The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

75° Stony Brook, NY
The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

Newsletter

    Rohlf Award received at Monday’s Provost Series

    Stony Brook University’s Office of the Provost is not unfamiliar with hosting lectures. This semester alone, the Provost plans to have hosted a total of seven lectures by the end of November. Still, according to Deputy Provost Brent Lindquist, the lecture hosted just last Monday was a bit one-of-a-kind.
    “This was somewhat unusual. A large number [of the lectures] are brought in because there is some event being sponsored, and so they are brought in to add to that event. In other cases some group wants to bring in a distinguished lecturer,” Lindquist said.
    But in this case, there was no specific event going on, nor did any group ask for this lecture to occur. Rather, for the first time ever, the Rohlf Medal for Excellence in Morphometric Methods and Application was being awarded, and Stony Brook University, through the Provost, had been selected to host its inaugural lecture.
    The award recipient, Dr. Fred L. Bookstein, was introduced by the person for whom the medal is named, Dr. F. James Rohlf. Rohlf is a distinguished SUNY professor based in Stony Brook who, according to Lindquist, “helped pioneer geometric morphometrics, the study of the statistics of shape.”
    Rohlf praised Bookstein both as an impressive academic and as an advocate of his field.
    “He is what I consider an intellectual giant, and made central contributions to the theory of modern morphometrics,” Rohlf said. “I was almost afraid that nobody would apply [for the award] because it’s sort of recognized in the field that he’s the obvious winner.”
    Bookstein’s lecture itself was under an hour long, but in that time, he covered his current and potential future applications of morphometrics with slides and references to other mathematical and statistical fields.
    Of an estimated 80 people who filled the Wang Center lecture hall, the majority appeared to be friends, family and colleagues of Bookstein and Rohlf.
    One such person, Bill Shannon, a biostatistician at Washington University, came all the way from St. Louis to see the lecture.
    “I came to town just for this; to honor Jim Rohlf,” Shannon explained. “The lecture was fabulous. The speaker gave a wonderful explanation of a very complicated topic.”
    Others who attended were there for more academic reasons. Allison Nesbitt, a doctoral student in anthropological sciences, says she plans to incorporate Bookstein’s work into her own research.
    “I’ve read tons of his articles,” she said. “He’s one of the visionaries of the field.”
    Lindquist, who helped take questions and close the lecture, expressed his pleasure in its success.
    “I thought it went very well,” he said. “I hope we’ll be able to host [the Rohlf Award] again in the future.”

    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Statesman

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Stony Brook University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The Statesman

    Comments (0)

    All The Statesman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *