Dateline Rice for Feb. 28, 2018


Lone Star long shot: Science runs for Congress
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 Democrat Joseph Kopser, who is running for Congress. Jones also is quoted in articles on early voting turnout for Texas’ March 6 primary, Republican donors and third-term governors.
Scientific American
Texas primary: Democrats see rare surge of enthusiasm in early voting
The Guardian
Democrats are outpacing Republicans in early voting, and the governor sounds worried
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Billionaires invest in Texas legislative races
Denton Record-Chronicle
Cursed or blessed? A history of 3rd-term governors

Is the petro truly backed by oil reserves?
Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American energy policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, authored an op-ed on the petro, a virtual currency launched by Venezuela.
Caracas Chronicles

Billy Graham’s troubling, nasty Nixon moment
William Martin, the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in an article on the late Rev. Billy Graham’s recorded comments about Jews while speaking with President Richard Nixon in 1972.
U.S. News and World Report

Even Donald Trump couldn’t stop US power plants from moving to solar
Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is quoted in an article on Americans using less electricity from power plants in 2017 than in 2016.
Quartz (This article also appeared at

Sense of smell can predict how you will vote in politics
Rice research on emotional clues in body odor is mentioned.
Daily Mail (This article also appeared in Health Medicine Network and Express Digest.)


Army Corps predicted Addicks and Barker flood pool lawsuits, decided not to act
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 1995 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers analysis that showed the Corps was concerned about being sued by property owners in the reservoir pools of Houston’s Addicks and Barker dams.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared at, and it appeared on the front page of the Feb. 28 print edition of the Chronicle with a different headline, “Corps predicted suits over dams.”)

These Texas universities have promised students that protesting won’t affect their admission
Rice University announced that participation in peaceful protests will not have a negative effect on prospective students’ admission to Rice. President David Leebron is quoted in the Breitbart Texas article.
Austin American-Statesman
Texas universities say anti-gun protests won’t hurt students’ admissions
Breitbart Texas
Colleges will not penalize students for gun control protests
Her Campus

Big data to show how mixed toxins affect children
Rice researchers have won a prestigious National Institutes of Health grant to build data analysis tools and analyze how exposure to mixed toxins in the environment affects a population, especially children. The four-year $1.7 million R01 grant will allow a team led by Marie Lynn Miranda, Rice’s Howard R. Hughes Provost and a professor of statistics, to analyze the massive set of data she and her colleagues gathered for the entire state of North Carolina over more than 20 years.
TMC News

14 battle to replace Republican Ted Poe in Congress
Alumnus Todd Litton ’01 is a candidate in the Democratic primary for U.S. representative in Texas’ 2nd Congressional District.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

We’ve heard a lot of bad apologies lately. What makes a good one?
Anastasiya Zavyalova, assistant professor of strategic management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine, and it originally appeared on the Rice Business Wisdom website.)

Tilman Fertitta showcases Houston mattress company you’ve never heard of
Utpal Dholakia, the George R. Brown Professor of Marketing at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business and a marketing and consumer behavior expert, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared at

Photos: Tree planting competition in Tomball
Will Rice College sophomore Lea Godret-Miertschin is pictured, and Rice’s Green Dorm Initiative is mentioned in the cutline.
Houston Chronicle

Rising talent and veterans: Next season at Chamber Music Houston
The Dover Quartet and Rolston String Quartet, both former quartets-in-residence at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, will perform during Chamber Music Houston’s 2018-19 season. Jon Kimura Parker, professor of piano at the Shepherd School, will perform with the Montrose Trio; Desmond Hoebig, professor of cello, will perform with the Pacifica Quartet; and Ivo-Jan van der Werff, professor of viola, and Timothy Pitts, professor of double bass, will perform with the Trio con Brio Copenhagen.
Arts and Culture Texas

Communications lecturer running for Texas Supreme Court
Harris County District Judge Steven Kirkland ’82, who is running to replace Don Willett on the Texas Supreme Court, is featured.
Daily Cougar

RUSMP Noyce Fellow hosts Louisiana Noyce Fellows
Adem Ekmekci, director of research and evaluation for the Rice University School Mathematics Project and clinical assistant professor of mathematics, is quoted. Anne Papakonstantinou, RUSMP director, authored the article.
Village News (The article, which is on page 2, also appeared in Southwest News.)


How technology can help — or hinder — election security in Texas
Dan Wallach, professor of computer science and of electrical and computer engineering and a Rice Faculty Scholar at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, discussed election security on the Feb. 27 episode of “Houston Matters.”
Houston Public Media

Rice students win flood policy contest for multihome buyout idea
The team of Martel College freshman Connor Rothschild and Martel College senior Sapna Suresh won a recent flood policy contest.
Houston Public Media

‘Imus in the Morning”
Professor of History Douglas Brinkley is a guest. (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast, which aired on more than 60 radio stations.)

Expedition lands in USA
Astronaut Paolo Nespoli, a member of Expedition 52/53 to the International Space Station, appeared at the Rice Media Center Feb. 23 for a screening of “Expedition,” a documentary about his training for and participation in the mission.
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

WSCL-FM (Salisbury, Md.)
A performance by William VerMeulen, professor of French horn, is featured. (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)


States’ latest weapon in the struggle for revenue: Gross receipts taxes
Joyce Beebe, fellow in public finance at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
Accounting Today

Ken Kennedy Institute at Rice University offers insights into exascale computing for the oil and gas industry
The 11th annual Rice Oil and Gas High Performance Computing Conference, hosted by Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, is scheduled for March 12-13. Jan Odegard, executive director of the Kennedy Institute, is quoted.

