Indian-American statistician Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao was awarded the 2023 International Prize in Statistics, also known as the Nobel prize of statistics, last week. The prize is given out twice a year by a partnership between five of the world’s top statistical organisations and honours any significant accomplishment made by a person or any team.
According to a tweet from the International Prize in Statistics on April 3, Rao’s work from more than 75 years ago is still having a significant impact on science. The award comes with an $80,000 cash reward and will be presented to Rao at Ottawa, Canada’s yearly International Statistical Institute World Statistics Conference.
Rao, an Eberly professor emeritus in the statistics division at Pennsylvania State University who was born in Karnataka in 1920, is one of the founders of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, with which he has been affiliated since 1941. He holds a ScD and a PhD from Cambridge University.
In his research work, which was published in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society in 1945, Rao presented three essential conclusions that paved the path for the current discipline of statistics and provided statistical tools that are still widely utilised in science today.
Apart from his academic achievements, Rao has also held several prestigious positions throughout his career. He served as the Jawaharlal Nehru Professor and National Professor in India and as a University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He also served as the Eberly Professor and Chair of Statistics and the Director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis at Pennsylvania State University.
Overall, Rao’s contributions to the field of statistics have been groundbreaking and continue to have a significant impact on scientific research today.