Professor Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao – An Eminent  Statistician


            Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao was born on September 10, 1920 in Huvvina Hadagalli  Karnataka of C.D Naidu and Lakshmikanthamma. Like the Legendary Indian Mythological figure Krishna he happens to be the eighth child of his parents out of ten children. He received an M.A., in Mathematics from  Andhra University in 1940 , an M.A., in Statistics  from Calcutta University in 1943, a Ph.D from Cambridge in 1948 for his thesis “Statistical problems in Biological classification” and a D.SC from the same University in 1965. Thanks to the well known Cramer-Rao inequality and Rao Blackwellisation of unbiased estimates he is a household name in the family of statisticians and now electrical engineers too. He is the author of more than 300 papers and 15 books in diverse fields like Estimation Theory, Multivariate Analysis, Characterization Problems, Combinatroics  and Design of Experiments, Matrix Algebra , Generalised Inverse of a Matrix, Differential Geometric Methods in Statistics , mathematical Genetics among others.



            As the Head of the Research and Training School of the Indian Statistical Institute during 1949-63 he single-handedly created an internationally renowned team of young statisticians, economists and mathematicians who are currently holding prominent  positions in several universities all over the world. More than forty five students have written their thesis under his guidance.



            Among the innumerable distinguished positions that Prof. C.R Rao has occupied are the Directorship and the Jawaharlal Nehru Chair at the Indian Statistical Institute , Distinguished Professorship at Pittsburgh and the Eberly Professorship at Pennsylvenia State University in which position he continues to stay to the present day. He has been President of the International Statistical Institute, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the International Biometric Society and the Indian Econometric Society. As an editor of Sankhya since 1964 he has guided its destiny.  Prof. C.R Rao has won numerous awards and honours during his illustrious career. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society , U.K., a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, an Honorary member of the American Academy  of Arts and Science, an Honorary member of the International Statistical Institute , an Honorary Life member of the Biometric Society, one of the eleven fellows  of King’s college Cambridge and a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences, Trieste. He has received honorary degrees from more than twenty universities of the world and is member of the National Academy of Sciences , U.S.A. For his outstanding contributions and services in the field of Statistical Education and Research he was conferred the Padma  Bhushan by the President in 1968.


            Prof. C.R. Rao is one of the foremost creative thinkers in the field of statistics and belongs to the intellectual Company of the handful of pioneers who brought statistical theory to its maturity in this century.