Author Archives: matthew

Growing Leaders from Within: The Role of Mentoring in Rice’s Design for America

In my position at Rice University I consult with many authentic teams completing the design process with real-world clients. One of the groups I am most proud of having a heavy hand in is Rice’s chapter of Design For America.  The DFA National blog recently highlighted some of the mentors that play a role in [...]

Introduction to Engineering Design Course Mentioned in Dialogue about Instructional Design

Introduction to Engineering Design, the course I co-teach with Ann Saterbak was recently mentioned in a published discussion about instructional design. The discussion was between Josh Eyler, Director of Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Sean Michael Morris. Among other topics, they touch on the importance of discovery for learning. Josh says: Like you, I [...]

Open Call for Engineering Projects for First-Year Rice Engineering Students

This is the time of year where we solicit project for our first-year engineering design course. Please see below and email me ( or comment below if you have a project idea for us to tackle. We LOVE solving community partners problems and I am looking to schedule phone calls and in-person meetings with people [...]

Briefly: On the Effect of Children’s Broadcast Shows

Levar Burton recently launched a Kickstarter campaign fundraising for his Reading Rainbow mobile application. In discussing the importance of children’s education, Screenrant says the following: Shows like Sesame Street, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood and Reading Rainbow don’t resonate merely because they are things from childhood, like a favorite action figure or a doll; these shows helped to nurture [...]

Houston Barkitecture 2013 This Weekend

This blog post was written in ten minutes because that’s all the time I had. Earlier this fall I designed and built a dog house that I am surprisingly proud of. This weekend the doghouse will be featured alongside some other doghouses designed by some other design-experienced people. Historically this Barkitecture event has been populated [...]

How To Fold Polyhedra Like a Pro

Ever tried to fold up a map and couldn’t? Edit: what’s a paper map? You’re not alone. Maps don’t have clear fold lines that direct you towards an ordered process of folding, resulting in that complete mess by the fourth step or so. It gets much easier if the fold lines are clear. Recently I’ve [...]

The Marshmallow Challenge, or, How Fast Can You Iterate?

When it comes to swimming in cold water there are generally two schools of thought on how to start. You can ease yourself into the water, gradually acclimating to the temperature of the pool, or you can jump in and suffer the brief shock before quickly getting down to business. If we are talking pools [...]

Introducing the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute

This summer, four fellows representing some of the best young talent in advanced manufacturing have descended upon Houston to work on rapid prototyping thrusts for one month. This all fell under a new organization I am proud to be a part of along with Dr. Jordan Miller, newly an Assistant Professor in the Department of [...]

Open Call to Submit Engineering Project Ideas for First-Year Rice Engineering Students

Student engineering teams at Rice University solve authentic, client-based design challenges during their education. Through the course, Introduction to Engineering Design (ENGI 120), the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen is offering the opportunity for first-year students to design and build solutions to engineering design challenges. These multi-disciplinary team projects allow freshman Rice students to discover the [...]

Startup Community Roundtable: What Can We Learn From Other Cities?

Startup Texas / Startup America are co-presenting a community roundtable on September 20th, 2012 entitled “What Can We Learn From Other Cities?” I will be joining a panel of Houston locals who bring to the table experience with startup community models from other cities. Marc Nathan will sit on the panel and moderate. Some of [...]