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Statistics for geometric data

Workshop on statistics for geometric data and applications to anthropology


  • Date: December 19-21, 2018
  • Venue: FRIAS, Albertstraße 19, 79104 Freiburg im Breisgau
  • Organizers: Philipp Harms (Freiburg University) and Matthew Reimherr (Penn State University)
  • Funding: We gratefully acknowledge support of the Freiburg-Penn State Collaboration Development Program 2018, which is co-funded by FRIAS and PSU.


Matthew Ritchie, M Theory, 2000.
(Matthew Ritchie, M Theory, 2000. Source: Voices in Contemporary Art)



This workshop is part of a collaboration between the anthropology, statistics, and stochastics departments in Freiburg and Penn State on statistics for geometric data and applications to anthropology. With the proliferation of affordable biomedical imaging technologies, the statistical analysis of 3D shapes has become an important task in biological sciences. Ignoring their inherent structures and complexities can bias scientific conclusions, especially when there is large shape variability. This workshop addresses a blend of fundamental theoretical questions and applied problems with the goal of expanding the fields of functional data and shape analysis, focussing on anthropological applications.

This is a follow-up to the previous workshop at Penn State University in June 2018. 


  • Karthik Bharath (Nottingham University)
  • Peter Claes (KU Leuven)
  • Philipp Harms (Freiburg University)
  • Hyun Bin Kang (Penn State University)
  • Bharath Kumar (Penn State University)
  • Elodie Maignant (Université Paris Saclay; via Skype)
  • Matthew Reimherr (Penn State University)
  • Stefan Schlager (Freiburg University)
  • Thorsten Schmidt (Freiburg University)
  • Mark Shriver (Penn State University)

Preliminary schedule

  • Monday, Tuesday: informal discussions
  • Tuesday afternoon: multidisciplinary discussion on DNA-based facial reconstruction
  • Wednesday, Thursday: presentations 
  • Friday: informal discussions


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