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4|MoonRock • 4|Nanocarpets • 6|RiceLicensePlate • 14|OilFutures
10 NewColleges
32 TrackingMusicDownloads
34 FocusonTransna...
Contents3 Nanoshells target
cancer cells.
6 Rice drivers now have
something to hoot
about thanks to a new
custom license p...
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 1
17 Protecting art from the ravages of
time can be almost as easy...
Rice Magazine
Vol. 66, No. 5
Published by the
Office of Public Affairs
Linda Thrane, vice pres...
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 3
Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e
Nanoparticle Could
Combine Cancer
Diagnosis and Treatment
Nanocarpets Take Flight
With creations ranging from carpets to kites, you’d think Rice chemist...
Health Care: Helping Africa Can Pay
U.S. Dividends
Technology often is blamed for the rise in U.S. medical spending
from 5...
Donating to meaningful causes is an important facet of American
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 7
Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e
No one knows exactly how much Earth’s climate will
warm due to...
Rice condensed-matter physicist Emilia Morosan, who uses furnaces in her lab to
create compoun...
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 9
Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e
Vote Centers May Help Get Out the Vote
People have been trying...
This year, Rice University is going for the gold.
Not only did the campus w...
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 11
Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e
Feeding the Night Owls
One of the most inspired features of t...
“It is a fabulous addition to our campus in every sense,”
said Rice Univers...
two-story office building that houses recreation center staff and
Rice’s Wellness Center.
Located at the northwest corner ...
When the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) eased
regulations in the oil futures market through the Commodity
Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e
Local businesswoman and Rice University alumna Randa
Jun Yao, a graduate student in the labs
of James Tour, Doug Natelson and Lin
Zhong, drew the ...
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 17
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2009 17
Room with Many Views
Protecting art from the rava...
For most people, doing something on a lark means
buying a lottery ticket or going out for ice...
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 19
A Grand Day for GSA
If one can measure success by the number of friends a person ...
in the Sciences
and Engineering
By Christopher Dow
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 21
Women seeking careers in the natural sciences
Stellar Achievements
Rice, along with many other universities, is...
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 23
Bonnie Bartel, Rice’s Ralph and
Dorothy Looney Professor of Bio-
chemistry and Cell Biolog...
Yildiz Bayazitoglu, Rice’s Harry
S. Cameron Professor in Mechanical
Engineering, has been at ...
Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 25
Mary “Cindy” Farach-Carson
joined Rice in 2009 to take on several
roles. As the university...
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Rice Magazine 5


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Rice Magazine is published by the Office of Public Affairs of Rice University and is sent to university alumni, faculty, staff, graduate students, parents of undergraduates and friends of the university.

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Rice Magazine 5

  1. 1. 4|MoonRock • 4|Nanocarpets • 6|RiceLicensePlate • 14|OilFutures 10 NewColleges 32 TrackingMusicDownloads 34 FocusonTransnationalism 36 FarAfield in the Sciences and Engineering The Magazine of Rice University • No. 5 | 2010
  2. 2. Contents3 Nanoshells target cancer cells. 6 Rice drivers now have something to hoot about thanks to a new custom license plate. 8 Compounds with novel magnetic properties are scarce. Emilia Morosan’s solution? Create new ones. 4 Forget shag, flat weave and twisted tuft. The latest word in carpets is nano. 6 The kudos continue for the Rice MBA program in entrepreneurship. 6 What effect does gen- der have on donating to meaningful causes? 14 Oil Speculators and the Future of Oil Futures 9 The way to increase voter turnout may be simpler than anyone suspected. 5 What if high-tech surgical tools, de- signer drugs and diagnostic gadgets could make health care cheaper and save lives at the same time? 7 No one knows exactly how much Earth’s climate will warm, but current predictions about global warming might be incorrect. 46 4
  3. 3. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 1 Students Features Students 17 Protecting art from the ravages of time can be almost as easy as putting togetherTinkertoys. 18 For most people, doing something on a lark means buying a lottery ticket or going out for ice cream. For others, it’s protecting a computer system under attack. 18 This fall, Rice welcomed a record number of smiling new faces to campus. Learn a little bit about who they are. 19 The Graduate Student Association at 40 Arts 40 A young symphony conductor discovers that the most valuable lesson he learned at Rice applies to life as much as it does to music. 42 Sharing the joy of dance requires openness, creativity and, above all, the performer’s best effort. Bookshelf 44 Before Henry DavidThoreau took up residence at Walden Pond, he accidentally set fire to more than 300 acres of forest. 44 In this day of huge agribusinesses, niche agriculture is making a comeback acrossTexas. 45 Joyful, optimistic and unflinchingly honest poems help a renowned physician deal with personal grief. 45 Desegregating private universities in the South was far more complex than simply mandating change. Sports 46 Running, swimming and cycling are serious fun for the new Rice University Cycling andTriathlon club. 48 When the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London roll around, Mauro Hamza will be the coach behind the foils. 20 Spotlight on Women in the Sciences and Engineering Women seeking careers in the natural sciences and engineering at Rice have faced challenges inherent in traditionally male-dominated fields of academia, but many have more than overcome them to earn world renown and become role models for aspiring young researchers. 32 Cybertracker “You really don’t get it, do you?,” Eric Garland told the music industry back in 1994. “This isn’t about Napster, and it isn’t over. It’s only just begun.” b y D a v i d M e n c o n i 34 Welcome to the Chao Center The new Chao Center for Asian Studies focuses on transnationalism, with an eye toward collaborative research. b y M e r i n P o r t e r 36 Far Afield When it comes to digging up the dirt on humankind’s past, nothing beats hands-on experience. b y C h r i s t o p h e r D o w 34 36 42
  4. 4. 2 Rice Magazine Vol. 66, No. 5 Published by the Office of Public Affairs Linda Thrane, vice president Editor Christopher Dow Editorial Director Tracey Rhoades Creative Director Jeff Cox Art Director Chuck Thurmon Editorial Staff B.J. Almond, staff writer Jade Boyd, staff writer Franz Brotzen, staff writer Jenny West Rozelle, assistant editor David Ruth, staff writer Jessica Stark, staff writer Mike Williams, staff writer Photographers Tommy LaVergne, photographer Jeff Fitlow, assistant photographer The Rice University Board ofTrustees James W. Crownover, chairman; J.D. Bucky Allshouse; D. Kent Anderson; Keith T. Anderson; Subha Viswanathan Barry; Suzanne Deal Booth; Alfredo Brener; Robert T. Brockman; Nancy P. Carlson; Robert L. Clarke; Bruce W. Dunlevie; Lynn Laverty Elsenhans; Douglas Lee Foshee; Susanne Morris Glasscock; Robert R. Maxfield; M. Kenneth Oshman; Jeffery O. Rose; Lee H. Rosenthal; Hector de J. Ruiz; Marc Shapiro; L. E. Simmons; Robert B. Tudor III; James S. Turley; Randa Duncan Williams. Administrative Officers David W. Leebron, president; Eugene Levy, provost; Kathy Collins, vice president for Finance; Kevin Kirby, vice president for Administration; Chris Muñoz, vice president for Enrollment; Linda Thrane, vice president for Public Affairs; Scott W. Wise, vice president for Investments and treasurer; Richard A. Zansitis, general counsel; Darrow Zeidenstein, vice president for Resource Development. Rice Magazine is published by the Office of Public Affairs of Rice University and is sent to university alumni, faculty, staff, graduate students, parents of undergraduates and friends of the university. Editorial Offices Creative Services–MS 95 P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892 Fax: 713-348-6757 E-mail: Postmaster Send address changes to: Rice University Development Services–MS 80 P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892 ©January 2010 Rice University F o r e w o r d Welcome to a new decade — the decade in which Rice celebrates its 100th anniversary as a premier institution of higher learning. Many ele- ments have contributed to Rice’s excellence, not the least of which is our outstanding faculty. Though Rice’s initial faculty had only 12 members, it has, from the beginning, provided students with the in-depth knowledge not simply to succeed in the world, but also to make significant contribu- tions to it. Today, that faculty has even greater depth, and its numbers have grown to 647 full-time, 143 part-time and 274 adjunct members. But quality isn’t about numbers. It’s about depth and breadth. Rice has consistently proved resilient in recruiting individuals to its faculty who provide a wide range of disciplines, experiences and perspectives. Recent years have seen groundswell changes in faculty demographics, particularly in the recruitment of women in fields that have been predominantly occupied by men. Because this has been especially true in the sciences and engineering, we wanted, in this first issue of the decade in which Rice will celebrate a milestone anniversary, to honor the many ways that our women scientists and engineers have contributed to the university’s growth and stature, from research that expands human understanding and well-being to diversity and leadership. When we decided to devote so many pages to female leaders in the sciences and engineer- ing, I worried that the variety we strive for in the magazine might be missing from this issue. I needn’t have. One story that’s sure to interest our readers is a tour of Rice’s newest colleges: Duncan and McMurtry. Not only are they two of the most innovative and attractive buildings on campus, they also are among the most environmentally conscious, both in design and construction. We also visit the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center. The facility, as I can attest from my daily visits, rivals the best commercial health clubs in Houston with its bright, airy, well thought-out spaces and state-of-the-art exercise equipment. Even better, it’s staffed by the same friendly, helpful personnel from the old Rec Center. (Hats off to my friends at the front desk: Deirdre, Rudy and Lupita.) Our other features continue the variety, beginning with “Cybertracker,” a profile of Eric Garland ’94, one of the world’s leading authorities on digital piracy. “Welcome to the Chao Center” provides a look at the most recent addition to Rice’s impressive list of research centers, which focuses on transnationalism, and its founding director, Tani Barlow. “Far Afield” unearths the history, aims and training program of the Rice Archaeological Field School. And “Dance” waltzes us around the Rice Dance Theater. We also introduce you to one of Rice’s newest and most exciting athletic clubs, Rice University Cycling and Triathlon. We hope you enjoy these and the many other articles in this issue. And be sure to stay tuned for future issues because you won’t want to miss any of the exciting developments at Rice in the decade ahead. Corrections In the last issue, the article “Touch the Sky” contained two errors. The name of the tower on the Humanities Building should have been spelled Russ Pitman Tower rather than Russ Pittman Tower. Also, the caption for the photo of the Crystal Campanile lists Michael Graves & Associates as one of the architects, but Graves served as a consultant only, not as an architect on the project. Christopher Dow