Best free MOOCs in business in March
“Investment Strategies and Portfolio Analysis,” a massive open online course offered by Rice, is mentioned.
Poets and Quants

‘You know, we have a problem here.’
The Association for Computer Machinery Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference is featured. The conference is named for Richard Tapia, University Professor, the Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering and a professor of computational and applied mathematics.
PCMA Convene


The slippery search for creativity
“The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World,” a book co-authored by Anthony Brandt, professor of composition and theory at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, and alumnus David Eagleman ’93, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, is reviewed.
Los Angeles Review of Books

Houston Dynamo’s diversity mirrors the city it calls home
A 2010 study by Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research that found Houston was the most ethnically diverse major city in the United States is mentioned.
Pro Soccer USA

Adjaye-designed museum in doubt after backer accused of money laundering
A roundup of art news mentions “Josiah McElheny: Island Universe” is on view at Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts.

ASG executive tickets face off before March election
OpenStax, a Rice-based publisher of open educational resources, is mentioned in an article on student elections at the University of Arkansas.
Arkansas Traveler

Former US AG Alberto Gonzalez to speak at Dickson Freed Hardeman
Alumnus Alberto Gonzalez ’79, former U.S. attorney general, will speak March 1 in Dickson, Tenn.

Sally Widener is named to lead School of Accountancy
Sally Widener, former assistant professor of management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, has been named director of the School of Accountancy at Clemson University’s College of Business.
Clemson Newsstand

Solving wicked problems
President John F. Kennedy’s “Moon Speech” given at Rice Sept. 12, 1962, is mentioned.
E.O. Wilson Foundation

Bis zum nächsten großen Knall
Alan Levander, the Carey Croneis Professor of Earth Science, is quoted in an article on Mount St. Helens.
Spektrum (An English translation is not available.)


MBB: Feb. 26 Players of the Week
Rice men’s basketball player Najja Hunter was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Week.

Graduate transfer Keith Frazier leaves UTEP basketball team
Articles on University of Texas at El Paso basketball player Keith Frazier mention the Miners face Rice March 1 at Tudor Fieldhouse.
El Paso Times
UTEP Basketball: Keith Frazier will not return to the team
UTEP basketball: Keith Frazier, UTEP part ways
Miner Rush

Knee injury shelves UTSA freshman standout for remainder of season
An article on University of Texas at San Antonio basketball player Jhivvan Jackson mentions the Roadrunners face Rice March 3 at Tudor Fieldhouse.
San Antonio Express-News (Subscription is required.)
UTSA closes regular season with Texas road trip

College Baseball Daily week 3 power rankings
The Rice baseball team is mentioned.
College Baseball Daily

Who got faster? Improvement at D1 women’s conference meets
The Rice swimming team is mentioned.
Swim Swam

Draft notes: In-person scouting and scuttlebutt galore
Rice baseball player Matt Canterino is mentioned.

UTSA moves up 2 spots on final day at Louisiana Classics
An article on the University of Texas at San Antonio men’s golf team mentions Rice tied for 11th place at the Louisiana Classics in Lafayette, La.

Northwestern State-Texas A&M game moved to Aug. 30
The Rice football team’s Aug. 25 game against Prairie View A&M is mentioned.

KPRC-TV (Houston)
Former Rice football and track and field athlete Sam McGuffie ’14, a member of the U.S. men’s bobsled team that competed in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, returned to Houston. (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)
KRIV-TV (Houston) (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

Getting to know new Rays prospects Solak, Banda, Gray and Palacios
Former Rice baseball player Tristan Gray ’18 is mentioned.
Prospects 1500


Dressing atoms in an ultracold soup
Using lasers, U.S. and Austrian physicists have coaxed ultracold strontium atoms into complex structures unlike any previously seen in nature. Rice physicist Tom Killian is the lead scientist on a new paper in Physical Review Letters that summarized the group’s experimental findings. Killian teamed with experimental physicists from Rice’s Center for Quantum Materials and theoretical physicists from Harvard University and Vienna University of Technology on the two-year project to create “Rydberg polarons” out of strontium atoms that were at least 1 million times colder than deep space.

Rice Business Plan Competition to announce 2018 teams via Facebook Live March 1
The 42 teams that have been invited to participate in the 18th annual Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business April 5-7 will be announced via Facebook Live at noon March 1. The teams selected to compete for more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes were chosen from nearly 300 applicants of graduate-student teams with a business plan for a new startup company.

Rice expert available to discuss decentralization of HISD
The decentralization of Houston Independent School District (HISD) in the 1990s was well-implemented, but components of the plan should be revisited to get more equitable distribution of funding and improvement of student achievement, according to a new research brief from Rice’s Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC). Jodi Saxton Moon, a postdoctoral research fellow for HERC, is available to discuss the brief, which is the first in a four-part series examining the implementation and impact of decentralization.

Baker Institute expert: Investing in oil field water management a major savings opportunity
Increasingly sophisticated water management helps U.S.-focused oil and gas operators drive their economic break-even oil price below the social break-even price — the minimum price needed by many producers abroad to pay bills and fulfill obligations to citizens, according to an expert in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Gabriel Collins, the Baker Botts Fellow in Energy and Environmental Regulatory Affairs, recently shared his insights in a keynote address at a Produced Water Society seminar and is available to discuss oil field water-management issues with the news media.

Baker Institute expert: Mexico must address decline in its natural gas production
Since 2010, Mexico’s demand for natural gas has been accompanied by a decline in domestic production, which had made imports of this resource increasingly vital, according to an expert at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Private and state-owned companies — from producers to pipeline operators — and a solid governmental regulatory apparatus must now help guarantee the consistent supply of natural gas, said Adrian Duhalt, postdoctoral fellow in Mexico energy studies in the institute’s Mexico Center and Center for Energy Studies, in a new issue brief, “Mexico Shifts Focus to Natural Gas.”

About Matt Wilson

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