Dr. Liberty Vittert

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University of Glasgow

School of Mathematics and Statistics, Ph.D., 2015. Dissertation: Facial Shape Analysis. A novel method of shape analysis using inherent surface curvature and smoothing methods.

Le Cordon Bleu Paris

Diplome de Patisserie et Cuisine de Base, 2011

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

BSc, 2010. Mathematics and a Concentration in Political Science

Professional Appointments

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Washington University in St. Louis (2018 – )

Honorary Research Fellow

School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow (2018 – )

Mitchell Lecturer (Assistant Professor)

School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow (2015 – 2018)

During my PhD, I developed a novel method of facial shape analysis by using intrinsic surface information (curvature) to create a curve-finding algorithm along a manifold (3d facial surfaces as an application). However, this method still relies on the initial starting anatomical landmarks of a face or surface, which are manually marked. My current research consists of a Bayesian approach to automatic landmarking with a further aim to create a fully Bayesian approach to the analysis of manifolds in general.


Visiting Scholar – Columbia University in New York City (Spring/Summer 2019)

Principal’s Early Career Mobility Scheme

Having worked in the spring of 2017 as a Visiting Fellow at Columbia under the sponsorship of Steve Coll, the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, writing a book on what we can tell about someone by their face, I was awarded a grant to again be a Visiting Scholar at Columbia in spring/summer 2018 under the sponsorship of Professor Mark Hansen, Professor of Journalism, Director of the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation, and Statistics Department, affiliated faculty. However, due to a new job position at Washington University in St. Louis, I will be postponing this until Spring/Summer 2019. The work will be to help both the public and journalists better understand the world and make better decisions through data. Data shapes the world around us, and giving journalists, as well as the public, a better understanding through data is essential to future improvement. Everything from social media exchanges among youth in communities with high rates of gang violence to the decisions people make in how they raise their children or even decide how their public parks are used will be explored to develop a new way to map the world around us.


Visiting Scholar – Columbia University in New York City (Spring 2017)

Principal’s Early Career Mobility Scheme

Having won funding from the University of Glasgow under the Principal’s Early Career Mobility Scheme, I will work this spring under the sponsorship of Steve Coll, the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. This project will begin the research and initial stages of writing a non-fiction book with the aim to bring sophisticated, statistical shape methods to a general audience. The work will move chapter by chapter through different human traits and syndromes discussing whether any predilection can be initially dictated by facial shape. For example, Down’s Syndrome is clearly indicated by facial shape; however, mental illness, genius or criminality is a more questionable discussion with wide-ranging social implications.


Graduate Level

  • PhD: Co-supervisor student in Bayesian shape analysis (2016 – present)
  • MSc Supervisor, student in Analysis of 3D Camera Systems (2018)
  • MSc Supervisor, student in shape analysis of 3D and 2D assessment of surgical outcomes (2018)
  • MSc Supervisor, student in Shape Analysis of 3D and 2D Assessment of Surgical Outcomes (2018)
  • MSc Supervisor, student in Shape Analysis of Severity Measures of Reconstructive Surgery (2018)
  • MSc Supervisor, student in shape analysis of ethnicity (2016)
  • MSc Co-supervisor, student in warping shape analysis (2016)
  • MSc Co-supervisor, student in Linear Discriminant analysis of shape (2015-2016)
  • MSc Co-supervisor, student in spatial smoothing of river networks (2015-2016)

Undergraduate Level, Lectured Courses

    • Statistics for Biomedical Engineers (2015, 2016, 2017)




  • Professional Skills, co-lecture (2017)
  • Science Fundamentals, re-design of course (2016, 2018)



  • Baoqing Sun, Matthew P. Edgar, Richard Bowman, Liberty Vittert, Stuart Welsh, A Bowman, and MJ Padgett. 3d computational imaging with single-pixel detectors. Science, 340 (6134): 844-847 ,2013.
  • Susan Fitzer, Liberty Vittert, Adrian Bowman, Nicholas Kamenos, Vernon Phoenix, Maggie Cusak. Ocean acidification and temperature increase impact mussel shell shape and thickness: problematic for protection? Ecology and Evolution, 5 (21): 4875-4884, 2015.
  • Katina et al. The definitions of three-dimensional landmarks on the human face: an interdisciplinary view. Journal of Anatomy, 228 (3): 355-365, 2016.
  • Liberty Vittert, Adrian W. Bowman, Stanislav Katina. Statistical models for manifold data with applications to the human face. Annals of Applied Statistics. In Submission.
  • Liberty Vittert, Stanislav Katina, Adrian Bowman. Reliability and Validation of 3d Stereophotogrammetry
    Systems. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. In Submission.
  • Liberty Vittert, Adrian Bowman, Ashraf Ayoub, et al.. Orthognathic Surgery Intervention using 3D Facial modeling. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 2018.