  5. 5. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 3 Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e Nanoparticle Could Combine Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment ResearchersatRiceUniversityandBaylor CollegeofMedicine(BCM)havecreateda singlenanoparticlethatcanbetrackedin real time with magnetic resonance imag- ing (MRI) as it homes in on cancer cells, tags them with a fluorescent dye and kills them with heat. The all-in-one particle is one of the first ex- amples from a growing field called “thera- nostics” that develops technologies physi- cians can use to diagnose and treat diseases in a single procedure. Tests so far involve laboratory cell cultures, but the researchers said MRI tracking will be particularly advan- tageous as they move toward tests in animals and people. “Some of the most essential questions in nanomedicine today are about biodistribu- tion — where particles go inside the body and how they get there,” said study co-author Naomi Halas. “Noninvasive tests for biodis- tribution will be enormously useful on the path to FDA approval, and this technique — adding MRI functionality to the particle you’re testing and using for therapy — is a very promising way of doing this.” Halas, Rice’s Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and professor of chemistry, biomedical engineering, and physics and astronomy, is a pioneer in nanomedicine. The all-in- one particles are based on nanoshells — particles she invented in the 1990s that are currently in human clinical trials for cancer treatment. Nanoshells harvest laser light that would normally pass harmlessly through the body and convert it into tu- mor-killing heat. In designing the new particle, Halas partnered with Amit Joshi, assistant professor in BCM’s Division of Molecular Imaging, to modify nanoshells by adding a fluorescent dye that glows when struck by near-infrared (NIR) light. NIR light is invisible and harmless, so NIR imaging could provide doctors with a means of diagnosing diseases without surgery. In studying ways to attach the dye, Halas’ graduate student, Rizia Bardhan, found that dye molecules emitted 40–50 times more light if a tiny gap was left between them and the surface of the nanoshell. The gap was just a few nanometers wide, but rather than waste the space, Bardhan inserted a layer of iron oxide that would be detectable with MRI. The researchers also attached an antibody that lets the particles bind to the surface of breast and ovarian cancer cells. In the lab, the team confirmed that the fluorescent particles targeted cancer cells and destroyed them with heat. Joshi said the next step will be to destroy whole tumors in live animals. He estimates that testing in humans is at least two years away, but the ultimate goal is a system where a patient gets a shot containing nanoparticles with antibodies that are tailored for the patient’s cancer. Doctors would then observe the particles’ progress through the body, identify areas where tu- mors exist and kill the tumors with heat. “This particle provides four options — two for imaging and two for therapy,” Joshi said. “We envision this as a platform tech- nology that will present practitioners with a choice of options for directed treatment.” The researchers hope to develop spe- cific versions of the particles that can attack cancer at different stages, particularly early- stage cancer, which is difficult to diagnose and treat with current technology, and to use different antibody labels to target specific forms of the disease. Halas said the team has been careful to choose components that already are approved for medical use or are in clinical trials. Bardhan and BCM postdoctoral associ- ate Wenxue Chen are coprimary authors of the paper. Additional Rice co-authors include Emilia Morosan, assistant professor of phys- ics and astronomy, and graduate students Ryan Huschka and Liang Zhao. Additional BCM co-authors include Robia Pautler, as- sistant professor of neuroscience and radiol- ogy; postdoctoral associate Marc Bartels; and graduate student Carlos Perez Torres. The research was sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Welch Foundation and the Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative. —Jade Boyd View the paper in the journal Advanced Functional Materials: ››› The image shows breast cancer cells after treatment with light-activated nanocomplexes. The live cells are shown in green, and the dead cells, shown in red, are within the white-circled area where a laser was applied. Photo: R. Bardhan “Some of the most essential questions in nanomedicine today are about biodistribution — where particles go inside the body and how they get there.” —Naomi Halas
  6. 6. 4 Nanocarpets Take Flight With creations ranging from carpets to kites, you’d think Rice chemist Bob Hauge was running a department store instead of a revolution in the world of carbon nanotechnology. In a paper published in Nano Research, Hauge’s research team described a method for making “odako,” bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) named for the large traditional Japanese kites they resemble. Hauge’s method creates bundles of SWNTs that are sometimes measured in centimeters, and the process could eventually yield tubes of unlimited length. Large-scale production of nanotube threads and cables would be a boon for engineers in almost every field. Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice’s Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, said the SWNT bundles could be used in lightweight, su- perefficient power-transmission lines for next- generation electrical grids; ultrastrong and lightning-resistant versions of carbon-fiber materials found in airplanes; batteries and fuel cells; and microelectronics. To understand how Hauge makes these na- nokites, it helps to have a little background on flying carpets and printing money. Hauge and his team — which included senior research fellow Howard Schmidt ’80 and Professor Matteo Pasquali, both of Rice’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; graduate students Cary Pint ’09, Noe Alvarez ’08 and Sean Pheasant ’06; and Kent Coulter of San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute — used the same machinery the U.S. Treasury uses to embed paper money with anticounterfeiting markings to deposit manufacturing elements onto a sheet of carbon substrate. The top layer consisted of tiny iron particles that cause nanotubes to grow under proper conditions. Under that was a layer of flaked aluminum oxide, and beneath that was a release layer the team could activate with a sol- vent to loosen the aluminum oxide and iron. The process took off in a mesh cage placed into a furnace, where the flakes lifted off and “flew” in the chemical breeze of hydrogen and acetylene flowing through the produc- tion chamber while arrays of nanotubes grew vertically in tight, forest-like formations under them. The resulting mats of tubes looked re- markably like the pile of a carpet. While other methods used to grow SWNTs have yielded a paltry 0.5 percent ratio of nano- tubes to substrate materials, Hauge’s technique brought the yield up to an incredible 400 per- cent. Pint said that the process will likely facilitate large-scale SWNT growth. Photos show that the odako follow the rounded form of the fibers even while growing to great lengths, though the researchers note that shorter may be better for the manufacture of composite materials. Odako growth may even be possible on other materials, such as quartz fibers and a variety of metals. “If we could get these growing so that we can pull one end out of the furnace while the other end is still inside growing, then we should be able to grow meter-long material and start weaving it,” Hauge said. The key is the holy grail of nanotube growth: a catalyst that will not become depleted, enabling furnaces to churn out continuous threads of material. “You have to make that catalyst stay alive indefinitely,” Hauge said. “That’s a very difficult thing to do, but it’s not impossible.” —Mike Williams Top photo: Microscopic bundles of “odako” grown at Rice University shows single-walled nanotubes lifting iron and aluminum oxide “kites” as they grow while remaining firmly rooted in a carbon base. Bottom photo: Odako grow from carbon fibers treated with iron and an aluminum oxide catalyst. The bare fibers at left were covered during the catalyst deposition process. Space Rock At halftime during the Rice–Navy football game on Oct. 10, NASA’s Johnson Space Center Director Mike Coats presented President David Leebron with a moon rock andtheAmbassadorofExploration Award, originally bestowed post- humously to President John F. Kennedy last July on the 40th an- niversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. NASA gave the award to Kennedy for his directive, articu- lated in his famous 1962 speech at Rice Stadium, that humans would reach the moon by the end of the 1960s. Recipients of the Ambassador of Exploration Award are asked to select an edu- cational institution or museum where it can be displayed and appreciated by all, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and daughter of Robert Kennedy, presented the award to Rice on behalf of the Kennedy family. Also on hand during the pre- sentation was Congressman Pete Olson ’85 of the 22nd District of Texas, which encompasses Johnson Space Center. Left to right: Pete Olson, David Leebron and Mike Coats
  7. 7. Health Care: Helping Africa Can Pay U.S. Dividends Technology often is blamed for the rise in U.S. medical spending from 5 percent of the U.S. economy in 1960 to 16.5 percent today. Butwhatifthesteadystreamofsurgicaltools,designerdrugsand diagnostic gadgets coming out of university laboratories could make health care cheaper — and save lives in underdeveloped countries at the same time? It’s already happening in Houston’s Texas Medical Center, where en- gineering researchers from Rice University and Austin-based start-up LabNow are putting the finishing touches on a toaster-sized machine that is designed to diagnose virtually any disease or medical condition for a fraction of the cost of modern U.S. clinical assays. The machine already works for HIV monitoring and heart-attack screens and soon will be used to diagnose various kinds of cancer. Rice bioengineer John McDevitt originally designed the device for use in rural Africa. McDevitt recently moved his laboratory from Austin to Rice University’s BioScience Research Collaborative, home to Rice’s Department of Bioengineering, one of the top 10 biomedical engineering programs in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. “Typically the developing world gets the leftovers when it comes to medical technologies,” said McDevitt, Rice’s Brown-Wiess Professor in Bioengineering and Chemistry. “For HIV immune-function testing, which is one of the most significant humanitarian problems on the planet, we went to Africa first. Tens of millions of people need these tests in sub-Saharan Africa, but only about 30 percent of the popula- tion is now being served.” The remaining 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas without the stable electricity, refrigerators and trained lab personnel needed to run the complicated tests now in use. In addition, the cur- rent tests require a flow cytometer, a refrigerator-sized device that costs as much as a new car. McDevitt’s lab is all about miniaturization. It combines the latest technology from microcomputing, nanotechnology and biotechnol- ogy to shrink all the functions of a state-of-the-art clinical laboratory onto a microchip the size of a postage stamp. These lab-on-a-chip ele- ments contain tiny chambers where “biomarkers” react with proteins and cells in a patient’s saliva or blood. The microchips are mounted on disposable, plastic cards that are slotted into a battery-powered analyzer that determines whether the patient is sick and how sick he or she is. LabNow is currently field testing the new analyzer in Africa, and McDevitt said the field tests will determine how well the analyzer works in the rural areas for which it was designed. Early results showed the analyzer functions as well as a flow cytometer, but McDevitt’s analyzer is expected to cost about one-fifth as much to produce. Trials of a test for heart attacks also began this fall at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). That test, which McDevitt is conducting in col- laboration with BCM Professor of Medicine Christie Ballantyne, uses biomarkers in saliva to tell whether a patient is having a heart attack. “Electrocardiograms miss up to 30 percent of heart attacks, delay- ing treatment for hours until lab tests can be completed,” McDevitt said. “Preliminary research found our saliva tests could be a great complementary test to what’s already available. Safely moving false alarms out of the ER would have a major impact on U.S. health care costs for chest-pain patients.” McDevitt said the disposable cards used in the saliva-based heart- attack screens presently are manufactured using silicon fabrication methods from the computing industry. The cards cost about $5 each, but McDevitt’s laboratory is testing alternative materials that can be used to produce the disposable cards for just pennies. Any biomarker that’s specific to a type of cancer or other disease can be added to these disposable cards to create a new type of test. Now that the analyzer is nearing commercial availability, McDevitt’s lab is making the transition from creating the technology that reads the tests to creating the tests themselves. “Finding and applying biomarkers for these tests is going to be our new focus,” he said. “It’s akin to creating software for a computer rather than the computer itself. Up to now we’ve been like Dell, but we’re go- ing to be the Microsoft of biomarker signatures from here on out.” —Jade Boyd McDevitt’s lab is all about miniaturization. It combines the latest technology from microcomputing, nanotechnology and biotechnology to shrink all the functions of a state-of-the-art clinical laboratory onto a microchip the size of a postage stamp. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 5 Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e
