Tuesday in first Friends & Family Night
GoLobos.com
http://bit.ly/2ByUD3e

Nicole Iademarco scores 21 for Rice in a win over A&M-Corpus Christi
The Rice women’s basketball team defeated Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi Dec. 18.
Hero Sports
http://bit.ly/2oOcS1W

Sundstedt breaks another SSC record on final day of Spartan Invitational
The Rice women’s swimming team won the Spartan Invitational in Clearwater, Fla.
NSUSharks.com
http://bit.ly/2oM2GH7

NEWS RELEASES

Applications open for Rice Business Plan Competition
Applications are now open for the 18th annual Rice Business Plan Competition, which will be April 5-7 at the Jones Graduate School of Business. Graduate students with an idea for a new startup company are encouraged to apply to compete. Forty-two teams from the world’s top universities will be selected to vie for prizes expected to be more than $1.5 million. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. CST Feb. 9.
http://bit.ly/2kKAsYe

Men gave more talks than women at top 50 universities in US 
Male professors gave more than twice as many talks as female professors in departments at the country’s 50 most prestigious universities during the 2013-2014 academic year, according to new research from Rice, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the City University of New York. “Gender Disparities in Colloquium Speakers at Top Universities” is published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
http://bit.ly/2CF66Ob

Rice U. physicists discover new type of quantum material
U.S. and European physicists searching for an explanation for high-temperature superconductivity were surprised when their theoretical model pointed to the existence of a never-before-seen material in a different realm of physics: topological quantum materials. In a new study due this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Rice theoretical physicist Qimiao Si and colleagues at the Rice Center for Quantum Materials in Houston and the Vienna University of Technology in Austria make predictions that could help experimental physicists create what the authors have coined a “Weyl-Kondo semimetal,” a quantum material with an assorted collection of properties seen in disparate materials like topological insulators, heavy fermion metals and high-temperature superconductors.
http://bit.ly/2yXob7y

MiNT protein a fresh target to attack disease
A two-faced protein in a chain that regulates iron and other elements in cells could provide a new target to treat cancer, diabetes and other diseases. A team of researchers at Rice University, the University of California at San Diego, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of North Texas detailed the structure of a protein called mitochondrial inner NEET (MiNT), part of a pathway that stabilizes mitochondria, the organelles that produce energy for cells. Their report appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.
http://bit.ly/2kKg7lK

About Matt Wilson

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