Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis


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(1893–1972; b. Calcutta, India; d. Calcutta, India)

Indian statistician who was the founder (in 1931) of the renowned Indian Statistical Institute. Mahalanobis studied physics at Calcutta U and Cambridge U. In the library of King's College, Cambridge, Mahalanobis was asked by a fellow student to express his opinion about an article in Biometrika. It was this encounter that stimulated his subsequent research in Statistics. Practical problems led to theoretical advances in many areas of Statistics—it was an anthropometric problem that led to his distance statistic, D2. As statistical adviser to the Indian government, Mahalanobis established, in 1950, the first national survey of India's population. He was elected FRS in 1945.

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.

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