  8. 8. 6 Who’sMoreGenerous,MenorWomen? Donating to meaningful causes is an important facet of American life, but how do individuals choose where to spend their chari- table dollars? A recent study co-authored by Vikas Mittal, Rice University’s J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Management, showed thatmenandwomentakedifferentapproachestodonatingbased on their gender and moral identities. A series of three studies, published in the August 2009 Journal of Consumer Research, examined whether men and women would do- nate to victims of natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and the South Asian tsunami, and to terrorism victims in London and Iraq. “Men and women are different, but the caricatures of how we differ are wrong,” Mittal said. “This and other new research give us insight into how the genders make decisions about money.” Research over the past several years has found that individuals with a feminine gender identity — predominantly women — are mo- tivated by communal goals such as the welfare and nurturing of other people, while those with a masculine identity are driven by “agentic” goals, including assertiveness, control and a focus on the self. The study authors describe “moral identity” as the extent to which notions Owls on Wheels Now Rice drivers have something to hoot about thanks to a new custom license plate developed by the Texas Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Rice Office of Public Affairs. Learn how to purchase your own Owl license plate: ››› of being moral are central and important to one’s self-identity. The studies found that women who placed a high importance on being moral gave equally to victims of the South Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Men who believed strongly in morality, on the other hand, were more inclined to donate to Katrina victims only. When it came to victims of terrorism, women gave to victims in both London and Iraq, while men donated only to the London group. “In terms of donations, we found that women expand their circle outward,” Mittal said. “They tend to view victims of the tsunami as much a part of the ‘in-group’ as people suffering after Katrina, who are actually much closer to home. Men were willing to donate to Katrina victims but considered the tsu- nami victims members of the ‘out-group.’ With the terrorism studies, women con- sidered victims of both London and Iraq attacks as members of their circle, while men expanded their group only as far as those injured in London.” The findings could be particularly relevant for fundraisers and nonprofit leaders. “Although it would mean more time and effort,” Mittal said, “creating communications pieces that target men and women separately should have a positive impact on donations.” Mittal has long been interested in examining how men and wom- en make financial choices and how new science helps us understand the differences in psychology between the genders. A 2008 study he co-authored on gender and investing found that women are generally more conservative and seek to minimize losses, while men tend to take greater investment risks, with the hope of maximizing gains. “Women are more nurturing,” Mittal said. “This orientation cre- ates differences in how they take risks, communicate, donate and approach other aspects of their lives. These are not biological differ- ences. They are based on psychology and on the different things that women learn to value in socialization processes.” — Julia Nguyen Rice MBA Program Places Fifth in Entrepreneurship The kudos continue for the Rice MBA program in entrepre- neurship, recently ranked No. 5 among U.S. graduate entre- preneurship programs by the Princeton Review. It was one of 25 undergraduate and 25 graduate programs selected from a pool of more than 2,300. During the last two years, the Rice entrepreneurship program has moved up a total of 17 spots, from No. 22 in 2007 to No. 16 in 2008 to its current position in the 2009 rankings. For more on the rankings, visit: ››› Learn more about the Rice MBA: ››› “Men and women are different, but the carica- tures of how we differ are wrong. This and other new research give us insight into how the genders make decisions about money.” –Vikas Mittal
  9. 9. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 7 Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e No one knows exactly how much Earth’s climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists’ best predictions about global warming might be incorrect. The study, which appears in Nature Geoscience, found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth’s ancient past. The study, which was published online, contains an analysis of published records of a period of rapid climatic warming about 55 million years ago known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. “In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.” During the PETM, for reasons that are still unknown, the amount of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere rose rapidly. For this reason, this period of climatic warming, which has been identified in hundreds of sediment core samples worldwide, is probably the best ancient climate analogue for present- day Earth. In addition to rapidly rising levels of atmospheric car- bon, global surface temperatures rose dramatically during the PETM. Average temperatures worldwide rose by about 7 degrees Celsius — about 13 degrees Fahrenheit — in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years. “You go along a core and everything’s the same, the same, the same, and then suddenly, you pass this time line and the carbon chemistry is completely different,” Dickens said. “This has been documented time and again at sites all over the world.” Based on findings related to oceanic acidity levels during the PETM and on calculations about the cycling of carbon among the oceans, air, plants and soil, Dickens and co-authors Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii and James Zachos of the University of California at Santa Cruz determined that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by about 70 percent during the PETM, not quite a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Since the start of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels are believed to have risen by about one-third, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels. If present rates of fossil-fuel consump- tion continue, the doubling of carbon dioxide from fossil fu- els will occur sometime within the next century or two. Doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is an oft-talked- about threshold, and today’s climate models include accept- ed values for the climate’s sen- sitivity to doubling. Using these accepted values and the PETM carbon data, the researchers found that the models could only explain about half of the warming that Earth experienced 55 million years ago. The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other pro- cesses that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for current best estimates of 21st century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.” —Jade Boyd “In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record. There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.” —Gerald Dickens Read the study: ›››
  10. 10. 8 Rice condensed-matter physicist Emilia Morosan, who uses furnaces in her lab to create compounds with novel magnetic properties, has landed a highly coveted Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). CAREER awards support the research and educational development of young scholars who are likely to become leaders in their field. Among the most competitive grants awarded by the NSF, which gives out only about 400 per year across all disciplines, each comes with a five-year grant of up to $550,000. For her CAREER grant, Morosan has an ambitious goal: discover and perfect the synthesis of compounds that are not normally magnetic but that can become “itinerant ferromagnets.” Only two such unusual compounds are known to exist: scandium-indium and zirconium-zinc. Unconventional superconductivity and possibly other exotic phase transitions are believed to occur in these com- pounds, and Morosan is confident that physicists can learn much from the materials if they have more of them to study. When itinerant ferromagnets are cooled below a critical temperature, they go through a phase transition — changes of matter from one state and set of characteristics to another, such as ice to water and water to steam. By appropriately manipulating these compounds, the phase transition can be tuned to absolute zero temperature. These changes are fundamentally different from more familiar phase transitions, such as a liquid freezing. In the case of the zero-temperature phase transitions, quantum and not thermal fluctuations take over, and they are therefore called quantum phase transitions. In ferromagnetic materials — such as common refrigerator magnets — the magnetic “mo- ments” of each atom are perfectly aligned. The reason that other materials, like plastic or silver spoons, don’t stick to the refrigerator is that they have no magnetic “moments.” In itinerant fer- romagnets with no magnetic constituents, magnetism occurs even though there are no magnetic “moments” to be aligned. “This is the result of a collective behavior that cannot be traced back to any single atom’s mo- ment,” Morosan said. “The theories that attempt to explain this behavior are incomplete at best. It would clearly help to have new materials to study.” Utilizing the partial theories available, Morosan plans to systematically create and test crystal- line compounds containing two or more transition metals in search of new itinerant ferromagnets that could help physicists better understand the underlying physics of quantum phase transitions. It may sound like hunting for a needle in a haystack, but Morosan is confident that she has a good chance of finding undiscovered itinerant ferromagnets during the course of her research. “The worst thing that can happen is that I end up discovering new compounds that I wasn’t looking for to begin with,” she said. “I will take that failure mode anytime.” —Jade Boyd Her Honor Annise Parker, a 1978 graduate of Rice University, defeated former City Attorney Gene Locke in the Dec. 12 runoff for Houston mayor. The first openly gay mayor of one of the na- tion’s largest cities, Parker teased her sup- porters as she began her victory speech. “I am proud, very proud, to have been elected the first [pause], the very first graduate of Rice University to be mayor of Houston.” She did not make an issue of her sexual ori- entation during her campaign. “We’re united in one goal, and that is making Houston the city that it should be, could be, can be and will be,” Parker said in her victory speech. “Houston is a city built on dreams, but these dreams have always been powered by hard work, creativity, com- mon sense and cooperation.” A native Houstonian, Parker attended Rice from 1974 to 1978 and was a member of Jones College. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and so- ciology. She was elected city controller in 2003, 2005 and 2007 following a stint on the Houston City Council as Houston’s first openly gay elected official. As mayor, Parker will work closely with fellow Rice alumnus Harris County Judge Ed Emmett ’71, who is the presiding officer of Harris County Commissioners Court. Other Rice alums currently holding elected office are Texas Rep. Scott Hochberg ’75, Texas Sen. Eliot Shapleigh ’74, and U.S. Reps. Pete Olson ’85 and John Kline ’69. Former Harris County Judge and former Mayor of Houston Roy Hofheinz ’32 attended Rice but did not earn a Rice degree. —Franz Brotzen
