Rikker Dockum to attend Quantitative Methods Spring School at Max Planck Institute
PhD student Rikker Dockum has been selected to attend the 2016 Quantitative Methods Spring School at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) in Jena, Germany. The program, which will run from May 13-18, is a five-day intensive workshop on computational phylogenetics organized by Fiona Jordan and Russell Gray. Fourteen doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers were selected to participate from around the world, with travel and accommodations provided by MPI-SHH. Courses will be taught by Fiona Jordan, Chiara Barbieri, Damian Blasi, Heidi Colleran, Robert Forkel, Simon Greenhill, Adam Powell, Sean Roberts, and Annmarie Verkerk.
Each applicant submitted a project idea that makes use of quantitative methods. Rikker proposed to use phylogenetic tools to examine the genetic signal found in tone systems of Tai languages, and to perform ancestral state reconstruction with tonal data. This work will further our understanding of subgrouping and classification of the Tai languages.