Dateline Rice for April 19, 2018


Tradeoff: No cash but faster lines as restaurants forgo bills and coins
Utpal Dholakia, the George R. Brown Professor of Marketing at the Jones School, is quoted in an article about how a growing number of small and mid-sized businesses, mainly restaurants, are transitioning to cashless environments.
Associated Press (This article appeared in more than 60 other media outlets.)

Hotez, Zoghbi join American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Huda Zoghbi, professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Baylor College of Medicine and a Rice trustee, and Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and a fellow in disease and poverty at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Baylor College of Medicine News (This article also appeared in Medical Health News.)


Our democracy is broken. Why can’t technology fix it?
Requiring people to manually register themselves causes the voting population to overrepresent the views of older, whiter and richer Americans while underrepresenting younger, less-affluent people of color. To combat this trend, as of 2014, some 21 states have implemented online-registration systems; that covers roughly 47 percent of the American population. 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 is quoted. (This article also appeared in Engadget UK and CET US News.)


Back on Texas soil
Rice trustee and Prairie View A&M University President Ruth Simmons is featured and pictured.
Texas Co-Op Power

Map: In one Houston neighborhood, 80 percent of high-water rescue calls were outside of flood plain 
An article exploring emergency rescues in East Houston during Hurricane Harvey mentions that Juan Antonio Sorto does freelance work for Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Poll: Ted Cruz-Beto O’Rourke race too close to call
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 several articles about the race between U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, and incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Houston, and what recent poll numbers mean for both candidates. Jones was also interviewed for several broadcasts on the legacy of the late Barbara Bush.
Austin American-Statesman (Similar articles appeared in the Dallas Morning News and Conservative Review.)
Reflecting on Barbara Bush’s contributions to the political landscape
Houston Public Media
KTRH-AM (Houston) (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)
Spectrum News-TV (Austin) (Click the video button to watch to the broadcast.)
Are Texas Republicans really worried about Trump for November?
Off the Kuff

UTSA names new provost
Rice alumna Kimberly Andrews Espy ’85 will be the new provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
San Antonio Business Journal (This article appeared in 10 other media outlets.)

Houston Methodist surgeons reconstruct a colon using minimally invasive robot
Former Rice student Carter Tomsu is featured and pictured in an article about his challenges with ulcerative colitis.
TMC News (This article also appeared in Medical Health News.)

Student awarded fellowship through New Americans Program
Muhammad Shamim ’14 is featured and pictured.
Baylor College of Medicine News (This article also appeared in India West.)

Successful season for Texas Tech debate
An article mentions that Rice hosted the National Round Robin debate tournament in February. (This article also appeared on and

MLK50: This time, the truth: African-Americans have not come as far as we would like to think we have 
Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology and founding director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted in an op-ed.
Forward Times


Closer Look: Mass transit expansion feasibility 
Kyle Shelton, director of strategic partnerships at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is interviewed.

‘Twilight Epiphany,’ obra d’art a un campus universitari
James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace on the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion is featured in a video.
Beteve (An English translation is not available.)


Scientists show how salt lowers reaction temperatures to make novel materials Rice researchers used salt to make a “library” of 2-D materials that combined transition metals and chalcogens. These compounds could lead to smaller and faster transistors, photovoltaics, sensors and catalysts. Postdoctoral researcher Yu Xie and graduate student Jincheng Lei are mentioned. Boris Yakobson, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering and a professor of chemistry, is quoted. (This article also appeared in Nanotechnology News, Nanowerk and Tech Explorist.)

Hurricane Harvey: Research shows most fatalities occurred outside flood zones
Researchers at Rice, in collaboration with Delft University of Technology, identified high-risk areas outside of designated flood plains so preventative measures can be taken to reduce losses in future floods. Antonia Sebastian, a postdoctoral research associate at Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center, is quoted. (This article also appeared in and the Delft University of Technology website.)

