Gallery honors Rao’s career

Published April 17, 2014

The C.R. Rao Gallery, devoted to the 70-year career of internationally known statistician Calyampudi R. Rao, opened on Dec. 22, 2013, in the C.R. Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science in Hyderabad, India.

Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan unveiled a plaque at the opening of the gallery.

Former director of the Indian Statistical Institute and Eberly Professor Emeritus of Statistics at Penn State, Rao spends part of the year with family in Western New York and has developed a relationship with several UB faculty members. He holds a volunteer appointment at UB, interacting closely with faculty and students, and sharing his research expertise.

Rao is considered a world leader in statistics whose achievements have had a profound impact on a wide range of fields over the past seven decades, among them engineering, biostatistics, economics, genetics, medicine and anthropology.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy and the Royal Society. He received an honorary doctor of science degree from SUNY at last year’s UB general commencement ceremony, the 37th such degree he has received from universities across six continents.

The author of 14 books and 475 research papers, and adviser to 50 PhD students, Rao has received numerous prestigious awards. In addition to the National Medal of Science in 2002, these honors include both a gold and silver Guy Medal presented by the Royal Statistical Society, the highest awards given to statisticians in the U.K.; the Samuel Wilks Medal of the American Statistical Association, the highest award given to a statistician in the U.S.; and the International Mahalanobis Prize for lifetime achievement in statistics.

Rao’s broad influence also is reflected by the numerous common statistical terms that bear his name, such as the “Fisher-Rao Theorem” and the terms “Cramer-Rao bound,” “Rao-Blackwellization,” “Rao distance” and “Rao’s Orthogonal Array, ”each frequently found in standard statistics textbooks and current scholarly research.