Dateline Rice for Dec. 22, 2017


Kiplinger’s Best College Values, 2018
Rice is No. 8 on Kiplinger’s combined list of best-value colleges and universities for 2018. Rice is No. 5 among private universities.


Lost continent of Zealandia: Scientists return from expedition to sunken land
Researchers from Rice were part of a two-month ocean drilling expedition to the submerged continent of Zealandia in search of clues about its history, which relates to key questions about plate tectonic processes and Earth’s past greenhouse climate. Gerald Dickens, professor of Earth, environmental and planetary science, is quoted.
National Science Foundation (This article was featured in Science360 News’ “Best of 2017.”)

Democrats’ hopes of taking back the House could hinge on 2 districts — in Texas
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 challenges facing Texas Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Jones also is quoted in an article on Texas House GOP primary contests.
Mother Jones
In Texas House, pledge deniers face primary battles
Texas Monitor

The ‘impossible’ quantum material that could pave the way for an entirely new branch of physics
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. Rice research is mentioned. Qimiao Si, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics and Astronomy, is mentioned in the ÖGMBTarticle.
Daily Mail
Ein teilchen wie langsames licht
ÖGMBT (An English translation is not available.)

Venezuela is ‘a target-rich environment’ for more US sanctions — but it could backfire
Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American energy policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in an article on economic sanctions placed on Venezuela.
Business Insider

Digital Journal’s top science articles of the year
A year-end article on science news mentions researchers at Rice and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chile reported quantum control of atoms may make nuclear fusion energy production more efficient.
Digital Journal

Feds update data for wetter Texas
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 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updating Texas expected rainfall estimates for the first time in decades.

Oakland University chapter of Sigma Xi achieves top-tier ranking
Rice and the Texas Medical Center tied for third place in the Sigma Xi Chapter Excellence Awards, which honor chapters demonstrating exceptional innovation and quality in science research.


What does the state’s population growth mean for the future of Texas?
Steve Murdock, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology and director of Rice’s Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, discusses Texas’ population growth on “Houston Matters.”
Houston Public Media
KUT-FM (Austin, Texas) (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

Revisiting Mexico’s microcuentos
An exhibition of “microcuentos,” which are small comic books, is on display at Kunsthaus SomoS in Berlin and will move to Houston Jan. 18. The exhibition, “Between Love and Madness,” was organized by Christopher Sperandio, associate professor of visual and dramatic arts, in collaboration with Rice students.
Texas Monthly

Houston notable deaths in 2017
A slideshow includes a photo of Marjorie Corcoran, a professor of physics and astronomy at Rice who was killed Feb. 3 in a train-cyclist accident in Houston.
Houston Chronicle

Why and how El Paso ISD went open
Rice-based publisher OpenStax, which develops open educational resources, is mentioned.
Texas Computer Education Association

Plight of homeless animals in Houston addressed by some of the city’s biggest stars
Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology and founding director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, spoke at the PetSet Gifting Party. Houston PetSet is a nonprofit organization that works to protect animals.
PaperCity Houston

Top 10 performances of 2017
A year-end article on classical music in Texas mentions the Houston Symphony’s performance of Dvorák’s “Te Deum” and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 4,” which was held at Rice’s Stude Concert Hall because of flooding at Jones Hall caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey.
Texas Classical Review
Uneven, long recovery continues for Houston arts groups
Nonprofit Times

Around the world in Houston: Discover China
Rice’s Chinese Student Association is mentioned.
365 Things To Do in Houston


Hot topic: Terminated
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 quoted in an article on automation.

Aim higher
Alumnus Olawale Lawal ’16 spoke at the University of West Florida’s ROTC commissioning ceremony Dec. 15 at Eglin Air Force Base.


‘Holiday Brass’ a resounding win by former high school band-buddies
Alumnus Wade Demmert ’94, a trombonist, performed Dec. 21 at the Holiday Brass Concert in Sitka, Alaska.

New faculty join Caltech in 2017
Alumnus Lihong Wang ’92 was hired as a professor at the California Institute of Technology.
Pasadena News Now (This article also appeared in Caltech Daily News.)

Nya hedersdoktorer vid teologiska fakulteten 2018
Elias Bongmba, the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Professor in Christian Theology and professor of religion, received an honorary doctorate from Lund University in Lund, Sweden.
Lund University (An English translation is not available.)


No. 10 Oregon thumps A&M; Rice routs Prairie View A&M
The Rice women’s basketball team defeated Prairie View A&M Dec. 21 in Prairie View, Texas.
Houston Chronicle

College notes: Barrington’s Mia Calamari among D-III All-Americans
Rice men’s basketball player Connor Cashaw is featured.
Chicago Tribune

Alumni notebook: Oak Ridge represented on national championship football teams
Rice women’s basketball player Nicole Iademarco is featured.
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared in the Courier of Montgomery County.)

Best players to play in a Texas state championship football game
A slideshow includes a photo of former Rice football player Tommy Kramer ’77.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Florida No. 1 in CB’s preseason poll
The Rice baseball team received votes in Collegiate Baseball’s Fabulous 40 preseason poll.
Collegiate Baseball News

Sports can ‘change your life’
Former Rice Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, now at the University of Texas, is featured.
Albuquerque Journal (This Associated Press article appeared in more than 10 media outlets.)


Baker Institute report: San Francisco is uncontested as America’s startup capital
The nation’s top startup cities for 2016 are, in ranked order, San Francisco; New York (Manhattan); Boston; Cambridge, Mass.; Palo Alto, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Seattle, according to a report from Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. “The Top U.S. Startup Cities for 2016” ranks the top 100 cities by venture capital funding. The report was co-authored by Ed Egan, fellow of the Baker Institute and director of the institute’s McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Anne Dayton, research manager at the McNair Center; and Diana Carranza, graduate researcher at the McNair Center.

Rice University to close for winter break until Jan. 2
Rice will be closed for winter break from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1; the university will reopen Jan. 2. News media with an urgent request can reach the News and Media Relations representative on call at 713-348-6774.

About Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is a senior editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.