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Chemometrics in Cultural Heritage

May 29, 2009

Last fall I had the pleasure, with Rasmus Bro, to teach a chemometrics course in Rome. The choice of this location was a result of Rasmus just wanting to go to Rome, and me making an email acquaintance of Prof. Giovanni Visco of the University of Rome, (La Sapienza). In 2008 Giovanni was organizing the second CMA4CH meeting, which is a rather un-obvious acronym for “Application of Multivariate Analysis and Chemometry to Cultural Heritage and Environment.” We gave Giovanni a copy of Solo for the Best Presentation Prize at CMA4CH 2008, and a friendship was born. So when we (Rasmus, along with my wife and daughters, had easily convinced me) wanted to do a course in Rome, I contacted Giovanni and he figured it all out for us. Between Giovanni and his colleague Federico Marini, we were very well taken care of during our stay in Rome!

Giovanni is now in the process of organizing CMA4CH 2010, which will be held on the island of Sicily on September 26-29. He was kind enough to ask me to be the Co-chair for Chemometrics, and I gladly agreed. While somewhat specific, this meeting considers in depth a rather important intersection between a scientific method and an application.

Of course, Italy is THE place for a meeting focused on cultural heritage; they have more of it than just about anybody. And there are so many potential applications of chemometric methods in this arena, (identification of artifacts, provenance of origin, fraud detection, effect of climate and pollution, restoration, etc.), that there should be plenty to discuss! We’re looking forward to it.