  11. 11. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 9 Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e Vote Centers May Help Get Out the Vote People have been trying to increase voter turnout for decades, using a variety of reforms that would ease the challenges would-be voters face each election. The answer may be simpler than anyone suspected. It hinges on the creation of Election Day vote centers (EDVCs), which are nonprec- inct-based locations for voting. The sites are fewer in number than precinct-voting stations, are centrally located to major population centers (rather than distributed among many residential locations) and rely on countywide voter-registration data- bases accessed electronically at each polling site. Voters in a given jurisdiction are provided ballots appropriate to their registration address. Working with a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Bob Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, and Greg Vonnahme ’04, now an assistant professor at the University of Alabama, have studied EDVCs. Their findings indicate that EDVCs increase voter turnout in general and among infrequent voters in particular and that they are more effective than previous efforts, like relaxed absentee voting, voting by mail and in-person early voting. The research was published in the Journal of Politics. To study the effectiveness of EDVCs, Stein and Vonnahme examined polling data from counties in Colorado and Texas to understand voters’ feelings about the entire voting process. Larimer County in northern Colorado dropped its 143 precinct-based polling places in 2003, and replaced them with 22 vote centers. It was the first county in the country to move to EDVCs. Weld County, which is adjacent to Larimer, continued with precinct-based voting. From 1990 through 2000, voter turnout was higher in Weld County than in Larimer County. “Turnout in Larimer County, however, increased at a faster rate than in Weld County after Larimer County’s adoption of Election Day vote centers in 2003,” Stein and Vonnahme noted. The increase in Larimer County came despite the fact that many voters actually had to travel greater distances to vote at the EDVCs. “The convenience of voting might not directly correspond to the distance between where people live and their polling site,” the authors hypothesized. “For example, a person might prefer to vote at a polling location that is two miles from their house but on the way to work rather than at a polling site that is only a mile away from their house but in the opposite direction.” In a separate study, Stein and Vonnahme conducted exit polls of 538 voters at 10 EDVCs in Lubbock, Texas, in November 2008. For comparison purposes, they also interviewed 251 voters at six precinct sites in Potter County and 402 voters at five precinct sites in Randall County. “The results,” they wrote, “tentatively suggest the EDVCs increase voter turnout, particularly among less engaged voters.” In addition, the Lubbock survey results “also show that EDVCs seem to in- crease voters’ satisfaction with polling place operations,” which may help explain the higher turnout. The exit polls found voters were generally pleased with the length of lines, the availability of parking and the helpfulness of poll workers. The researchers cautioned that the findings are far from conclusive. The areas studied are small and may have unique characteristics, and the studies cover only a short time frame. However, they concluded that EDVCs are the first reform that seems to have led to higher voter turnout overall and, perhaps more importantly, among infrequent voters. —Franz Brotzen RisetotheChallenge Rise to the challenge and fill out your questionnaire at: Their findings indicate that EDVCs increase voter turnout in general and among infrequent voters in particular and that they are more effective than previous efforts, like relaxed absentee voting, voting by mail and in-person early voting. Recent graduates like Stephanie Taylor ’05 are sup- porting Rice’s world-class education and influencing its national ranking through the Centennial Challenge to YoungAlumni.Ifyougraduatedbetween1999and2009, Karen ’79 and Rich Whitney ’80 will match your gift to the Rice Annual Fund 2-to-1 until March 20, 2010. Name: Stephanie Taylor Graduation year: 2005 Major: Civil engineering [ W h y I G i v e ]#61
  12. 12. 10 Construction@rice This year, Rice University is going for the gold. Not only did the campus welcome the largest freshman population​ in university history, but it also is housing around 150 of them in twonewresidentialcollegesthatoutshinethecompetitioninen- ergyefficiencyandinnovation.Inthenearfuture,DuncanCollege is expected to go where only a handful of other college dormito- ries have gone before by earning gold certification from the U.S. GreenBuildingCouncil’sLeadershipinEnergyandEnvironmental Design (LEED) program. Rice also will apply for LEED gold certi- fication for McMurtry College. The opening of McMurtry and Duncan colleges — respectively the 10th and 11th residential colleges at Rice — marks only the second time since 1971 that the university has added new colleges. With 324 beds each, they are Rice’s largest residences and have equalized the student populations on the north and south sides of the campus, with each side now capable of housing approximately 1,400 students each. Fresh Faces At the beginning of the fall 2009 semester, Duncan and McMurtry each welcomed 75 freshmen, as well as students from the two south colleg- es that are currently under renovation. McMurtry College’s population was rounded out with 236 students from Will Rice College, while 226 Baker College students moved into Duncan. Most are slated to return to the south side of campus when renovations are completed this fall, but several Will Rice and Baker students will stay on at the new col- leges as part of a group of 350 current Rice sophomores and juniors who were invited at random to populate Duncan and McMurtry in the coming academic year. The new Duncan and McMurtry students are in the process of forming their own college traditions — such as drafting constitutions, designing crests and hosting social events — by studying those of the other nine colleges. These responsibilities also include selecting the masters, resident associates, college coordinators, college officers and O-Week coordinators who will begin serving in fall 2010. Sister Colleges Packed with thoughtful, sustainable details, the colleges are mirror images of each other with only a few exceptions. Both are built with the wood-molded St. Joe brick that hallmarks the Rice campus, al- though in slightly different colors, and both feature cypress siding on the first floor. However, the iconography at Duncan College will have a sustainability focus, and Duncan houses a classroom finished with green materials and furnishings and will feature displays to help teach Rice students about sustainable living. The colleges also differ in the design of their masters’ houses — which were planned to be identical until the design of Duncan’s house was altered to save a 52-inch live oak — and in the design of each commons. Though they were built of similar materials, the Duncan College Commons was constructed in a traditional rectangle, while the McMurtry College Commons’ circular shape was inspired by the prospect of accommodating arena theater. Sustaining a Lifestyle With features such as thick walls, double-paned windows, efficient lighting and smart thermostats, the new residential colleges are two of the most energy-efficient buildings on campus and reflect Rice’s commitment to environmental responsibility. “We estimate that these colleges will use half as much energy as they would have if they had just been built to the minimum code,” Good as Gold
  13. 13. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 11 Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e Feeding the Night Owls One of the most inspired features of the new colleges’ de- sign can be found at Duncan and McMurtry’s West Servery: alate-nightservicewindowthatstudentswillrunasabusi- ness after campus serveries have closed. The service will begin in spring 2010, and the success of its inaugural semester will play a large role in determining how it — and potentially a similar operation in the East Servery, which is under renovation — will be run in the future. Tentatively, the window will operate from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Saturday. Students will set the price points for the menu, which likely will feature salads, heat-and-serve foods such as Quiznos sandwiches and pizza, and drinks. “We’ve never done this before, so we’re just going to see what happens,” said Rice Director of Residential Dining David McDonald, who will be paying for the operation’s food and supplies out of the Office of Housing and Dining budget until the business is able to turn a profit. He also will advise the students on best practices. “If it’s popular, we’ll expand it, and if it’s not working, we’ll initiate some marketing campaigns. We don’t want to give the students too much structure, so I’m giving them quite a bit of leeway on this.” said Rice Director of Sustainability Richard Johnson, who also is a professor in the practice of environmental studies in sociology. He added that the colleges would use approximately 40 percent less wa- ter due to their front-loading washing machines and low-flow toilets and showers. Both colleges offer many other sustainable features, as well. Vegetated “green” roofs help reduce the buildings’ energy consump- tion, minimize storm-water runoff, limit damage from hailstorms, and provide a habitat for songbirds and other native animals and insects. Low-emitting indoor finishes such as concrete flooring con- tribute to indoor environmental quality. And both colleges provide extensive bicycle storage and are close to public transportation and Rice’s Zipcar services. During construction, as much as 95 percent of construction waste was recycled. In addition, many of the building materials used were manufactured within 500 miles of Houston — which reduced trans- portation-related environmental impacts — and fly ash was used ex- tensively as a substitute for Portland cement, which yielded a stronger concrete with a substantially smaller carbon footprint. Chic, innovative prefabricated restroom pods reduced construction waste, traffic to worksites and the number of on-site subcontractors. The ultramodern pods made even more headlines when they were featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York’s Cellophane House exhibit last year. “For me, these colleges represent a living laboratory for how to design buildings that respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century,” Johnson said. “Students will be able to learn about is- sues concerning energy, water and climate change in their classes and then return to their rooms in buildings that are physical manifestations of how to respond to these issues. In that way, these new buildings offer both education and inspiration.” —Merin Porter
  14. 14. 12 Construction@rice “It is a fabulous addition to our campus in every sense,” said Rice University President David Leebron. “It will help us reinforce our sense of community as we bring students, faculty and staff together, and it will enable all members of our community to stay physically fit while they pursue their intellectual endeavors.” The two-story building, which opened Sept. 25, features an industrial-style interior with lofty ceilings, exposed ductwork, and concrete floors and beams. A freestanding concrete stair- case serves as a lobby centerpiece, and pinewood benches, handrails and other accents add warmth to the interior. In ad- dition, Rice has commissioned a hanging sculpture by former Rice Gallery artist Aurora Robson to fill the vertical space cre- ated by the lobby’s 36-foot ceiling. The artwork is scheduled for installation in January. The recreation center’s first floor offers 9,000 square feet of state-of-the-art cardio and weight machines, as well as four racquetball and two squash courts, an activity area that includes ping-pong and pool tables, and men’s and women’s locker rooms. In addition, an outdoor-adventure center allows members to rent equipment for camping, rock climbing, white- water rafting and other excursions. Just outside the building are two basketball courts, and 15 Florida sabal palms surround a 2,400-square-foot recreation pool and a 50-meter competition pool. The second floor features two basketball courts, four multi- purpose rooms for group fitness and dance classes, a practice and performance studio specifically designed for Rice Dance Theater, and a large multipurpose activity court for indoor soccer and other sports. The facility, which also features a personal-training and fitness-assessment center, adjoins a new GettingPhysical The new recreation center is part of a major construction initiative fueled by the Vision for the Second Century’s goal of increasing Rice’s student body and raising its international profile. When Rice students, faculty and staff want to exercise more red cells than graycells,thenewBarbaraandDavid GibbsRecreationandWellnessCenter offerstheperfectsolution.Withevery- thing from weight machines, swim- ming pools and ping-pong tables to basketballandracquetballcourts,the 103,000-square-footcenterprovidesa host of fitness options for Rice com- munity members.
