Rohlf Prize Lecture
Biology and Mathematical Imagination: The Meaning of Morphometrics
Fred L. Bookstein is Professor of Statistics, University of Washington, and Universitätsprofessor of Morphometrics, Department of Anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria. He is co-investigator at the University of Michigan’s Visible Human Project.
A biometer, statistical scientist and applied mathematician, Bookstein is the principal creator of morphometrics, a new specialty that combines techniques of geometry, computer science, and mathematical biology with multivariate statistics in tools for analysis of biological shape variation and shape difference. His innovations are being applied broadly today across evolutionary and developmental biology, paleontology, computer vision, medical imaging, and cognitive neuroimaging.
Since 1977, Bookstein has produced more than 300 books, chapters, articles, and videotapes on various aspects of these methods and their applications in studies of normal and abnormal craniofacial growth in humans and other mammals, studies in the neuroanatomy of schizophrenia and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and evolutionary studies of hominids and other paleontological taxa.
With his collaborator William D. K. Green, he has developed two public software packages, Edgewarp and Edgewarp3D, that embed the image-related aspects of all these techniques in a convenient common framework for Unix workstations. Beginning in 1999, with major new funding from the National Library of Medicine, a collaboration between the University of Michigan and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is proceeding to embed Edgewarp at the core of a software system for navigation that will supply general public access to extensions of the NLM’s visible humans, Adam and Eve, for educational use from high school through medical school.