Society of Statistics, Computer and Applications Registration No. 32833
Academic Qualifications: Rao obtained his MA degree in mathematics at the Andhra University in 1940. In 1941, he joined the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Calcutta and received an MA in statistics from the newly developed program at Calcutta University in 1943. In 1948, Rao also received his Ph.D. degree under the guidance of the celebrated statistician R.A. Fisher in Cambridge University, UK. Later in 1965, Rao was awarded the prestigious Sc.D. degree of Cambridge University based on peer review of published work. He was also made an Honorary Life Fellow of Kings College Cambridge, in 1974. During his career, Rao has received 39 Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Universities in 19 countries spanning six continents.
Employment: He worked in various capacities at ISI over a period of 40 years (1940 -1980) as Head of Research and Training School, Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor, and National Professor. After retirement from ISI, Rao worked for another 30 years as University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, as Eberly Professor of Statistics at The Pennsylvania State University and currently at the age of 99, Rao has the designation of Research Professor at the University at Buffalo. He also serves as advisor to the CR Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, housed in the Hyderabad University campus, Hyderabad, India.
Research Activities: Rao is the author of 475 research papers published in prestigious journals and the author 15 books. Rao’s research, scholarship, and professional service have had a profound influence on the theory and applications of statistics. He was one of the pioneers who established statistics as a firmly grounded science. His first paper published in 1945 provided a solid foundation to the theory of estimation and resulted in the technical terms, Cramer Rao Bound and Rao Blackwellization and introduced differential geometry concepts in statistical inference, which led to the technical terms, Rao Distance and Fisher Rao Metric. His subsequent research resulted in a new test of hypothesis known as Rao’s score test and Orthogonal Arrays described by Forbes Magazine, 1996, as a new manthra for industrial experimentation with a large number of factors to design products of good quality. Rao also left an indelible stamp on several other areas of statistics. The Rao’s least squares generalizing Gauss-Markoff theory of least squares, Rao’s U test and MANOVA in multivariate analysis, generalized inverse of a matrix, Fisher-Rao theorem on second order efficiency of estimators, Rao’s Quadratic Entropy, Analysis of Diversity, Rao-Khatri-Kagan-Linnik-Shanbhag theorems on characterization of probability models, and Burbea and Rao divergence measures are some of Rao’s significant contributions.
Awards and Recognitions: Rao has been the president of all prestigious statistical associations including the International Statistical Institute (Netherland), Institute of Mathematical Statistics (USA), and International Biometric Society (USA). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, UK, Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences, USA, Lithuanian Academy of Science, Third World Academy of Science, and an honorary Fellow of the European Academy. Rao is the recipient of the highest honors given to a scientist: National Medal of Science presented by the president of USA, (2002), India Science Award presented by the prime minister (2010), and the Guy Medal in Gold awarded by the president of Royal Statistical Society (2010)-the first non-European and non-American to receive the award. His other awards include the Bhatnagar award (1963), Padma Vibhusan, the second highest civilian from the Government of India, (2003), International Mahalanobis prize (2003), Neyman Medal from the Polish Statistical Society (2014), Ramanujan Medal from Indian National Science Association (2003), Army Wilks Medal, American Statistical Association, (2000), Mahalanobis Birth Centenary Medal (1996), Wilks Medal (1989), Jagadish Chandra Bose Medal of Bose Institute (1979), Megnad Saha Medal (1969).