This dissertation investigates the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the presence of non-SLE alternatives, while developing novel curve classification methodologies with wide ranging applications. Functional data representations of plasma thermogram measurements and the corresponding derivative curves provide predictors yet to be investigated for SLE identification. Functional nonparametric classifiers form a methodological basis, which is used herein to develop a) the family of ESFuNC segment-wise curve classification algorithms and b) per-pixel ensembles based on logistic regression and fused-LASSO. The proposed methods achieve test set accuracy rates as high as 94.3%, while returning information about regions of the temperature domain that are critical for population discrimination. The undertaken analyses suggest that derivate-based information contributes significantly in improved classification performance relative to recently published studies on SLE plasma thermograms.