Dateline Rice for May 10, 2018


Rice research is featured in “Today’s Video” and “Headlines” on the National Science Foundation’s homepage and in the May 10 issue of the NSF’s Science 360 newsletter. A video focuses on research by Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center about the impact of climate change on rainfall in storms like Hurricane Harvey. Antonia Sebastian, a postdoctoral research associate, is featured. An article reports on research by an international team that included Qimiao Si, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics and Astronomy, which solved the puzzle of the “heavy fermion” compound known as CeCu2Si2.
Climate change might have made Harvey rainfall 15 percent more intense
National Science Foundation 
Theory for 1 type of superconductor solves puzzle in another 
National Science Foundation


It’s not just hybrids: Pickup trucks and sedans have gotten more efficient, too
Gabriel Collins, the Baker Botts Fellow in Energy and Environmental Regulatory Affairs at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in an article about whether automakers can meet increasingly strict mileage standards in the years ahead.
The New York Times (Subscription is required.)

Special crops aren’t what make leafcutter ants unique
Recent research by co-author Scott Solomon, associate teaching professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, sheds new light on the origins and society of leafcutter ants, which are only found in the Americas.
Futurity (This article also appeared in 10 other media outlets.)


Proposed increase of protected coral reefs in the Gulf sent to Trump administration
Adrienne Correa, assistant professor of biosciences, is quoted in an article about a proposal that would more than double the size of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Cruz seizes on Iran nuke pullout to attack O’Rourke, who cautions against ‘giving up on diplomacy’
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 about how President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran Nuclear Deal will affect Texas voters in the U.S. Senate race between Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, and incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Houston. Jones’ research is also cited in a profile of Texas House District 47 by the Austin Chronicle, which was identified as one of the 15 most vulnerable Republican seats in 2018. Outsmart Magazine quotes Jones on the likelihood of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez winning the runoff election.
Dallas News
Texas House District 47: Workman’s blues
Austin Chronicle
LGBTQ candidates head to runoffs

Commentary: Health care system is failing our country

An op-ed on America’s health care system quotes Elena Marks, a nonresident health policy fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

It’s official: Congress will vote on whether or not to bring back net neutrality
Rep. John Kline ’69, R-Minn., and Rep. Pete Olson ’85, R-Texas, are mentioned in a caption as Rice alums who are active members of Congress. Alumnus Jim Bridenstine ’97, NASA’s new administrator, is also mentioned.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the Connecticut Post Online, The Advocate Online and

Josiah McElheny’s perfectly imperfect universe

Josiah McEleny’s “Island Universe” artwork is on display at Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts through June 2.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

The sisterhood
An article mentions that architecture students from Rice have co-designed duplexes for the growing need for affordable housing for single mothers in the Third Ward.
Texas Observer

Thursday letters: NRA convention, unpriestly acts, internet rules
A letter to the editor mentions Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Thursday letters: Cycling safely
Alumnus David Griffith ’71 authored a letter to the editor about responsibility for safe cycling.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)


Eva Franch appointed new director of the Architectural Association 
An article notes that Eva Franch i Gilabert, who formerly taught at Rice, is the first woman appointed director of the Architectural Association.

University group lists ‘most promising’ oil and gas startups of the year
An article mentions the fourth annual Rice Alliance Startup Roundup, hosted by the 2018 Offshore Technology Conference, which allowed dozens of startups to pitch their businesses to the oil and gas industry’s largest corporate venture groups.
Journal of Petroleum Technology

DuPont wins 2018 American Coatings Award
Alumnus Natnael Behabtu ’10 was a member of the team that won the American Coatings Award for most outstanding conference paper.


The secret way to give commencement speeches college graduates actually remember 

An article mentions Kurt Vonnegut’s commencement address given at Rice in 1998.
Deseret News

STEMscopes early explorer named CODiE award finalist for Best Pre-K/Early Childhood Learning Solution
An article mentions that Accelerate Learning and STEMscopes originated at Rice.
Citizentribune (This article also appeared in the Bristol Herald Courier, Press of Atlantic City, Business Wire and Digital Journal.)

Bill Nye thinks we should empower women and stop burning coal
An article mentions the late Rick Smalley, co-discoverer of buckminsterfullerenes, or “buckyballs.”
Rivard Report

Banner year for U of A startup teams in regional, national competitions
The Rice Business Plan Competition at the Jones Graduate School of Business is mentioned.
University of Arkansas News

On leaving Flushing 
Rice is mentioned.

Around the world in Houston: Discover Colombia 
An article mentions events from the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice.
365 Things To Do in Houston

5 smart ways to protect your data on social media
Alumnus Scott Relf ’82 is featured and pictured.
India New England


Pat Caputo — The perils and promise of Tigers holding 1st overall selection in MLB draft
The Detroit Tigers will have the first pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft. The last time they had the No. 1 choice, in 1997, they selected former Rice pitcher Matt Anderson.
The Oakland Press (This article also appeared in the Daily Tribune Online, The Source Newspapers Online, the Morning Sun Online and

2018 Championship kicks off Thursday
Several articles mention the four-day 2018 Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held at Rice.
Roadrunners open Conference USA Championships on Thursday
UTSA Athletics
C-USA track meet begins in Houston
Herald Dispatch
Herd set to compete at C-USA Outdoor Championships
UTEP track and field headed to Houston for C-USA Championship
KTSM News Channel 9

Wrangler baseball’s chemistry driving its success as No. 1 seed entering NJCAA regional
An article mentions former Rice baseball player Mack Mueller.

PHOTOS: UTSA honors 2007 and 2008 baseball championship teams
Rice is mentioned.
UTSA Athletics

Ethan Happ, who has declared for NBA draft without hiring an agent, to work out for Milwaukee Bucks
Former Rice basketball player Malik Osborne is mentioned.
Journal Sentinel

Buono could be ‘a little more reckless’ in final act with Lions
Former Rice football player Peter Godber is mentioned and pictured.
Yahoo! Sports (This article also appeared in Yahoo! Sports Canada, CFL Network and The Auroran.)


Rice U. offers new energy data management focus within its subsurface geoscience master’s program
Rice University is offering a new and unique master’s degree in energy data management in the coming school year. The Wiess School of Natural Sciences’ Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences has opened enrollment for fall 2018 and spring 2019 in its graduate program in subsurface geoscience, through which the energy data management track will be offered, along with existing tracks in geology and geophysics.

Down on the farm … in your apartment 
Vegetables are part of a healthy diet, but urban apartment dwellers in some places around the world don’t have regular access to them. A group of Rice University senior engineering students set out to remedy that for their capstone design project. Team Växthus — mechanical engineering students Mary Bao, Mike Hua, Jack Kaplan, Harrison Lin and Colin Losey and electrical engineering student Lingbo Chen – has developed an automated, modular, indoor greenhouse to provide high-throughput food growth aimed at young professionals in urban settings

Houston’s competitiveness in health care innovation is topic at Rice’s Baker Institute May 16
Lisa Suennen, senior managing director at GE Ventures, which includes GE’s health care venture fund, will visit Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy May 16 to participate in a public conversation with Vivian Ho, director of the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences, on the economic benefits that investing in health care can bring to cities. GE Ventures invests in startups to help develop transformational technologies and applications to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

About Stefan De La Garza

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