Fred L. Bookstein, PhD
- Professor of Morphometrics, Department of Anthropology.
- Group Leader: Bioanthropology, Department of Anthropology.
- Professor of Statistics, University of Washington, USA.
- Distinguished Research Professor emeritus, University of Michigan, USA.
- Department of Anthropology
- University of Vienna
Fred L. BOOKSTEIN's special interests center on
foundations of reasoning from numerical evidence across the natural
sciences and the social sciences, with particular care for the
disciplines along which they overlap such as anthropology, demography,
and evolutionary psychology. His training (Ph.D., 1977, University of
Michigan, Statistics and Zoology) concentrated on applied multivariate
methods for the human sciences, both biological and behavioral. Among
his contributions in this broad area are the Bookstein method of
Partial Least Squares, which is a variant of the singular-value
decomposition suited to studies in the behavioral sciences, and the
Bookstein shape coordinates, which formalize certain problems of
biological shape analysis (a highly multivariate domain) in a
statistically tractable way.
Among Bookstein's approximately 360 scientific publications are many
on analysis of complex data resources in general and many others on the
domains of biological shape analysis and medical image analysis in
particular. Several recent publications with his Vienna group cover
aspects of human reproductive choice behavior as expressed in census
data, including analyses of age differences between mates and the
paradoxical effects of education and income between spouses in recent
United States census childrearing patterns. Others deal with aspects of
craniofacial, craniodental, or limb form in humans, apes, or fossils.
Recent publications on his American side deal mainly with fetal alcohol
syndrome, a relatively recently discovered birth defect. Other areas of
special interest include the role of statistical graphics in the
communication of complex multilevel findings and the role of strong
statistical inference (pattern analyses going beyond ordinary
statistical significance testing) in the analysis of multivariate
longitudinal human data. He is currently writing his seventh book,
"Numbers and Reasons: Numerical Inference in the Sciences," on how
numbers guide sound inferences in the natural sciences and the social
sciences. His Hirsh number (the maximum number N such that at least N
of his papers have been cited at least N times) is, as of 3/10/2010,
Some current and recent projects and activities:
- "Virtual Anthropology", joint with G. W. Weber, a
textbook in press introducing concepts of anthropometrics from computer
representations of living or fossil organisms or their parts.
- The EVAN Toolkit, joint with P. Ohiggins and R.
Phillips, a software package for handling data flows generated by the
surfaces or solid forms of living or fossil organisms and their
- Grant proposals under review in comparative demography, networking
of advanced biometric statistics across Europe, extensions of the
method of transformation grids for understanding biological form
change, Brownian motion models for analysis of evolutionary trees on
morphometric data, and applications of evolutionary psychology to
German poetry of the Middle Ages.
- Expert testimony in the American court system as to certain aspects
of brain form and its causes and effects, various jurisdictions.