A titan of the field of statistics, Indian-American mathematician and statistician Calyampudi Radhakrishnan Rao will be awarded the 2023 International Prize in Statistics, for his historical work in statistical theory, which revolutionised statistical thinking.
The 102-year-old will receive the award – the industry equivalent of the Nobel Prize – in July during the International Statistical Institute’s biennial World Statistics Congress in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The recognition comes with a reward of $80,000.
Born to a Telegu family in Hadagali, Karnataka, India, CR Rao completed his school education in Andhra Pradesh before earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mathematics from Andhra University in 1940-1941. He then obtained a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Cambridge in 1943.
Throughout his career, Rao has held visiting positions at numerous universities around the world, from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata and Central Statistical Institute in Delhi to Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States. He has also published over 400 research papers and several books on statistics and mathematics.
Rao is distinguished for his 1945 paper, published in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society, with three fundamental results that created waves for modern statistics and laid the foundation for statistical tools with many applications in the sciences. The most prominent tools were the Cramer-Rao lower bound and the Rao-Blackwell Theorem. His far-reaching work found its way to the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, and is used for radar and antenna research, contributions to AI and image segregation.