  15. 15. two-story office building that houses recreation center staff and Rice’s Wellness Center. Located at the northwest corner of Alumni Drive and Laboratory Road, the new recreation center is part of a ma- jor construction initiative fueled by the Vision for the Second Century’s goal of increasing Rice’s student body and raising its international profile. Like all other recently constructed buildings on campus, the center adheres to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It was designed by SmithGroup (formerly F&S Partners), Lake/Flato Architects and the Office of James Burnett and is named in honor of Rice alumni David ’71 and Barbara Jenkins Gibbs ’73, who made the lead gift for the $41 million facility. “Rice University and its gym were defining influences in my life,” said David Gibbs. “Whenever I would get in a funk or a solution to a problem failed to present itself, I headed to the gym, and after a good workout, I was ready to get back to my studies with the juices flowing. This has worked for me my entire life. I’m a believer in lifelong fitness.” Another believer, Student Association President Patrick McAnaney, raced to be the first person to use the new weight room when the recreation center opened its doors. “This is the most anticipated day during my time at Rice,” McAnaney said. The replacement of Rice’s 1950s-era gymnasium with the new recreation center makes Rice “perfect,” he said. Memberships to the new facility are currently available to Rice students, faculty, staff, retirees, Rice trustees, and their spouses and domestic partners. —Merin Porter and Jessica Stark Learn more about the center: ››› Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 13 Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e
  16. 16. When the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) eased regulations in the oil futures market through the Commodity FuturesModernizationActof2000,thecommissionreasonedthat speculation wasn’t influencing oil futures markets. According to a study by energy experts at Rice University’s James A. Baker III InstituteforPublicPolicy,however,thecommission’sactionwas based on inappropriate analysis. The authors of the study are Kenneth Medlock, an energy and resource economics fellow at the Baker Institute and lecturer of economics, and Amy Myers Jaffe, an energy studies fellow at the Baker Institute and as- sociate director of the Rice Energy Program. In “Who Is in the Oil Futures Market and How Has It Changed?” they present new evidence that shows a clear increase in the size and influence of noncommercial trad- ers, or “speculators”: about 50 percent of those holding outstanding positions in the U.S. oil futures market, compared with only about 20 percent prior to 2002. The report also finds that the correlation between oil and the dollar has strengthened significantly over the past several years. Jaffe and Medlock note that, while the question of what has produced sharp swings in oil prices since 2005 is a complex one that requires further and deeper study, there are “inescapable facts” that need to be part of the debate about regulating the activities of institutions bet- ting on movements in oil price purely for financial gain. Specifically, speculators, which the CFTC designates as any reportable trader who is not using futures contracts to hedge, have increased their footprint in the marketplace dramatically since the late 1990s. Hedgers are typically producers and consumers of the physical commodity who use futures markets to offset price risk. By contrast, speculators seek profits by taking market positions to gain from changes in the commodity price but are not involved in the physical receipt and/or delivery of the commodity. “To protect the U.S. economy and American consumers, there needs to be greater market oversight,” Medlock said. “The tremendous increase in the market presence of speculators by fifteenfold speaks for itself.” As noted in a 2007 U.S. Government Accountability Office re- port, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 made it easier for financial players to obviate speculative limits and made it more difficult for the CFTC to regulate oil futures markets. Changes at London’s International Petroleum Exchange (now ICE Futures, a subsidiary of IntercontinentalExchange) regarding U.S. delivery- based contracts also created problems with monitoring and limiting speculative activity because these contracts were outside the juris- diction of the CFTC. While there were short windows of time before 2001 when the price of oil and the value of the dollar were correlated more strongly, a dramatic sustained period of high correlation emerged during the 2000s, according to the study. Given this new strong interconnection, the authors note, the threat to the United States’ economic health and national secu- rity is that the dollar risks getting caught in a vicious cycle where continually rising oil prices feed the U.S. trade deficit, leading to increased U.S. indebtedness and there- by an even weaker dollar, which further drives oil prices higher. The authors conclude that new poli- cies are needed. When oil prices rose in 2007–08 from $65 per barrel to $125, governments around the world, including the United States, built strategic stock- piles. This policy signaled to oil market participants and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that gov- ernments would not use strategic petroleum stocks to ease prices under any circumstances except major wartime supply shortfalls. This allowed speculators to confidently expand their exposure in oil market futures exchanges without fear of repercussions or revenue losses from a surprise release of U.S. or International Energy Agency strategic oil stocks. “We need to re-evaluate our policies for how we utilize strategic oil stocks in light of the oil/dollar linkages,” said Jaffe. “Clearly, our government needs to fashion a better response.” —David Ruth Download a PDF file of the complete study: ››› Amy Myers Jaffe Kenneth Medlock 14
  17. 17. Sallyportt h r o u g h t h e Local businesswoman and Rice University alumna Randa DuncanWilliamswaselectedtotheRiceBoardofTrustees at the Dec. 10 board meeting. Duncan Williams is co-chairwoman of EPCO Inc., the private hold- ing company for three public partnerships that form one of North America’s largest midstream transportation and energy networks: Enterprise Products Partners L.P., Enterprise GP Holdings L.P. and Duncan Energy Partners L.P. She also serves on the board of direc- tors of Enterprise GP Holdings L.P. and is president of DLD Family Investments, a family asset management company. Active in the Houston community, Duncan Williams is a former chair- woman of the Houston Museum of Natural Science board, and she chaired the museum’s gala last year. She has been highly involved with the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where she has served in an advisory and fundraising role. She also has served on the boards of the Houston Zoo, the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Chapter and the River Oaks Baptist School, among others. “Educating kids and getting them excited about all the possibili- ties available to them is important to me,” Duncan Williams said. At Rice, Duncan Williams is a member of the School of Social Sciences Advisory Council and a former board member of the Shepherd Society. She serves as a nonboard member of the Academic Affairs committee of the Rice Board of Trustees. “Randa has developed a distinguished record of business accom- plishments, community service and philanthropic leadership,” said Jim Crownover ’65, chair of the Rice Board of Trustees. “That combi- nation of skills, experience and passion will be a tremendous asset to our board.” Rice President David Leebron said Duncan Williams offers a won- derfully broad vision and passion for Rice. “Randa chaired the Houston Museum of Natural Science board at a time when the museum was experiencing great growth,” Leebron said. “Rice, too, is undergoing growth in many ways — in our student body, our research endeavors and our engagement with our home city, among others — and Randa’s record of leadership during times of great opportunity and challenge will serve our vision for the university well.” Duncan Williams is a 1985 graduate of Rice with a B.A. in political science and economics, and she was a member of Hanszen College. She received a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1988 and then practiced law with Butler & Binion L.L.P., where she handled toxic tort cases. In addition, she worked on maritime and property liability cases at the firm Brown, Sims, Wise and White P.C. She joined EPCO in 1994 and became the company president and CEO in 2001. In 2007, she was elected group co-chairwoman of EPCO. The EPCO family of public companies provides services to pro- ducers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, re- fined products, liquefied petroleum gases and petrochemicals. EPCO also has an indirect significant equity interest in Energy Transfer Equity L.P. and owns Enterprise Transportation Co., one of the top 10 tank truck companies in the country. Including Duncan Williams, the Rice board consists of 22 trustees. —B.J. Almond Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 15 Randa Duncan Williams Elected to Rice Board “Randa has developed a distinguished record of business accomplishments, community service and philanthropic leadership. That combination of skills, experience and passion will be a tremendous asset to our board.” —Jim Crownover “Randa chaired the Houston Museum of Natural Science board at a time when the museum was experiencing great growth. Rice, too, is undergoinggrowthinmanyways—inourstudentbody,ourresearch endeavors and our engagement with our home city, among others — and Randa’s record of leadership during times of great opportunity and challenge will serve our vision for the university well.” —David Leebron Randa Duncan Williams
  18. 18. 16 Jun Yao, a graduate student in the labs of James Tour, Doug Natelson and Lin Zhong, drew the Rice Owl and wordmark at the behest of his friend and colleague Noe Alvarez, who recently earned his doctorate at Rice. He used a mouse to painstakingly trace the images into a com- puter program that controls the electron beam of an electron scanning microscope. “I really wanted to use the Rice logo made of nanotubes on one of my slides for the Ph.D. defense committee,” Alvarez re- called. “We finished the drawing in time, but the electron scanning microscope we needed to create the image at the nano- scale was broken.” Alvarez said that he and Yao made the nano-owls for fun, but they still wanted to get a good look at their cre- ations. When Alvarez later noticed that the microscope had been repaired and was sitting idle, he grabbed the opportu- nity to make a few portraits of the tiniest owl ever. The images consist of more than 10 million nanotubes — each of which is about 1/50,000th the diameter of a hair — and appear to the naked eye as barely visible dots. Yao explained that the process of creating the images involved layering a silicon wafer with a 10-nanometer-thick alumina substrate and a slim coating of liquid poly(methyl methacrylate), aka PMMA. “We bake it at 180 degrees centigrade for two minutes to crystallize the liquid,” he said. “We already had the image in the computer, so we just had to program the electron beam to trace the pattern into the PMMA.” They used a developer to wash away the PMMA that had been ex- posed to the electron beam, followed by deposition of a .5-nanometer iron catalyst film and then an acetone bath to remove the catalyst outside the nano-owl pattern. “Then we put it in the reactor, where the carpet grows in about 15 minutes,” Alvarez said. Alvarez, who worked in the labs of co-advisers Tour and Robert Hague, a pioneer in the growth of nanotube bundles, will leave Rice soon for a postdoctoral position at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. —Mike Williams Tiny Owls Take Flight You might want to fly this Rice Owl and wordmark at Rice’s next baseball game, but since each is only about twice the width of a human hair, you’d needaverytinypennant.Theimagesaremadeofcarbonnanotubesgrown incarpetsbymeansofaprocessdevelopedatRice.(SeearticleonPage4.) Jun Yao, left, and Noe Alvarez stand at the electron scanning microscope they used to capture images of their nano-scale owl and Rice wordmark. Theimagesconsistofmorethan10millionnanotubes–eachofwhichisabout1/50,000ththediameterofahair–andappeartothenakedeyeasbarelyvisibledots.
