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Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao, FRS known as C R Rao (born 10 September 1920) is an Indian-born, naturalised American, mathematician and statistician. He is currently professor emeritus at Penn State University and Research Professor at the University at Buffalo. Rao has been honoured by numerous colloquia, honorary degrees, and festschrifts and was awarded the US National Medal of Science in 2002.The American Statistical Association has described him as “a living legend whose work has influenced not just statistics, but has had far reaching implications for fields as varied as economics, genetics, anthropology, geology, national planning, demography, biometry, and medicine.” The Times of India listed Rao as one of the top 10 Indian scientists of all time. Rao is also a Senior Policy and Statistics advisor for the Indian Heart Association non-profit focused on raising South Asian cardiovascular disease awareness.

C. R. Rao was born in Hadagali, Bellary, Karnataka, India. He received an MSc in mathematics from Andhra University and an MA in statistics from Calcutta University in 1943. He obtained a PhD degree at King’s College in Cambridge University under R. A. Fisher in 1948, to which he added a Sc.D. degree, also from Cambridge, in 1965.

Awards and medals

  • Sardar Patel Lifetime Achievement Award (Sardar Ratna) of the Sardar Patel Foundation India (2015)
  • Guy Medal in Gold (2011) of the Royal Statistical Society
  • India Science Award 2010 (the highest award in a scientific field presented by government of India)
  • International Mahalanobis Prize (2003) of the International Statistical Institute
  • Srinivasa Ramanujan Medal (2003) of the Indian National Science Academy
  • President George W. Bush, on 12 June 2002, honoured him with the National Medal of Science, the highest award in US in the scientific field, as a “prophet of new age” with the citation, “for his pioneering contributions to the foundations of statistical theory and multivariate statistical methodology and their applications, enriching the physical, biological, mathematical, economic and engineering sciences.”
  • Padma Vibhushan (2001) by the Government of India
  • Mahalanobis Centenary Gold Medal (1993?) of the Indian Science Congress
  • Wilks Memorial Award (1989) of the American Statistical Association
  • Padma Bhushan (1968)
  • Megnadh Saha Medal (1969) of the Indian National Science Academy
  • Guy Medal in Silver (1965) of the Royal Statistical Society
  • S. S. Bhatnagar Award (1963) of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • JC Bose Gold Medal of the Bose Institute
  • Gold Medal of the University of Calcutta
  • He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Calcutta in 2003. Also honorary doctorates from a number of universities and institutes around the world.