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Department of Statistics

C. R. and Bhargavi Rao Prize

The C. R. and Bhargavi Rao Prize honors outstanding and influential innovations in the theory and practice of mathematical statistics, international leadership in directing statistical research, and pioneering contributions by a recognized leader in the field.

Dr. RaoC. R. Rao held the Eberly Chair in Statistics at Penn State University from 1988 – 2001. He now serves as Holder Emeritus of the Eberly Chair in statistics. He was the founding Director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis. A President's National Medal of Science Laureate, Dr. Rao is recognized worldwide as one of the pioneers of modern statistical theory, with multifaceted distinctions as a mathematician, researcher, scientist, and teacher. His pioneering contributions to mathematics and statistical theory and applications have become part of undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics, econometrics, electrical engineering, and many other disciplines at most universities worldwide. 

The Rao Prize is awarded in odd-numbered years by the Department of Statistics at Penn State University to a nominee selected by the members of the Rao Prize Committee. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the C. R. Rao and Bhargavi Prize has been postponed to Spring 2023. Candidates nominated in previous years will be considered. Nominations should include a letter describing the nominee’s outstanding contributions to leadership and research in statistics, a current curriculum vitae, and two supporting letters. The award recipient will receive a medal, a cash prize, and an invitation to visit Penn State to give a talk.


Please submit nomination materials to Dr. Haran at


Previous C. R. and Bhargavi Rao Prize recipients were:

2023 David Siegmund Stanford University
2019 Grace Wahba University of Wisconsin - Madison
2017 Professor Donald Rubin Harvard University
2015 Sir David R. Cox Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College at University of Oxford
2013 Herman Chernoff Professor Emeritus of Statistics at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2011 James O. Berger The Arts and Sciences Professor of Statistics at Duke University
2009 Peter J. Bickel Professor of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley
2007 Lawrence D. Brown Miers Busch Professor and Professor of Statistics at the  Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
2005 Jayaram Sethuraman former Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor and current Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor at Florida State University
2003 Bradley Efron the Max H. Stein Professor in the Department of Statistics at Stanford University