Robert Rice

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Robert Rice
R. B. Rice headshot.gif
President year 1975

Robert B. Rice was the 1975-1976 SEG President.

Biography Citation for SEG Honorary Membership

Contributed by J. Dan Skelton

"Service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy in life." -(Anonymous)


The term "service" best describes Bob Rice's relationship with geophysics. His entire career has been devoted to serving the exploration industry, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the geophysical profession. He has truly "rented" a "Texas-size spread" in exploration geophysics.

It is, therefore, especially appropriate that an Honorary Membership be bestowed on Bob Rice. The SEG Executive Committee, in making this award, stated: "This honor is in recognition of your contribution to the profession of exploration geophysics through the publication of many papers, 'Inverse Convolution Filters' being specifically mentioned as a 'bench mark' contribution and through your many years of service to the Society...although you are retired from active employment, you continue to consult, to write, and to serve the Society." This statement aptly summarizes Bob's considerable service to exploration geophysics.

Bob Rice immediately began serving the exploration industry after completing his academic work in math and physics at the College of Wooster and Ohio State University in 1945. For the next decade, he was employed as a research geophysicist with Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, conducting research on improved seismic field techniques, seismic data analysis, and interpretation methods. His early publications concerned time migration techniques. In 1956, Bob joined Marathon's Research Center in Littleton, Colorado, as a senior research scientist. During the next five years, Rice selected, established, administered, and taught programming for Marathon's first scientific computer facility. In this period he did extensive research on seismic data processing techniques, with special emphasis on inverse convolution filtering. In 1960, Bob became manager of Marathon Research's Physics and Mathematics Department, where in addition to supervising the computer planning and operation, he was also charged with responsibility for geophysical logging, mathematical techniques, and instrumentation research. These 33 years represent a most significant geophysical service to the exploration industry.

Bob has given virtually unparalleled service to the SEG since becoming an active member in 1946. He has served on numerous committees and chaired five major standing committees. He was Technical Program Chairman for the 1968 Annual Meeting in Denver and, at the next Denver meeting in 1975, he was General Chairman. After serving as an officer of the Geophysical Society of Tulsa, he was elected Editor of Geophysics in 1961. Bob became First Vice-President of the SEG in 1971 and in 1975 became SEG President. Thus, in a 15-year period, Bob served on the SEG Executive Committee for five years. Very few have given so much direct service to the Society. In fact, only six of the other fifty-one SEG presidents have held three major SEG offices. While SEG president, Rice led a vigorous campaign to educate the public and their officials about exploration geophysics' important role in attaining energy independence. Bob Rice's long-term SEG service has been a significant factor in making the SEG the major technical society it is today.

Rice's most outstanding service to geophysics is probably in the publications area. As a researcher, he published and presented significant technical work. At the 1960 Annual Meeting, he received the SEG Best Presentation Award for the paper "Inverse Convolution Filters" which was published in Geophysics in 1962. As author, editor of Geophysics, and member of the Publishing Committee for more than 12 years, Bob has stimulated a wealth of technical information in exploration geophysics literature.

Since his retirement five years ago, Bob continues to serve our profession by consulting, special teaching, and contributing to geophysical literature. He principally authored the seismic exploration section of a National Science Board report to the President of the United States in 1981. He was senior author of a classic paper, "Developments in Exploration Geophysics, 1975-1980," published in Geophysics in 1981. Most recently, Bob co-authored a unique book, Geophysics in the Affairs of Man, Pergamon Press, 1982.

Bob has performed these many significant roles in geophysics most effectively, smoothly, and without controversy. He likes people. He is virtually a "Will Rogers" of geophysics he probably never met a geophysicist he didn't like. I am proud to have the opportunity to outline Bob's many contributions to our profession, and I know every member of the Society is proud to have Bob Rice as an Honorary Member.


Biography for SEG President Elect Candidacy

Geophysics, Vol. 38, No.2, April 1973


Robert B. Rice, candidate for President, graduated from the College of Wooster in 1841 with a B.A. in mathematics and physics. He taught and did graduate work at Ohio State University from 1941 to 1945. He was employed by Philips Petroleum Company as a process design engineer in 1945 but transferred to geophysical research in 1946. in 1956 he joined the newly organized Research Division of Marathon Oil Company in Denver, Colorado, where he is now manager of the Physics and Mathematics Department in charge of geophysics and mathematical research and computer operations.

Mr. Rice has published a number of articles in a Best Presentation Award fro his paper ?Inverse Convolution Filters: at the 1960 Annual Meeting. He has been active in the Tulsa and Denver Local Sections, having served as treasurer of the Tulsa society.

He served as the 16th Editor of the Society for 1961-62 and 1962-63. He was Chairman of the Technical Program Committee for the 1968 Annual Meeting in Denver and Vice-Chairman of the Technical Program Committee for the 1961 Annual Meeting in Denver.

During 1970-71, he served as the SEG First Vice-President. Also he has been a member of several Society committees and is currently Chairman of the Distinguished Lectures Committee.

In addition to being a member of the SEG for 27 years, Mr. Rice is a member of the EAEG, AMS,, SIAM, APS, Mathematical Association of America, Operations Research Society of America, and Institute of Management.

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