In preparation:

  • Adrian Bowman, Liberty Vittert, Stanislav Katina. Face3D. R Cran package.
  • Stanislav Katina, Adrian Bowman, Liberty Vittert. Shape Visualisation.
  • Liberty Vittert, Adrian Bowman, Ashraf Ayoub, Anas Almukhtar. 3-dimensional statistical modelling approach to the post-operative reprecussions of orthodontic bracket intervention.
  • Liberty Vittert, Adrian Bowman, Vincent Macaulay. A Bayesian approach to a 3-dimensional Automatic Landmarking and Curves Identification Process.
  • Liberty Vittert, Adrian Bowman. A Longitudinal view of Children’s growth over 18 years.


Invited Talks

  • Joint Statistical Meetings, organizer of two invited sessions ”The Future of Statistics and the Public” and ”Statistical Ergonomics”, Vancouver, Canada, August 2018
  • DigitalDNA keynote conference speaker, Belfast, UK, ”Data: our greatest strategic threat and opportunity”, June 2018
  • TedX Glasgow panelist ”Big Data and Cambridge Analytica, What’s the Real Story”, June 2018
  • Royal Statistical Society Young Researcher’s Symposium. ”Data: greatest strategic threat or opportunity?”. May 2018
  • Edinburgh Science Festival, Keynote Speaker, ”Statistics and Public Opinion” April 2018.
  • Royal Statistical Society Webinar “The career value of effective communication skills” April 2018.
  • Harvard University, School of Psychology, April 2018 “Statistics and Opinion”.
  • Standard Life Aberdeen, “The Lies of Money and Age”, February 2017
  • CCA, “Customer Service Benchmarking”, March 2017
  • American Statistical Association, “Discussing strategies for communicating technical information to non-technical audiences” with Professor Regina Nuzzo, December 2017
  • Scottish Finance Director’s Forum, “Public Opinion: How to Capitalize and How to Fight Back”,  November 2017
  • CCA, “How to Spot the Lies of Public Opinion and Customer Service”, November2017
  • Low Moss Prison, “Why do Numbers Matter?”, November 2017
  • Esri UK (Geographical Information Systems Software ArcGis), “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”, September 2017
  • Advice Direct Scotland (Citizen’s Advice), “The Lies Behind Public Opinion”, August 2017
  • World Statistics Conference, Marrakech, Morocco, July 2017, “Telling statistical stories and teaching good data sense to the public.” Invited Session.
  • Royal Statistical Society/Glasgow Science Festival, June 2017
  • JSM 2017 Panelist, Essential Skills for Communication Statistics. Topic-Contributed Session.
  • STEM Panel – The Science of Confidence – How Women and Girls can Master the Tech Revolution, Baltimore, MD. 2017
  • Washington University in St. Louis, Seminar February 2017, “Mapping the Human Face”
  • European Research Consortium of Informatics and Mathematics 2016, Smoothing methods for complex data
  • P-Spline talks, Bilbao, Session 2016, P-Spline Smoothing with 2D Manifold Curvature
  • Masterclass Royal Society, 2016, How did OJ do it? Statistics in the Law.
  • Royal Statistical Society Science Festival, 2016, How to win the Lottery and Get Away with Murder
  • Masterclass Royal Society, 2015, Codes, Secrets, and Lies
  • First Tuesday Club, University of Glasgow, 2015
  • Face3D Consortium, 2015, University of Glasgow Facial Asymmetry and Reconstructive Surgery

Selected Public Speaking Engagements

  • Edinburgh Science Festival, Keynote Speaker, “Statistics and Public Opinion” April 2018.
    • “In the past 25 of years of being a part of the Edinburgh Science Festival, this was hands down the best talk I have ever been to. Truly Remarkable.” “Only time I have ever seen an audience clap in the middle of a talk”
  • CCA Global Keynote Speaker, 2018, CX Forum
  • UK National Audit Office (governmental audit body) 2018 “How to Communicate Dodgy Data”
  • Standard Life keynote speaker Technology and Change Conference, 2018 “The Lies of Money and Aging”
    • “Best session of the day!! Funny, engaging and I’m already keen to hear more. Brilliant! ” “I’d give you six stars if I could. Great presentation. Please come back every year!” “Wonderfully session. Really clicked things into place for me regarding data and stats.” “FANTASTIC – my favourite break-out of the day. – wow! This has changed my view on how I look at headlines and will also change my approach to which questions I should ask within work.”
  • Low Moss Prison, 2017, “Statistics of Crime”
  • Scottish Finance Director’s Forum, Keynote Evening Speaker , 2017 “Public Opinion and Statistics”
  • Esri UK, ArcGIS geographical mapping software, Keynote Speaker, 2017, “Statistics and Geography”
    • “Keynote was superb! ” “The key note speaker was brilliant.” “I loved Liberty’s closing speech, it was amazing.”
  • Advice Direct Scotland, Evening Guest Speaker, “The Statistics of Public Opinion”, 2017
    • “Liberty enthralled and inspired the Advice Direct Scotland audience with her amazing ability to de-mystify statistics and challenge our thinking?
  • American Statistical Association, “Communicating Technical Information to Non-Technical Audiences”, 2017
    • “Outstanding job – educational and fun to hear about your creative processes for generating pieces for different audiences”

