Conferences Celebrate C. R. Rao’s 90th Birthday
S. B. Rao and T. J. Rao, C. R. Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
Two recent conferences celebrated the 90th birthday of C. R. Rao, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. The International Conference on Frontiers of Interface Between Statistics and Sciences took place in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, December 30, 2009, through January 2, 2010, and was organized by a new institute named after C. R. Rao: C. R. Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science (C. R. RAO AIMSCS). The Advances in Statistical Science conference took place in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, January 10–11 and was organized by the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).
The Hyderabad conference was attended by 250 people from the United States, Europe, and Japan and a number of C. R. Rao’s students working in different parts of the world. The highlights of the conference were plenary talks by Abel Laureate S. R. S. Varadhan, IEEE Medal of Honor Laureate T. Kailath, and Robert Koch Fellow S. E. Hasnain and the presentation of about 170 research papers on bioinformatics, econometrics and socioeconomic planning, astrostatistics, machine learning, game theory, data mining, mimo wireless, operations research, cryptology, environmetrics, and multivariate statistical inference.
A one-day session was organized by K. R. Parthasarathy on quantum statistical inference that highlighted the role of the quantum Cramér-Rao bound, which provides a more precise bound than Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty.
T. J. Rao and G. M. Naidu organized a session devoted to research contributions made by C. R. Rao that generated several technical terms in statistics bearing his name and led to considerable research. In sessions organized by J. S. Rao, references also were made to his contributions to multivariate analysis, diversity measures, and characterizations of probability distributions.
T. N. Srinivasan and T. K. Kumar organized sessions on econometrics, and A. Kondapi organized sessions on biotechnology.
The conference was inaugurated on December 30, 2009, with a function to honor C. R. Rao for his achievements in the field of statistics and his service to India. A highlight was the release of a special postal cover bearing a portrait of C. R. Rao and cancellation with the logo of C. R. RAO AIMSCS.
On the eve of the international conference, a function was held to celebrate the opening of Prof. C. R. Rao Road, a stretch covering the University of Hyderabad and several educational institutions. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation resolved to name the road after C. R. Rao in recognition of the services rendered by the “legendary figure of Indian Science, Padma Vibhushan Prof. C. R. Rao, world’s renowned statistician.”
The conference in Kolkata also was well attended by participants from a number of countries. A highlight of the conference was the presentation of an album containing 168 photos taken of C. R. Rao with others at various functions during his 40 years of service at ISI.
At the age of 90, C. R. Rao continues to be active, publishing research papers and promoting statistical education and research in India. He has published about 50 papers and helped edit 14 statistics handbooks since he retired in 2000.