Awards


The Economics Department awards several prizes to the most outstanding students in the Economics (ECON) and Mathematical Economic (MTEC) majors.

The Gaston Rimlinger Prize

The Gaston Rimlinger Prize, the most prestigious student award given by the Rice Economics Department, is named after one of the founders of the department, an individual renowned for his path breaking research, outstanding teaching, and gracious old world charm. It is awarded for the best scholarly paper written by a graduating Economics (ECON) or Mathematical Economic Analysis (MTEC) major for any course offered by the department.

Recent winners of the Gaston Rimlinger Prize:
2017    Yue Zhang
2016    Tanya Rajan 
2015    Kelsey Walker
2014    Sang Jun Lee
2013    Neeraj Salhotra
2012    Claire Meyer
2011     David Gassko
2010    Katherine Kellert


The Malcolm Gillis Awards 

The Malcolm Gillis Awards, established in 2015, honor an individual who was one of the most prominent and respected members of the Rice Economics Department. Malcolm Gillis was the Ervin K. Zingler Chair in Economics, and was not only an outstanding scholar, an accomplished advisor to a multitude of governments, universities and other private entities, and an exemplary teacher, but also served as President of Rice University from 1993 to 2004. The Malcolm Gillis Award in Economics is awarded to the graduating senior in the ECON major with the highest grade point average in the courses required to fulfill their major requirements. The Malcolm Gillis Award in Mathematical Economic Analysis is awarded to the graduating senior in the MTEC major with the highest grade point average in the courses required to fulfill their major requirements.

Recent winners of the Malcolm Gillis Award in Economics:
2017    Alex Alexander
2016    Sarah Hodges-Copple
​2015    Andrew Clark

Recent winners of the Malcolm Gillis Award in Mathematical Economic Analysis:
2017    Zhifeng Wang
2016    James Yuan
2015    Thomas Weidman
 

The RISE Awards 

The RISE Awards were established in 2015 and are sponsored by the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics, a multi-year, university-level program, led by department chair Antonio Merlo, that is focused on dramatically enhancing research and teaching in Economics at Rice. The RISE Award in Economics is awarded to the rising senior in the ECON major with the highest grade point average in the courses taken to fulfill their degree requirements. The RISE Award in Mathematical Economic Analysis is awarded to the rising senior in the MTEC major with the highest grade point average in the courses taken to fulfill their degree requirements. 

Recent winners of the RISE Award in Economics:
2017    Mengjia Liu
2016    Alex Alexander
​2015    Thomas Bennett

Recent winners of the RISE Award in Mathematical Economic Analysis:
2017    Seohee Kim
2016    Yize Zhao
2015    Yuqi Li 


The Peter Mieszkowski Prize for Honors Program Research 

The Peter Mieszkowski Prize for Honors Program Research honors one of the most prolific scholars to have served in the Rice Economics Department who, among other accomplishments, was the winner of the 2009 Holland Medal, awarded annually by the National Tax Association for lifetime contributions to the theory and practice of public finance. The Peter Mieszkowski Prize is awarded for the best scholarly paper written by a graduating ECON or MTEC major in the Economics Honors Program (ECON 498/499).

Recent winners of the Peter Mieszkowski Prize:
2017    Hanqing Sun for The Differential Determinants of Education and their Impact on Earnings for Urban and Migrant Chinese Workers: Evidence from the Chinese Household Income Project in 1995 and 2002
2016   Jan Dudek for Do Children from Non-Nuclear Families Leave Home Early?
2016   Mengdi (Maggie) Shi for Exploring the Sex Difference in Sleep Duration and its Effect on Productivity


The Baker Institute Public Policy Essay Prize

The Baker Institute Public Policy Essay Prize is awarded for the best scholarly paper on a public policy issue written by a graduating ECON or MTEC major for any Economics course. The award is sponsored by Rice's Baker Institute for Public Policy. 

Recent winners of the Baker Institute Public Policy Essay Prize:
2017     Yimeng Tang for An Analysis of the Determinants of Educational Production for Schools in Wealthy and Poor Neighborhoods in Tennessee: 2015-2013
2016    Sean Leong for Analyzing Fuel Poverty in the United States through the Consumer Expenditure Survey


Distinction in Research and Creative Works

To earn Distinction in Research and Creative Works, students must produce a body of work that represents a notable advance of the academic literature in Economics and includes a core component that is original to the student, reflecting the student’s independent thought. The work must be above and beyond that typically required for a paper in a senior-level ECON or MTEC elective or for a senior independent research project. To be eligible the student must either

  1. Write a paper that represents a notable advance of the academic literature in economics and includes a core component that is original to the student, reflecting the student’s independent thought. The work must be above and beyond that typically required for a paper in a senior-level ECON or MTEC elective or a senior independent research project.   

OR

  1. Be materially involved in a research project with a faculty member, making contributions that are above and beyond those normally expected from an undergraduate research assistant. These contributions must include a core component that is original to the student, which both reflects the student’s independent thought and notably advances the research, and must be described in detail in a report submitted by the student.

A faculty member must nominate the student by April 1, at which time the student and faculty member must submit the Application for Distinction in Research and Creative Works form. Projects completed by Rice ECON or MTEC majors in part or entirely at other academic institutions will be eligible for consideration, in which case the faculty member supervising the research must nominate the student. Both the paper and the report should comply with the Rice Honor Council’s General Requirements for the Acknowledgment of Sources. The Economics Department Undergraduate Committee will determine which students earn Distinction in Research and Creative Works. For more information contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator.

Microsoft Office document icon ECON Distinction in Research Application
Deadline for Final Submission of Required Materials: April 1, 2016


Honors in Economics

To receive Honors in Economics, students must receive a grade of B+ or higher in the departmental honors course (ECON 498/499), a two-semester program supervised by Professor Robin Sickles, in which students participate in a research workshop and produce an independent research paper. The recipients of Honors in Economics in 2016-2017 are:

Hanqing Sun
Yimeng Tang
Yue Zhang


Omicron Delta Epsilon

Omicron Delta Epsilon was established in 1963 and is one of the world’s largest academic honor societies with nearly 700 chapters worldwide. The objectives of the Society include the recognition of scholastic attainment in economics and outstanding achievements by economists at all levels, as well as the establishment of closer ties between students and faculty in economics both within their own colleges and universities and at other institutions. Each year the economics department invites a few outstanding junior and senior ECON and MTEC majors to join ODE. The 2016-2017 members of the Rice chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon are:

Alexander J. Alexander
Thomas L. Bennett
Zinan Chen
Reid E. Coleman
Palvasha R. Deme
Abby E. Halm
Lauren M. Heller
Wren Jiang
Seohee Kim
Mengjia Liu
Sijia Liu
Yichuan Ma
Hee Zhi Poh
Jenny L. Ren
Timothy S. Schmidt
Chen Song
Hanqing Sun
Yimeng Tang
Benaiah Tour
Zhifeng Wang
Tian Yu
Shiyi Zhang
Yue Zhang
Yize Zhao

All department honors and awards are subject to the approval of the Economics Department faculty.