  19. 19. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 17 Students Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2009 17 Room with Many Views Protecting art from the ravages of time can be almost as easy as putting together Tinkertoys, thanks to a group of Rice students who have developed a system that may revolutionize the way museums handle complex storage issues. The four undergraduates and their mentor, Matthew Wettergreen ’08, came up with the modular system over the course of nine intense weeks. Wettergreen, who holds a doctorate in bioengineering from Rice, said that museums have depended for decades on the old-fashioned method of building plywood boxes around things they want to store. But when conserva- tors at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) approached Rice’s Sallie Keller, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering, and Gary Wihl, then dean of the School of Humanities, about find- ing a better way, they inspired the cre- ation of the Engineering Design for Art and Artifact program. “We wanted visible storage,” said Wynne Phelan, conservation director at the MFAH. “We wanted materials that were not harmful and did not produce acid that would attack artworks. And we wanted a modular system that was easily assembled.” Maria Oden, director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen and profes- sor in the practice of engineering edu- cation, recruited Wettergreen to run the program, and he in turn chose the par- ticipating students: Nicole Garcia, Rhodes Coffey Jr., Caleb Brown and Kristi Day. The students received fellowships from Rice’s Center for Civic Engagement to spend the summer brainstorming, build- ing and learning business planning through the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. “We took a week and a half to come up with as many solutions as we could,” said Wettergreen, who still has the 500 three-by-five cards containing their ideas. Packaging was only part of the problem, he explained. “Some of the design constraints were that the art had to be visible and that it had to interact with the environment, because some of the pieces are made of harmful chemicals that give off gas. In a concealed and enclosed environ- ment, that off-gassing will accelerate the deg- radation of the artwork, so the piece has to remain open to the air.” The team’s elegant solution incorporates interchangeable elements of steel tubing, vented Plexiglas panels, snap-on cast- ers and myriad connectors that link all the bits together. The tubes are 30, 60 and 90 inches long and can be combined to make containers of any multiples of those dimensions. That makes the system remarkably versatile. “They’re still cuboidal, like the plywood boxes, but you don’t have to cut new wood each time you make one,” Wettergreen said. “You can arrange them into many configurations.” Part of the solution’s out-of-the-box inspiration can be credited to the diversity of the project team. “I love the fact that our team had students in humanities and art history as well as engineering,” Keller said. “This project went beyond my wildest imagination in terms of what they accomplished. I didn’t think they’d end up at a place where the MFAH would actually use their prototypes to store precious artifacts.” The museum is using the system to store several pieces. One is a 15-foot piece, “La sordidez,” by José Antonio Berni. “It’s fairly light for its size,” Wettergreen said of the piece, which is made of found materials. “But that also means it’s fairly frag- ile.” Two other pieces — a bronze ti- tled “The Bronco Buster,” by Frederic Remington, and a wax-and-plaster bust — also were packaged. The team used standard en- gineering procedures to solve a problem not usually addressed by engineers, and that opens doors to a world of possibilities Keller is eager to explore, starting with a fall course taught by Wettergreen on engineer- ing for art conservation. “It’s a really exciting time to build a strong programmatic connection,” Keller said, “not only in the storage of artifacts, but also in this whole interplay between art, science, engi- neering and technology.” —Mike Williams From left, Nicole Garcia, Rhodes Coffey, Kristi Day and Caleb Brown.
  20. 20. 18 For most people, doing something on a lark means buying a lottery ticket or going out for ice cream. For Michael Dietz, it means untying the knots bogging down a computer system under attack — for fun, glory and even a little bit of prize money. The Rice University graduate student in computer sci- ence went to the 18th USENIX Security Symposium in Montreal last fall, intending to take in sessions and do a bit of networking, and he did all that. But in the eve- nings, he and two impromptu teammates coded their way to victory in the Security Grand Challenge. Dietz arrived with no plan to compete, but he was intrigued when the grad student he was sharing a room with, Sunjeet Singh of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, suggested they check out the challenge. The event gave five teams responsibility for vir- tual servers into which organizers had programmed all kinds of bugs. Competitors had to find the bugs, squash them and make the systems as unhackable as possible. Dietz and Singh found a third willing conferee, grad student Justin Cummins of the University of California, Davis, and the team spent two days uncovering the diabolical traps that contest organizers had set for them. “Our virtual machine had five com- puter programs critical for a medical ap- plication,” Dietz said. “We had about three hours on the first day to try to harden the servers against attack.” At the end of the first day, he and his teammates were surprised to find them- selves in first place. “Suddenly, there was incentive,” he said. “We could win this.” On the second night, Dietz and his colleagues worked into the wee hours and found programs embedded within other programs that would trigger attacks by even more programs. “The organizers were very tricky,” Dietz said. “They were doing things I hadn’t seen before, just to try to trip us up.” Between sessions, he said, organizers would run specially designed bots to try to find holes in their work. But a final coding tweak by Singh assured the team a narrow victory over runners-up from the University of Washington. Dietz was low-key about the victory and his share of the $5,000 prize. “It was an interesting diversion,” he said. —Mike Williams TheCoderIsaChamp —Jennifer Evans Michael Dietz This fall, Rice welcomed a record number of smiling new faces to campus. The 896 freshman students were selected from the largest applicant pool — 11,173 — in the univer- sity’s history. The incoming class is almost 14 percent larger than last year’s class, putting Rice’s Vision for the Second Century plan for a 30 percent expansion of the undergraduate student body ahead of schedule. “It’s not just the quantity of students entering Rice this year that is impres- sive, but also the quality and the diversity, ethnically and geographically,” said Chris Muñoz, vice president for enrollment. “We have students from foreign countries that have never been represented at Rice. They bring unique cultures and histories to the university and enrich the educational experience for all.” Among other distinguishing characteristics of Rice’s Class of 2013: • Underrepresented minorities make up almost 20 percent. • The number of Mexican-American, Chicano, Hispanic and Latino students increased by al- most 20 percent over last year. • More than 7 percent of the students are African-American, which sustains the growth from the previous year. • Thirteen percent are foreign nationals, an in- crease of 67 percent from last year that sup- ports Rice’s V2C goal of becoming a more internationally focused university. • The number of U.S. students from outside of Texas is up by almost 17 percent over last year. About 44 percent of the entering class is from Texas, and more than 40 percent comprises students from other parts of the U.S. and U.S. citizens living abroad.
