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Rao Receives India's Second-Highest Civilian Honor

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26 January 2001 -- Calyampudi R. Rao, Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Statistics and director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis, has been given an award titled Padma Vibhushan—the second-highest civilian honor bestowed by the country of India for outstanding contributions to science, engineering, and statistics.

Indian officials announced the country's civilian awards 25 January on the eve of the country's Republic Day festivities.  Along with Rao, the honorees include economist John Kenneth Galbraith, a former U.S. Ambassador to India.

Rao is internationally acknowledged as one of the pioneers who laid the foundation of modern statistics, as well as one of the world's top five statisticians with multifaceted distinctions as a mathematician, researcher, scientist, and teacher.  His pioneering contributions to mathematics and statistical theory and applications have become part of graduate and postgraduate courses in statistics, econometrics, electrical engineering, and many other disciplines at most universities throughout the world.

He has received numerous awards and medals for his pioneering contributions to statistics, including the Wilks Medal from the American Statistical Association, the Guy Medal in Silver of the Royal Statistical Society of England, the Megnadh Saha Medal of the Indian National Science Academy, and the Mahalanobis Centenary Gold Medal of the Indian Science Congress.  He also has received the 2000 Emanuel and Carol Parzen Prize for Statistical Innovation.  In addition, he has been honored by the Government of India as the namesake for a National Award to be presented to the country's outstanding young statisticians.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), a Fellow of the Royal Society (England), and recipient of 23 honorary doctoral degrees from universities in 14 countries around the world.

Rao has been a member of the Penn State faculty since 1988.  He earned a doctoral degree from Cambridge University, on the basis of published work in statistics, in 1965.  He earned his initial doctoral degree in statistics from Cambridge University in 1948.  He earned a master's degree in statistics from Calcutta University in India in 1943 and a master's in mathematics from Andhra University in India in 1940.  In both instances he graduated first in his class.

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