Analytics in Business, Humanities
Social Sciences

The Ken Kennedy Institute brings together the Rice community to foster innovations in computing and data science. Check out the list below to learn about how Rice University faculty are applying data and computation to Analytics in Business, Humanities & Social Sciences.


  • Professor Andrea Ballestero’s work looks at the unexpected ethical and technical entanglements through which experts understand water in Latin America, with particular interest in spaces where the law, economics and techno-science are so fused that they appear as one another. She is currently working on a project that explores how subterranean space is “re-discovered” through remote sensing and legal technologies that transform it into a new planetary frontier. She also runs Rice’s Ethnography Studio, an interdisciplinary experimental space that brings together students and faculty interested in the peculiarities of ethnography as a textual form, as a research strategy, and as a modality of knowledge production.
  • Professor Jeffrey Fleisher is an archaeologist that works in eastern and southern Africa, and his research has focused on questions that concern people often left out of archaeological interpretations: rural communities in urban settlement systems, non-elite people in cities, and communities beyond the frontiers of large-scale societies, through a number of projects on the eastern African ‘Swahili’ coast, investigating urban polities and rural settlements that date to the 7th- to 16th-centuries AD. His research has pioneered new approaches to ephemeral archaeological contexts such as earthen architecture and public and open spaces, integrating archaeological testing/excavation, geophysical surveying, and soil chemistry analysis.
  • Professor Cymene Howe’s research focuses on anthropogenic climate change and how it demands new ways of imagining our collective futures. Her current research is centered on the social life of ice in the Arctic and its travels south to become sea level rise in coastal cities, developing a cross-comparative analysis of adaptation strategies in the Arctic region and resilience techniques being implemented in coastal cities facing sea level rise due to the collapse of Arctic cryospheres, and using a NASA climate model to follow the water” from the north to the places where ice melt is fast becoming sea level rise.
  • Professor Jeremy Fox specializes in empirical industrial organization, econometrics, and labor economics. He has worked on industries such as mobile phones, automobile manufacturing, and venture capital. He has also worked on firm productivity and labor market issues. He is known for his work on estimating models of two-sided matching games and of demand.
  • Professor Ted Loch-Temzelides is the George and Cynthia Mitchell Professor in Sustainable Development at the Department of Economics and a Center for Energy Studies Scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. He conducts interdisciplinary research at the intersection between economics and ecology, where he studies the many connections between incentives, climate change, conservation, resilience, mobility, and global health.
  • Professor Robin Sickles is the Reginald Henry Hargrove Professor of Economics, a Joint Professor at the Department of Statistics at Rice, and an Adjunct Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine. His research focus is on topics in applied econometrics, panel data, productivity, stochastic frontier analysis, empirical industrial organization, and labor economics. He has co-authored and edited eleven books and volumes and journal special issues related to applied econometric topics. His most recent major work is Measurement of Productivity and Efficiency: Theory and Practice (with Valentin Zelenyuk. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019.)
  • Professor Xun Tang works in the research areas of Econometrics and Industrial Organization. His research focuses on the robust econometric inference of economic models about agents’ behavior in environments with or without strategic interactions. One of his projects is Empirical Analysis of Social Network with Unreported Links, aiming to estimate the effects of social networks on individual outcomes when the links are either misclassified or not reported in data, while offering an efficient approach for policy analyses that resolves challenges due to data problems or measurement errors in network links.
  • Professor Paul Brace’s major areas of research include state and intergovernmental politics, judicial decision making, and the presidency. His research employs methodologies such as Regression, Time Series, Pooled Cross Sectional Time Series, Event History, Causal Modeling, Limited Dependent Variables, Research Design. Currently he is managing an NSF-funded Amercan State Supreme Courts data project, with the intent to stimulate interest in the politics of state courts and to promote efforts to move our theories forward by providing a laboratory through which the extraordinarily complex relationships that affect the politics of the judiciary can be unraveled.
  • Professor Mark P. Jones is the fellow in political science at the Baker Institute, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies and a professor in the Department of Political Science at Rice University. He also serves as the faculty director of Rice’s Master of Global Affairs program. His research focuses on the effect of electoral laws and other political institutions on governance, representation and voting. He regularly advises U.S. government institutions on economic and political affairs in Argentina and has conducted research on public policy issues in Latin America and Texas for numerous international, national and local organizations.
  • Professor Melissa Marschall is a professor of political science at Rice University and a Rice faculty scholar at the Baker Institute Center for the Middle East. Her research focuses on urban politics and policy, education policy, political behavior and representation mostly in the U.S., but also in Turkey. She is the Co-PI of the Local Elections in America Project (LEAP), funded by NSF and the Ken Kennedy Institute, aiming to provide the data with which to investigate research questions related to turnout, candidate emergence, and the representation of minorities and women in politics, elections, and governance. 
  • Professor Richard Stoll is an accomplished scholar of international conflict. He has used computer simulation techniques and statistical analysis to study topics such as arms competitions, comparative foreign policy, and political realism. Dr. Stoll recently participated in a ten-university effort funded by the NSF to collect data on militarized interstate disputes. Along with Devika Subramanian of Rice's Computer Science Department, Dr. Stoll is engaged in an effort to create events data from online news sources and to predict the outbreak of serious international conflict. 
