Author 
Message 
Kasey Wertheim
 Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2005  07:19 pm: 

Jessica, My name is Kasey, and I'm a fingerprint examiner for the federal government. I have studied the classification system I believe you are discussing (the Henry system), and I must admit I hadn't thoroughly considered the questions you asked, and I find them interesting. I know you are probably doing this for a school project, so I'll keep my answers general if that's OK. If I have misjudged, please let me know and I'll answer differently. Your first question involves the equation. The mathematics were designed so that each unique combination of patterns would give a unique classification, and also that every classification would only give one set of fingerprint patterns. In other words, you would always be able to reconstruct from the classification what the patterns were, and you would always be able to get a classification from every set of fingerprints. Your second question involves the numbers. I believe you are asking why certain fingers receive higher values than other fingers, and the answer is actually the same as the first answer... if fingers received the same numbers, there would be no way to go back and determine which fingers the different patterns were on. In other words, this was done so that the number will always tell which fingers had whorls and which fingers did not. Your last question involves a reason for not having one hand on the top of the equation and the other hand on the bottom. My personal opinion is that this has to do with symmetry of the body. By spreading out the numbers over the top and bottom, there is a more equal distribution of scores over the entire spectrum of potential values than if the fingerprint patterns on one hand were all together in either the numerator or denominator of the formuula. In other words, the mathematicians designed the formula in a way so that when the cards were divided into different classifications, they would get the most even piles possible for the formula, and I bet they found that putting the right hand on top and left hand on bottom resulted in some very large piles for certain classifications. Hope this helps, Kasey 
Jessica Ann Willmore
 Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2005  06:36 pm: 

Why is the math equation for calssifying prints the way it is? Why are the fingers numbered with the numbers they are? Why isn't it all of the right hand on top and left on bottom ot viversa? i need the equation explained to me so i can understand for why queation. 
