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A significant component of forensic science is analyzing bones to assess the age at death of an individual. Forensic anthropologists often include the pubic symphysis in such studies. Subjective methods, such as the Suchey-Brooks method, are currently used to analyze the pubic symphysis. This thesis examines a more objective, quantitative method. The method analyzes 3D surface scans of the pubic symphysis and implements a thin plate spline algorithm which models the bending of a flat plane to approximately match the surface of the bone. The algorithm minimizes the bending energy required for this transformation. Results presented here show that there is a correlation between the minimum bending energy and the age at death of the individual. The method could be useful to medico-legal practitioners.
Age estimation, Pubis Symphysis, Thin plate splines
Date of Defense
August 8, 2012.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Scientiﬁc Computing in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Dennis Slice, Professor Directing Thesis; John Burkardt, Committee Member; Ming Ye, Committee Member; Sachin Shanbhag, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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