Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao did his MA (Mathematics) from Andhra University (1940) and MA (Statistics) (1943) from Calcutta University. He joined the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 1943 as a Technical Worker. In 1946, he was deputed to work at the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at Cambridge University. On the basis of his work at the Museum, and genetic experiments conducted under the guidance of RA Fisher, he obtained PhD (1948). He also received ScD (1965) from Cambridge University and was awarded 36 Doctorate degrees (hc) from universities in 19 countries spanning 6 continents. He worked for about 40 years at the ISI in various capacities and retired as its Director in 1980. He has spent the next 25 years in the US, teaching and doing research at the universities of Pittsburgh and Penn State.
Academic and Research Achievements: Rao is one of the pioneers who developed statistics from ad hoc origins into a firmly grounded mathematical science. There are numerous results in statistics which bear his name such as the Cramer-Rao bound, Quantum CR bound, Rao-Blackwell theorem, Rao's Score test, Fisher-Rao metric, Rao distance, Rao measure, Cramer-Rao functional, Neyman-Rao test, Fisher-Rao theorem, Rao's theorem on second order efficiency, Rao's U test, Rao-Yanoi generalized inverse, Lau-Rao, Kagan-Linnik-Rao and Lau-Rao-Shanbag theorems, most of which appear in standard text books on statistics and engineering. He is the author of 14 books and 360 research papers. He guided the research work of 50 students for PhD, who have in turn produced 360 PhDs.
Other Contributions: As Head of the Research and Training School at the ISI, Rao developed numerous educational and teaching programs in statistics, which earned for ISI an international status. At Penn State, he established the Center for Multivariate Analysis, which attracts research workers from all over the world. As President of the Indian Econometric Society, International Statistical Institute, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, USA, and International Biometric Society, he introduced numerous programs for the development of statistics.
Awards and Honours: Rao was conferred numerous awards, including the Calcutta University Gold Medal (1943), SS Bhatnagar Award (1963), Guy Silver Medal by Royal Statistical Society (1965), Megnad Saha Medal by INSA (1969), JC Bose Gold Medal (1979), Wilks Memorial Medal by American Statistical Association (1989), Mahalanobis Birth Centenary Medal (1996), Padma Vibhushan (2001), Mahalanobis Lifetime Achievement Award (2003), Srinivasa Ramanujan Medal by INSA (2003) the National Medal of Science, USA,India Science award( 2009) and Guy Medalin Gold of Royal Statistical Society (2012). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, UK (1967), National Academy of Sciences, USA(1995), the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (1983), Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (1997); and Honorary Fellow of numerous International societies. He is honored with the institution of a prize in his name by the Government of India and establishment of an Institute bearing his name in the campus of the University of Hyderabad.