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Thread: Name of science wanted

  1. #1 Name of science wanted 
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    I need to know the name of a type of science and I am hoping someone in here can help me. I'm guessing it falls under biology, but if it doesn't, please bear with me and direct me to the correct forum. It regards comparing facial traits of individuals from various photos to determine whether the individuals are the same or not - or at least determine the likelihood of the individuals being the same. Which kind of science covers that?


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  3. #2  
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    I think it's more computer science than biology. Do you have a specific question about it?

    Facial recognition system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Biometrics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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  4. #3 Specific question 
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    Thanks for your reply.

    I am a genealogist and I have a photo in my collection which I have been told is my greatgrandfather and last year I learned from a distant relative that he has been told the person is his grandfather (who was the brother-in-law of my greatgrandfather). Both of these men are dead now and so are all relatives who met them, so we are having trouble figuring out who the person in the photo really is.

    I have attached the photo in question and also a photo of my grandparents with their children.

    After studying these photos I am actually quite convinced that I have been misinformed, but I am also quite sure that the mystery photo cannot be of the brother-in-law either. The brother-in-law died at age 35 and I would say the man in the mystery photo is older than 35. I have then come to believe that it might be the father-in-law of my greatgrandfather, because I think the man in the mystery photo resembles my greatgrandmother (the old lady in the middle of the other photo) more than my greatgrandfather. Anyhow, I am just guessing and I would like to have a more qualified analysis.

    I thought that if I knew the name of the science, then I could contact students at the right faculty at the local university to ask if any of them would help me solve this mystery.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    As Harold says this is largely a software issue, a problem for facial recognition software to tackle. Maybe it would fit under the umbrella of biometrics?

    It would be doubtful if such evidence would be conclusive since plenty of people look similar to other, unrelated people; while two brothers may look very different.

    edit:

    The guy on the back row at far right looks like a younger version of the guy in the first photograph to me. I'm no good at guessing ages, but say 15 yrs younger, I dunno.
    Last edited by Zwirko; July 24th, 2011 at 11:55 AM.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    A good physical anthropologist might be able to help you identify age and similarity to a younger version to the person in question.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  7. #6 Thanks for all the suggestions 
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    Thanks for all the replies. I will try to contact the center of biometrics at the Technical University of Denmark. Hopefuly they can help me further.
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