Contributed Talks

  • Royal Statistical Society Conference, Manchester, UK 2016, Industry and Commerce: Compression, Compaction, and Visualisation, Statistics with a Human Face Visualisation

Upcoming Talks

  •  Royal Statistical Society Aberdeen Statistics Symposium. “The Future of Statistical Communication”. May 2018
  •  Royal Statistical Society Lancashire. “The Future of Shape Analysis”, May 2018
  •  Joint Statistical Meetings, Organizer Invited Session, “The future of statistics and the public: the good, the bad, and the ugly”, July 2018.
  • Joint Statistical Meetings, Chair Invited Session, “Statistical Ergonomics”, July 2018

Grant Awards

  • Knowledge Exchange Fund Award, (9,900£), 2017
    • Producing a pilot television show called “Lies About Alcohol”


Honors and Awards

Ambassador, Royal Statistical Society 2016

BBC Expert Women 2017

One of twenty women chosen from hundreds of applicants to become a BBC Woman Expert Contributor for BBC Television and Radio Programs

TedX Glasgow 2017

Chosen to be a speaker for TedX Glasgow for the 2017 theme “Lead or Follow” at The SEC Armadillo in Glasgow to an audience of 1800 individuals showcasing the way data and numbers can be used to manipulate and misrepresent, as well as accidentally misinterpret information to the public and how to identify these inaccuracies in one’s every day life.

Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute

The ISI, established in 1885, is a non-profit, non-government organization that has had consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1949. I recently became an Elected Member of the ISI, sponsored by the President-Elect, which occurs when recognized by the ISI Executive Committee as established in your career and having made significant contributions to the statistical profession.

Royal Pairing Scheme 2016

One of thirty scientists in the United Kingdom chosen to pair with a Parliamentarian at Westminster for Knowledge Exchange

STEM for Britain

A series of exhibits in the House of Commons at Westminster to encourage, support and promote Britain’s early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians who are an essential part of continuing progress in and development of UK research and R&D

The Glasgow Crucible

The Glasgow Crucible is a leadership and development programme by selection of leading early-career researchers to enhance one’s research leadership, help build a culture of collaboration and knowledge exchange R&D

Judge, Statistic of The Year

A judging panel of 6 individuals chaired by the President of the Royal Statistical Society for a new initiative by the RSS, “Statistic of the Year”. In a similar vein to the Oxford English Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’, the RSS looked for statistics that were felt to capture the overall spirit of the year. R&D


Media (Academic)

  • BBC Statistical Expert, Resident Statistician for BBC Radio Scotland, recurring (2016 – present)
  • BBC Newsnight on-air and data visualization contributor 2018
  • The Times, statistics contributor 2018
  • PBS Nova on-air contributor for statistics 2017
  • Channel 4 Statistical Expert, recurring shows i.e. Bizarre ER and Supershoppers
  • STV Scotland Tonight Statistical Expert, recurring (2016 – present) (Scottish Television Network, owned by ITV) Multiple contributor appearances for statistical questions/stories
  • “Research In Scotland” Pieces on STV2 (Scottish Television Network) –  showcasing my colleagues research in “What is Going on In Research In Scotland” pieces
  • Fox News Channel Guest 2014, 2015, New York
  • STV City election expert, full coverage for US Election 2016 and show special

Media (Non- Academic)

  • Host (BBC Best Cook in Britain Pilot), 2017
  • Host (Scottish Television Network (STV), owned by ITV) http://player.stv.tv/summary/liberty-american-cookbook
    • “Liberty’s Great American Cookbook”
    • TV show airing nationwide on STV utilising cooking from Le Cordon Bleu Paris and increasing media interest in statistics  (within my show I do a 1 minute section of Food for Thought of interesting statistics related to food)
  • Westender Magazine Contributor (2014 – present )
  • STV Glasgow/Edinburgh feature contributor (2014 – present)

A selection of clips below:


Service to Outside Institutions

Board Member USA for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) (2015 – present)
Elected Member, International Statistical Institute (ISI) (2017 – present)
Member, American Statistical Association (ASA) (2016 – present)
Fellow and Ambassador, Royal Statistical Society (RSS) (2014 – present)

University Service

Outreach Committee, University of Glasgow (2015 – present)

Organizing outreach events for the School of Mathematics and Statistics from alumni events to opportunities for TV stories of current research

Communicating with Diverse Audiences University-Wide Working Group, University of Glasgow (2017 – present)

Working group within the University of Glasgow to address and develop methods for helping researchers communicate with diverse audiences through many different avenues.

Fundraising and Development work, University of Glasgow (2016 – present)

Aiding the university development office in fundraising events by discussing my own research, as well as hosting at public and private events.

Face3D Consortium collaborator (2012-2015)

The American Cook

Host (Scottish Television Network (STV), owned by ITV)

Liberty’s Great American Cookbook
TV show airing nationwide on STV utilising cooking from Le Cordon Bleu Paris


STV Glasgow/Edinburgh feature contributor (2014 – present)

Westender Magazine Contributor (2014 – present

photography by Gregor Reid

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