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

Mitchell Lecturer (Assistant Professor)

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

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 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.

Teaching and Advising

Graduate Level

  • PhD: Co-supervisor student in Bayesian shape analysis (2016 – present)
  • 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)
  • Science Fundamentals, re-design of course (2016)

Publications and Talks


  • 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.

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, Ashraf Ayoub, et al.. Orthognatic Surgery Intervention using 3d facial modeling.
  • Liberty Vittert, Adrian Bowman, Vincent Macaulay. A Bayesian approach to a 3-dimensional Automatic Landmarking and Curves Identification Process.

Invited Talks

  • 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

Contributed Talks

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

Upcoming Talks

  • 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.


Honors and Awards

Ambassador, Royal Statistical Society 2016

BBC Expert Women 2017

One of twenty women chosen from over seven hundred 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.

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


Service to Outside Institutions

Board Member USA for UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) (2015 – present)


  • BBC Statistical Expert, Radio Guest, recurring (2016 – present) Over 10 radio appearances since the start of 2016 discussing polling, woman in mathematics, fun probability statistics, etc.
  • 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

A selection of clips below:

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

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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