Honoring Earth and space scientists
Francis Albarède, the Wiess Visiting Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, won a 2018 Nemmers Prize, the first to be awarded in Earth sciences.
Earth and Space Science News

Stay Metrics hires research scientist for driver turnover
Alumnus Kamalika Ghosh ’16 is featured.
Commercial Carrier Journal

LifeLaunchr earns EdTech Award for best college prep solution
Rice is mentioned.

Researchers design ‘soft’ robots that can move on their own
Former Rice graduate student Hojin Kim and Rafael Verduzco, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, collaborated on research to create a robot body that changes shape in response to its surroundings.

SPE IOR: Carbon dioxide is key option for carbon utilization
Charles McConnell, executive director of Rice’s Energy and Environment Initiative, who spoke recently at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Improved Oil Recovery Conference, is quoted.
Oil and Gas Journal

4 ways to fund a startup
An article mentions the Rice Business Plan Competition, hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and the Jones Graduate School of Business.


Facebook knows a ton about your health
Facebook collects scores of non-anonymized data from all of its users, including personal health information, which is not protected by privacy laws. Kirsten Ostherr, the Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English and director of Rice’s Medical Futures Lab, authored an op-ed on the topic. (This article also appeared in 10 other media outlets.)

At Tulane, energy industry economist makes pitch to students to fill expected workforce gap
Rice is mentioned.
New Orleans Advocate

Al Danto
Al Danto, a lecturer in management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is featured and pictured.

Pulitzer winner Shaw talks career, Kanye
An article features alumna Caroline Shaw ’04, who is the youngest winner of the Pulitzer Prize in music.
The Middlebury Campus

2,300 compete as Sinai Scholars
Sid Richardson College senior Manuel Croitoru is mentioned.

Meet 2 Canadian women who want your next steak to come from a lab
An article mentions work being done at Rice to grow muscle fibers out of algae.

‘Being Ecological’ is a book with admirable aims and a tangled execution
A new book by Timothy Morton, the Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, is reviewed.

MASS MoCA debuts 4 new exhibits
A new exhibit by Natasha Bowdoin, assistant professor of painting and drawing, is featured.
The Recorder

Buhari criticizes Nigerian youth as lazy, uneducated
An article mentions a Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s Kinder Houston Area Survey that determined that Nigerian youth are the most educated of all migrants in the U.S.
Premium Times (This article also appeared in

Accelerate Learning founder and CEO honored as EdTech Leadership Award finalists
An article mentions that Accelerate Learning and STEMscopes originated at Rice.
Bristol Herald Courier (This article also appeared in Digital Journal Wire and the Press of Atlantic City.)


Baseball: Blue Raiders defeat Lipscomb 12-6, earn season sweep
The Rice baseball team is mentioned.
MTSU Sidelines

Men’s tennis to compete at Conference USA Championship this weekend
Rice’s men’s tennis team will participate in the Conference USA Championship at the George R. Brown Tennis Center.


Editor’s note: The April 18 Dateline Rice included the wrong link to the expert alert about the leadership demonstrated by a Southwest pilot. Below is the correct version. We apologize for the error. 

Rice U. expert: Southwest pilot exemplifies ‘in extremis’ leadership
Navy veteran pilot Tammy Jo Shults’ actions in the cockpit of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 April 17 exemplified “in extremis” leadership, in that passengers’ lives depended upon her ability to execute under pressure following the in-air failure of an engine, said Tom Kolditz, a leadership scholar and executive director of Rice’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders.

Study predicts 2018 flu vaccine will have 20 percent efficacy

A Rice study predicts that this fall’s flu vaccine — a new H3N2 formulation for the first time since 2015 — will likely have the same reduced efficacy against the dominant circulating strain of influenza A as the vaccine given in 2016 and 2017, due to viral mutations related to vaccine production in eggs.

About Stefan De La Garza

Stefan De La Garza is a news analyst in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.