Legendary statistical scientist CR Rao dies

Legendary statistical scientist CR Rao dies 

Recently a prominent Indian-American mathematician and statistician Kalyampudi Radhakrishna Rao passed away at the age of 103.

He was among the world’s most distinguished statisticians, and spent a significant part of his career in India.

Rao was instrumental in introducing fundamental statistical concepts such as the Cramer–Rao inequality and Rao–Blackwellization, which are widely taught in statistics and econometrics.

He played a key role in developing statistical education and research in India, serving on various government committees and contributing to the development of the field.

He served as chairman of the Committee on Statistics and Demography and Communications for Population Control.

Works of CR Rao:

Rao’s landmark paper, published in 1945 in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society, demonstrated three fundamental results that paved the way for the modern field of statistics and provided the statistical tools used extensively in science today.

Major Theories of CR Rao:

  • Cramer–Rao Lower Bound: Provides a means of knowing when a method of estimating a quantity is as good as any method can be.
  • Rao-Blackwell theorem: It provides a means to convert an estimate into an optimal estimate. Together these results form a foundation on which many statistics are built.
  • Information Geometry: This developed into a new interdisciplinary field that eventually established itself as “Information Geometry”. Information geometry is the study of the geometric structure of families of probability distributions.

Significance of C. R. Rao’s contribution

  • His work on information geometry has aided in the understanding and optimization of Higgs boson measurements at the Large Hadron Collider and has contributed to advances in artificial intelligence, data science, signal processing, shape classification and image separation.
  • The Rao–Blackwell theorem has been applied to stereology, particulate filtration, and computational econometrics, among others.
  • The Cramer–Rao lower bound is of great importance in such diverse fields as signal processing, spectroscopy, radar systems, multiple image radiography, risk analysis, and quantum physics.

CR Rao Award:

  • CR Rao has been awarded the 2023 International Prize in Statistics. This award is considered similar to the Nobel Prize in the field of statistics.
  • Along with this, he has been awarded the Padma Bhushan in the year 1968, and the Padma Vibhushan in the year 2001.

Source – The Hindu

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