(1920– ; b. Huvina Hadagali, India)
Indian statistician who, after retirement in India, moved to the United States for a second career. Rao obtained his BSc in mathematics from Andhra U in 1940 and his MSc in statistics from Calcutta U in 1943. In 1944 he joined the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), working under Mahalanobis. There he worked on the Cramér–Rao inequality (allegedly proved overnight in response to a student inquiry) and on the theorem now known as the Rao–Blackwell theorem. Mahalanobis sent Rao to Cambridge U (where he is a Life Fellow of King's College) to analyse data under the guidance of Sir Ronald Fisher—he was Fisher's only research student. On obtaining his PhD in 1948, Rao returned to the ISI as head of the research section. By the time of his formal retirement in 1980 he was the Director of the ISI. Rao then took on a post at U Pittsburg in 1982, moving to Penn State U to become, at the age of 70, the founding Director of the University's Center for Multivariate Analysis. He has been President of the IBS (1974), the IMS (1977), and the International Statistical Institute (1982). He is an Honorary Life Member of the latter. He was the Wald Lecturer of the IMS in 1975. He was elected FRS in 1967 and is a Fellow of the AAAS. He was awarded the Guy Medal in Silver of the RSS in 1965, the COPSS Fisher Lectureship in 1979, the Wilks Award of the ASA in 1989, and the Parzen Prize in 2000. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the RSS in 1969, an Honorary Life Member of the IBS in 1985, a member of the NAS in 1995, and he was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2002.
Subjects: Probability and Statistics.