  • Professor Simon Fischer-Baum’s lab takes a problem-centered focus to research questions of the representations and processes that underlie cognition. He combines a wide range of experimental methods – computational modeling, behavioral studies and brain-imaging techniques (e.g., fMRI, ERP/EEGs, tDCS) – and study a variety of populations, all with the goal of understanding human capacities for language and memory. Current projects include the understanding of the written language, the representing of sequences, and the temporal dynamics of cognition.
  • Professor Randi Martin is the Elma Schneider Professor of Psychology. Her research interest lies in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, including Psychology and Neuropsychology of Language, Short-Term Memory/Working Memory, and Whole brain network connectivity & relation to cognition. With funding from the NICHD, her team researched different types of short-term memory loss and its impact on word learning and sentence comprehension. Her team uses neuroimaging (fMRI) to study language processing in individuals who have experienced brain damage or injury as well as in healthy individuals.
  • Professor Frederick Oswald is the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences. His research is in the areas of Workforce Readiness, Quantitative Methods (Meta-analysis, Psychometrics, Big Data). He has received the Covid-19 Research Funds from Rice University. He will examine critical long-term effects of COVID-19 on human development following adversity across a range of social contexts including occupational, educational, community, family, lifestyle, health and financial. They will study how people change in response to adversity, and whether adversity across different social contexts impacts people differently.  
  • Professor Rachel Tolbert Kimbro is Professor of Sociology at Rice University and the Director of the Kinder Institute's Urban Health Program. Dr. Kimbro's research focuses on family and neighborhood influences on child health and wellbeing. Current work examines family and neighborhood influences on food insecurity and children's sleep, and she is writing a book on Hurricane Harvey's impact on mothers and children. She is a Founding Faculty Member at Texas Children's Hospital's Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy, a Baker Institute Scholar, and adjunct faculty at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Professor Elizabeth Roberto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. She has broad research interests in social and spatial inequality, a substantive focus on residential segregation, and methodological expertise in computational social science and quantitative methods. Her research integrates a classic sociological interest in the social organization of cities and the development of innovative methods to address fundamental questions about the spatial structure of residential segregation, the causes and consequences of segregation at different geographic scales, and the role of the built environment in segregation processes.
  • Professor Kirsten Ostherr is the Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English, as well as a media scholar, health researcher, and technology analyst. She has recently published research on medical humanities and artificial intelligence in The Journal of Medical Humanities, and her writing on COVID-19 has been featured in Inside Higher Ed and in American Literature. She is currently leading a multidisciplinary project called "Translational Humanities for Public Health" that will identify humanities-based (and humanities-inspired) responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, to document and help others build upon these creative efforts.
  • Professors Farshid Emami and Shih-Shan Susan Huang are in the field of Art History, examining how objects and works of art alternately enact, embody, and challenge both basic communicative urges and the deepest beliefs and aspirations of the cultures from which they come, and seeking to answer the universal but infinitely complex questions: What is a work of art? Why, for millennia, have people felt compelled to make and value such works? And what belief structures do these objects and activities embody or call into question?  
  • Professors Moramay Lopez Alonso, Tani Barlow, Daniel Domingues, Alida Metcalf, and Paula Sanders lead the field of history, studying the past to help us understand our contemporary world. Historians at Rice University seek to offer complex causal explanations of human events and processes and to challenge simplistic assumptions; to describe human intentions in context in order to understand--though not necessarily to justify--human actions; and to evaluate evidence of various kinds, the product of multiple cultures and different languages, in order to broaden understanding of human experiences.  
  • Professor Anthony Brandt is a composer and professor of composition and theory at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music. He is co-author with neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman of “The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World,” featured in a TIME magazine special issue on creativity, as well as in Nature, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Discover magazine, and numerous other print and broadcast media.  
  • Professor Brian Riedel is the Associate Director of Rice’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CSWGS), managing an undergraduate research program, the Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research.  His own research and teaching interests include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer social movements; these movements' complex relationships to feminism and feminist studies; oral and archival history preservation; community engaged research; and the concepts of place and collective memory.  
  • Professor Neal F. Lane is the senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute. He is also the Professor of Physics and Astronomy Emeritus at Rice University. Currently he is senior fellow of the Science and Technology Policy Program, focusing on the relationships between scientists and the public, specifically the regulation and funding of scientific research and development, and how science is used in public policy. Programs include the Civic Scientist Initiative, which analyzes the public understanding of science, and the International Stem Cell Policy Initiative. Additional program topics focus on the federal funding of science, environmental policy and science diplomacy.
  • Professors Barbara Ostdiek’s research is in the Accounting field of the Jones Graduate School of Business, focusing on volatility and information flow, indicates that informational market linkages can be quite strong, that volatility is predictable, and that modeling cross-market linkages and volatility dynamics has economic value for market participants.  
  • Professor Kris Ramesh is the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Accounting at the Jones Graduate School of Business. His academic research focuses on: (1) Capital market information environment; (2) Role of accounting information in contracting and regulation; and (3) Financial information/disclosures and valuation.