  21. 21. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 19 Students A Grand Day for GSA If one can measure success by the number of friends a person has, Tom Nicholsisanextraordinarilysuccessfulman.TheHoustondermatologistand Rice alumnus was pleased to be in the company of many friends when the university hosted its 40th-anniversary celebration of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) in October. Nichols’ hard work and foresight were driving forces behind the GSA’s formation at the close of the turbulent 1960s, when the number of graduate students at Rice doubled from 400 to 800 at the behest of then-president Kenneth Pitzer. Since then, Rice’s doctoral and master’s candidates — including the university’s current graduate student population of about 2,300 — have had Nichols and his associates to thank not only for the GSA, which has historically stood up for students on the issues that matter to them, but also for Valhalla, the graduate student lounge that Nichols founded. “Many, many people made a tremendous effort back in the sixties to have the GSA and Valhalla come together and form better means of com- munication between graduate students, between the students and fac- ulty, between the students and administration and, ultimately, between the students and trustees,” Nichols said. Partly as a result, the university’s work on behalf of graduate stu- dents in recent years has included the construction of the Rice Village Apartments, a reduction in the cost of medical care, new graduate programs in sociology and art history and increased stipends. Other speakers at the event also addressed the importance of graduate students to the life of the university. Paula Sanders, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies, noted that the first graduate student at Rice earned a doctorate in mathematics in 1918 — and stayed to teach. “Graduate students are now, as they have always been, a fundamental part of this university and an essential part of this intellectual community,” she said. Julia Smith Wellner ’01, former GSA president, cur- rent chairwoman of the Graduate Alumni Committee and an assistant professor at the University of Houston, told current graduate students assembled at the celebra- tion that it’s important to maintain a connection to Rice. “Please stay involved with us, whether that means joining the Friends of Fondren, the ‘R’ Society or the Graduate Alumni Committee,” she said. “Join Rice in whatever way is appropriate for you — but don’t disappear.” Last year’s GSA president, Michael Contreras, raised a toast to Bob Patten, the Lynette S. Autrey Professor in Humanities, who has worked diligently on GSA’s behalf since he was appointed to a three-year term as Graduate House master in 1993. Even now, Patten works to maintain a sense of community among graduate students in ways that go above and beyond the call of duty. Current GSA President Kristjan Stone, a graduate student in physics and astronomy who rose through the organization’s ranks, noted that the GSA has worked hard in recent years to bring international students into the fold by creating clubs and networking events designed to coax them away from their research and into the larger community. Alison Contreras, who coordinated the anniversary event and has served as the GSA’s secretary and historian, said the organization has aided her greatly in navigating the complexity of earning a Rice degree. “It has helped me understand the inner workings of the administration,” the environmental engineering student said. “You have to be able to work not just with the research side, but also with the administration. Along with the social aspects, that’s what I’ve gotten most out of the GSA.” At the celebration, the GSA introduced a history of the association by graduate stu- dent Laura Renée Chandler that will be available on the association’s Web site. —Mike Williams Top photo, from left, Tom Nichols, the GSA’s founding president; President David Leebron; Julia Smith Wellner ‘01, chairwoman of the Graduate Alumni Committee; Paula Sanders, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies; and Michael Contreras, last year’s GSA president, who served as master of ceremonies. Learn more about the Graduate Student Association: ››› Michael Contreras Kristjan Stone “Many, many people made a tremendous effort back in the sixties to have the GSA and Valhalla come together and form better means of communication between graduate students, between the students and faculty, between the students and administration and, ultimately, between the students and trustees.” —Tom Nichols
  22. 22. 20 Spotlight onWomen in the Sciences and Engineering By Christopher Dow
  23. 23. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 21 Women seeking careers in the natural sciences andengineeringatRicemayhavefacedchalleng- es inherent in traditionally male-dominated fields of academia, but many have more than overcome them to earn world renown and to become role models for aspiring young researchers — both women and men. R ice’s charter called for “a thorough polytechnic school, for males and females,” and the inaugural student body reflected that in its composition of 48 men and 29 women. From the beginning, the university encour- aged women in the sciences and engineering despite early criticism about the lack of stereotypically “femi- nine” courses such as home economics. One mother called the school to find out what the curriculum would be, and when she was told her daughter would study science and math, she commented that those did not sound like subjects a girl might like. President Edgar Odell Lovett disagreed and proclaimed his pride in the “unusually fine group of young women” who bore “their full share in making and maintaining the good name of the Rice Institute.” Students — women or men — who wanted a thorough education could find it at Rice. Rice’s inaugural faculty of 10 was entirely male, however, and while Alice Crowell Dean ’16 was Rice’s first female instructor fol- lowing her graduation — a teaching fellow, interestingly enough, in mathematics — it wasn’t until 1950 that Katherine Fischer Drew ’44 (history) joined Rice as the first woman to hold a full-time, tenure- track faculty position. In 1965, Krystyna Ansevin (biology) became the first woman faculty member in the natural sciences, and Mary Fanett Wheeler ’71 (computational and applied mathematics) was the first woman hired in engineering. By the mid 1990s, women at Rice comprised 32 percent of the fac- ulty in the humanities and 23 percent in the social sciences, but only 9 percent in the natural sciences and 7 percent in engineering. Today, those numbers have grown, and women account for 42 percent of the faculty in the humanities, 35 percent in the social sciences, 17 percent in the natural sciences and 19 percent in engineering. Women also serve in a number of top academic and administra- tive roles. Sallie Keller is the dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering, and Cindy Farach-Carson is Rice’s first associate vice provost for research. Kathleen Matthews served as dean of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences for 10 years until stepping down at the end of 2008. Rice women faculty chair four Rice science and engineering departments and serve as directors of several research centers and institutes, and many are elected members of professional societies or are editors of professional journals. This year, women comprise about 48 percent of Rice’s overall undergraduate enrollment, including 50 percent of the students in the natural sciences and 34 percent in engineering. Among graduate students, women make up 34 percent of the sciences and 28 per- cent of engineering. That’s good news since graduate students are the pipeline that produces the researchers and university faculties of the future. Even so, experts say, all too often cultural biases disadvantage women from fulfilling their potential in the sciences and engineering. Overcoming those disadvantages is important to the country’s future economic health, according to “Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering.” The report, published by the National Academies Press in 2007, found that women have the ability and drive to succeed but still face barriers at every educational transition, from high school on up. Those obstacles include discrimination, implicit bias from both men and women, and evaluation criteria that disadvantage women.
  24. 24. 22 Stellar Achievements Rice, along with many other universities, is making special efforts to overcome those barriers. One such effort is Rice ADVANCE, a five- year program funded by the National Science Foundation. (See related article on page 30.) Just as important as any program, however, are people: the women among Rice’s natural sciences and engineering faculty who were not deterred from realizing their goals and are now making some of the most important discoveries and advancements found anywhere on the planet. Naomi Halas is a perfect example. Her efforts in nanoscale science and technology span applications in manufacturing, materials technol- ogy, nanophotonics and, perhaps most important, bioengineering and biomedicine. Over the past several years, she has worked to develop nanoshells that can be used to deliver medicines to targeted areas of the body, and that research recently has taken a dramatic turn with layered nanoshells that actually seek out cancers then light up under particular wavelengths of radiation to allow physicians to literally target the diseased tissue with lasers. (See related article on Page 3.) Halas’ incredible range of re- search has earned her professorships in four Rice departments (electrical and computer engineering, chem- istry, bioengineering, and physics and astronomy) and recognition by many professional societies. She has received the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Innovator Award from the congres- sionally directed Medical Research Programs, and she has been named a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow by the Department of Defense. Last fall, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Another member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is bi- ologist Joan Strassmann, one of the world’s foremost experts on the evo- lution of social behaviors, such as competition, cooperation and altru- ism, and the genetics that underlie them. Earlier in her career, she was known for her work with wasps, but for the past decade, she and long- time research partner David Queller have studied the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. They have found that the presence or absence of a single gene can influence the likelihood that an individual amoeba will sacrifice itself for the good of the colony. Strassmann’s work earned her a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004, and in 2009, she was elected president of the international Animal Behavior Society. Rebecca Richards-Kortum was already a rising star for her research on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in women, but she vaulted into the elite ranks of the faculty when she became both the first Rice woman and, at age 43, the youngest Rice faculty member ever elected to the National Academy of Engineering. The NAE also recognized her leadership in bioengineering education and global health initiatives, such as Beyond Traditional Borders, which takes a multifaceted ap- proach to health in the developing world and includes a focus on the underrepresented role that women’s economic and social empower- ment play in global health. In a one-month span this past fall, Richards-Kortum helped land a $2.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, won a National Institutes of Health stimulus grant to develop a cancer-diagnosing camera small enough to fit inside a needle, secured Rice’s first grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a needle-free technology for diagnosing malaria, and won additional funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for an innovative biomedical training program she established in 2006. When Vicki Colvin, another renowned Rice researcher, was named to Discover magazine’s list of 20 Young Scientists to Watch in 2000, most people had never heard of nanotechnology. The following year, she took the reins of Rice’s federally funded Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, the only academic center in the world dedicated to studying how nanomaterials interact with living organisms and ecosystems. Two years later, when the public voiced concerns over nanotechnology in the environment, Colvin was called to testify before Congress as the world’s leading academic expert on nanotechnology risks. Colvin has co-authored dozens of studies about ways to mitigate the environmental risks of nanotechnology and use nanotechnology to clean the environment. In 2004, for example, she and colleagues found a simple method to reduce the toxicity of water- soluble buckyballs by a factor of more than 10 million. Nanorust, a pollution-cleaning nanoparticle she co-discovered, made Forbes magazine’s list of Top Five Nanotech Breakthroughs of 2006. As government regulators search for the root causes of the global financial crisis — and for the means to prevent future crises — they are asking for help from Rice statistician Katherine Ensor. Ensor, chair of the Department of Statistics, has spent more than a decade devel- oping computational models of world financial markets. She helped found Rice’s Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems seven years ago, and she spearheaded the effort to create an under- graduate minor in financial computation and modeling — the first undergraduate minor offered by the university — in 2007. Ensor recently was asked by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s principal banking regulatory agency — and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences to help organize two workshops on financial modeling. The ultimate goal is a computer program that lawmakers can use to test how new banking regulations will play out in the market. Another theme of Ensor’s work is environmental modeling, and she was asked by then-Houston Mayor Bill White to work with city regulators to develop computer models that more accurately explained the causes of the city’s air pollution — work that Ensor hopes to carry over with the new administration of Mayor Annise Parker ’78. New Generations These women are just a few of the many at Rice who are making world-class discoveries and leading the way in their various fields. Those fields cover the entire spectrum, from the nanoscale to astro- nomical distances, from the creation of novel materials to the develop- ment of computing systems, and from an in-depth understanding of the earth to insight into ecology and evolutionary biology. But despite their diverse interests and methodologies — and status ranging from senior researcher to assistant professor — these women have one notable thing in common: They serve as role models and mentors to younger generations of women who come to understand that they, too, can attain similar levels of achievement. This goes be- yond ADVANCE’s formalized Triad Mentoring Program to the fact that female students have the opportunity to work daily with other female researchers in labs led by women. In the following pages, we celebrate Rice’s women in the sciences and engineering — many of them pioneers in their fields — as they tell us about their academic careers and groundbreaking research. With reporting by Jade Boyd and Mike Williams Thesewomen arejustafew ofthemany atRicewho aremaking world-class discoveries andleading thewayin theirvarious fields.
