People The Thinking Differently class series is people across Rice, Greater Houston, and beyond. We will be featuring some of them here....
Students Thinking Differently...
Thinking Differently is students from multiple fields across the university ... we are featuring some of them each term! Click below to see how they describe themselves!
Faculty & Team Thinking Differently...
Dr. Abby Larson is a sociologist at the Graduate School of Business and Director of the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Rice. She is the principal investigator for and teaches Thinking Differently.
Hannah Huff is a recent graduate of the Rice School of Architecture and was the inaugural student lead for Thinking Differently. She works at a boutique architectural design firm in New York City.
Guests Thinking Differently...
As part of Thinking Differently, we bring together faculty from across Rice and guests from Houston. Click through below to learn more about faculty guests and their expertise.
Professor Cin-Ty Lee is the Chair of the Earth Sciences Department at Rice and a geologist/petrologist/geochemist who investigates how our planet has evolved with time, from the deepest parts of the Earth's mantle to the continental crust and to the atmosphere. He combines field mapping and sampling with state of the art analytical tools (mass spectrometry, x-ray spectrometry, electron probe microanalysis) and simple analytical and numerical modeling. He is now working on the geochemical interactions between the deep Earth and oceans/atmospheres in order to better understand what controls long term climate evolution.
Antonio Merlo is the George A. Peterkin Professor of Economics. He has served as the Dean of the Social Sciences since 2016 and is the founding and current director of the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics (RISE). His areas of expertise are political economy, public economics, bargaining theory and applications, and empirical microeconomics. His research interests include the economics of crime, voting, the career decisions of politicians, the formation and dissolution of coalition governments, the industrial organization of the political sector, household bargaining and the study of the residential housing market.
Illya Hicks is a professor in computational and applied mathematics at Rice. His research interests are in combinatorial optimization, integer programming, graph theory and matroid theory. Some applications of interest are social networks, cancer treatment and network design. His current research is focused on using graph decomposition techniques to solve NP-complete problems. He also teaches courses related to discrete optimization.
Kristen Ostherr teaches film and media studies, focusing on historical and contemporary visualizations of health and disease in photography, documentary film, television, animation, advertising, medical imaging, and web-based media. Her current research focuses on the emergent field of mHealth (mobile health) media, concepts of algorithmic life and the quantified self, and design-based translations of data into story. Since 2012 Dr. Ostherr has been the co-founder and director of the Medical Futures Lab, a collaborative center bringing together faculty from Rice, Baylor College of Medicine, and UT Health to reimagine medicine at the intersection of humanity and technology.
Jeffrey J. Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. His present areas of writing and research include the articulation of a New Comparativism within the study of religion that will put “the impossible” back on the table again.
Debra Barrera was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and currently lives and works in Houston, Texas. She received her Masters of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Houston and her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and in English from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has recently been included in a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. She also recently completed a permanent installation for Rice Public Art and the Department of Physics and Astronomy and upon its completion is included in the permanent collection of Rice University.
Jeff Reichman is founder and principal at January Advisors, a consulting firm that works at the intersection of technology and community. He is also the founder of Sketch City, a non-profit dedicated to data and technology innovation. His work in civic engagement and civic tech has been honored by the League of Women Voters, the Houston Business Journal, and the White House.
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