  25. 25. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 23 Bonnie Bartel, Rice’s Ralph and Dorothy Looney Professor of Bio- chemistry and Cell Biology, re- searches the molecular mechanism of plant growth, specifically how growth is influenced by the hor- mone auxin. A member of the Rice faculty since 1995, she uses a variety of methods to study how auxins, which promote root growth and are widely used by commercial grow- ers, are regulated in Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant native to Europe. Her work has extended to the study of plant microRNAs — regulatory molecules that dampen gene expression in both plants and animals. Currently, she is using genetic approaches to understand how proteins enter and exit the peroxisome, which are subcellular organelles that house enzymes implicated in auxin production. She received Rice’s prestigious Charles W. Duncan Jr. Achievement Award for Outstanding Faculty in 2005. Bartel considered studying medicine during her undergraduate days at Bethel College, but her love of research led her to study biology as a graduate student at MIT. She has enjoyed working with numer- ous students in her lab at Rice, and in 2006, she received a four-year, $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to develop programs at Rice that combine un- dergraduate teaching with research and focus on bringing freshmen and sophomores into research labora- tory settings. Bartel and her husband, Seiichi Matsuda, who also is a professor at Rice, have “one perfect child,” Ella, age 12. Linda Thrane: How did you all become scien- tists, and how did you find your research areas? Marjorie Corcoran: My field of research picked me. I became interested in particle physics when I was in the seventh or eighth grade. I was reading about it and said, “Wow! This is so amazing.” It went on from there. Yildiz Bayazitoglu: I had a heat transfer teacher in my third undergraduate year who was very strong and very well known at that time. He influenced me. Cindy Farach-Carson: I failed home economics! Corcoran: My mom was a home ec teacher and was chagrined that I could never do very well in it. Farach-Carson: I wanted to be a paleontolo- gist. I loved dinosaur bones and all that stuff and still have a collection, but I became a bone biologist instead. I think the common thing is that your path finds you. My dream is to go back now and look at all my favorite molecules in dinosaur bone marrow. Bonnie Bartel: I was actually in premed. I re- alized I could take all this biology, but then I would have to go to medical school. It would be interesting, but at the end I would be a doctor. That was not at all appealing to me. Julia Morgan: Apparently my mother knew I would be a geologist when I was 8. We trav- eled quite a bit to the mountains, and I would complain about all the work you had to do to climb to the top. I was miserable, which made my parents very unhappy. Once, while RoundtableDiscussion A Rice University may be small among America’s tier-one universities, but it’s a giant among schools with top women researchers in the sciences and engineering — not to mention the humanities and social sciences. BonnieBartel For this issue on women in science and engineering, Rice Magazine brought together five who are among the best in their respective fields to talk candidly about their lives as academics and how they’ve succeeded in endeavors traditionally dominated by men. Here is some of that lively conversation, moderated by Linda Thrane, Rice’s vice president for Public Affairs.
  26. 26. 24 Yildiz Bayazitoglu, Rice’s Harry S. Cameron Professor in Mechanical Engineering, has been at Rice since 1977. The first woman to earn a me- chanical engineering Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, she studies heat transfer, radiation, energy and fluid flow as they relate to the manu- facture and processing of materials. She and her students conduct groundbreaking work in the con- tainerless processing of carbon nanotube-embedded materials; the heating by electromagnetic radiation of nanoparticles in biological sys- tems; and the thermal transport of nanoscale-altered surfaces, materials and fluids. Her work with her students could lead to new ways to cool elec- tronic devices, create nanoparticle- enhanced materials with unusual thermal and mechanical properties, and advance cancer therapy that uses lasers to heat nanoparticles in tumors. In addition, she wants to de- termine the magnitude of near-field radiative heat exchange between nanoparticles. She serves as an editor-in- chief of the International Journal of Thermal Sciences and was the first woman in the half-century history of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to receive the organiza- tion’s Heat Transfer Memorial Award. She also served as chair of the so- ciety’s heat transfer division and has authored an undergraduate textbook, “Elements of Heat Transfer.” Bayazitoglu has three adult sons, all Rice graduates. She enjoys mentoring minority and international graduate students. they were looking out at the beautiful view, I found a green rock, and I spent the next hour picking up every piece of green rock there was. I guess that was a manifestation of my curiosity about the Earth. On M e nt o rs Thrane: Many of you refer to having wonder- ful mentors. Were they all male? Bartel: Mine was. Corcoran: Mine, in graduate school, was male. There were no women. But he was black, and he understood prejudice. Farach-Carson: All white males. Morgan: Mine was my mother, who was a physicist. And my father was, too. The good thing is, I’m not a physicist. Corcoran: What kind of physics did they do? Morgan: She was more in the mechanics side of it. My father did materials science. She tried very hard to have a faculty career and didn’t succeed because she had children. But I saw her try, and more importantly, I saw her curiosity. She actually had interests in many of the things her kids got into. Thrane: Do you see mentoring as part of your role? Corcoran: Definitely. I’ve been at Rice 30 years, and it’s only recently that I’ve come to realize how much impact I have on women undergraduates. One who’s now tenured at Princeton came back and gave a colloquium, and she told me it made a huge difference to her to have a woman on the faculty. I never really appreciated that. Bartel: I’ve had maybe 13 graduate students, and two of them have been male. Our gradu- ate students are slightly less than 50 percent female, but there are two things going on: Some women seek out a female adviser, and there may be some males who seek out a male adviser. Those two things have led to a big skew in my lab. Morgan: There’s no question that, being fe- male in a department that’s dominated by men, you play a unique role. Farach-Carson: Were you the first? Morgan: No, but I was the first woman with tenure. Many students feel it’s easier to talk about things with another woman, so I play that role independently of being on their committees. We’re visible evidence that one can succeed. On F amili e s Thrane: How do you handle family life issues? Farach-Carson: Marry well. Corcoran: You need to have somebody who has his own work and understands your pas- sion and how you’re driven because he has the same passion. Bayazitoglu: I think you have to be lucky, YildizBayazitoglu “There’s no question that, being female in a department that’s dominated by men, you play a unique role.” —Julia Morgan
  27. 27. Rice Magazine • No. 5 • 2010 25 Mary “Cindy” Farach-Carson joined Rice in 2009 to take on several roles. As the university’s first associ- ate vice provost for research, she focuses on building collaborations between Rice and local biomedical research and educational institutions centered on the new BioScience Research Collaborative. She is also a professor of bio- chemistry and cell biology, with a second appointment in bioengineer- ing. The Galveston native began her career as a bone biologist and segued into cancer research. She’s currently part of a National Cancer Institute research project to study how and why prostate cancer me- tastasizes to bone. After receiving her Ph.D. at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center (then the Medical College of Virginia), Farach-Carson was a postdoctoral fellow there and at Johns Hopkins University before moving to Texas, where she joined the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and taught at Baylor College of Medicine for a year. She achieved the rank of asso- ciate professor with tenure at the UT Health Science Center at Houston and then joined the University of Delaware in Newark, where she taught biological and materials sci- ences, coordinated a five-year reno- vation project and planned the build- ing of a laboratory for the Center for Translational Cancer Research. Even during her years away from Houston, Farach-Carson, a mother of four, would return every summer to teach part of a tissue engineer- ing course at Rice. She’s delighted to have returned for the long term with her husband, Dan Carson, who succeeded Kathleen Matthews as the dean of Rice’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences. a little bit. Actually, the unlucky ones are likely not around. If you have problems at home, you just cannot be a good performer at work. Bartel (to Corcoran): We’re both married to professors, right? I don’t know how it was for you, but when we had our one perfect child, we could bring her into work. For the first four months of her life, she was at Rice. If we both had a meeting at the same time, she went with him because it was like, “Look at him. He’s so caring.” Corcoran: Yeah, if a woman brings a baby to a meeting, they don’t say that. Bartel: So you have to be lucky there, too. Not all kids are going to be amenable to that kind of upbringing. Bayazitoglu: It goes a little bit further. I have three boys, and they were healthy. But if one had had health problems or a learning prob- lem or something else, my work would have suffered. Morgan: There are a lot of challenges and stresses that go with being an academic. It’s not a 9-to-5 job, five days a week. Children do require a family life. It’s doable if the cir- cumstances are right. Corcoran: I think Julia had the key. It’s not a 9-to-5 job. Even now, I still work weekends. You just have a certain number of things you have to get done, right? Farach-Carson: Research and parenting: They’re both more than 40 hours a week. But for me, the lines between what I call work and what I call … Corcoran: … fun! … Farach-Carson: … are really blurry. If you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s what I tell students: Choose something you love, and it’ll work out. Corcoran: Sometimes I’ll be in my office on a Saturday or Sunday, and my youngest son will call me and ask, “Why are you work- ing on a Sunday?” Well, Connor, because it’s what I like to do. Farach-Carson: I was a spectacular failure at partitioning my life, so … Corcoran: Now you don’t have to. Farach-Carson: I have an empty nest now. It’s nice. It’s weird. My youngest just started college. At about 4:30, I have this thing that starts ticking, and I think, “I have to … oh, no I don’t.” For 30 years, I’ve been running home and trying to pick up somebody from soccer or something. Bayazitoglu: I had a Ph.D. student, a profes- sor at the University of Florida who retired recently — my students are retiring! — who had two sons. One day she asked the old- est one, “What do you want to become?” He said, maybe a policeman or fireman. And she said, “Why don’t you become an engineer?” He said, “No, only girls become engineers.” CindyFarach-Carson