Prof. C.R. Rao’s pioneering contributions remembered

Honoured and touched, says Prof. C.R. Rao through a video message

Rich tributes were paid to the legendary statistician C.R. Rao as he entered his birth centenary year on September 10.

The occasion was celebrated at the CR Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (AIMSCS) at the University of Hyderabad here on Wednesday.

Eminent economists and statisticians recalled the pioneering contributions of Prof. C.R. Rao, who worked at the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata for 40 years (1941-79) and later moved to USA and worked for another 25 years at the University of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State University.

He is presently a research professor at the University of Buffalo, USA.

The family of C.R. Rao along with distinguished guests, C. Rangarajan, Prof. Bimal Kumar Roy, academics from ISI and faculty and students of AIMSCS, celebrated the occasion.

The highlight of the programme was a video message from C.R. Rao himself, where he said that he was honoured and touched that his centenary year was being celebrated. “The demand for statisticians was growing world-wide for the interpretation of data,” he said.

Indians proud

Rangarajan, recalling the great contribution of C.R. Rao, said that he had done Indians proud and shaped statistics as a separate discipline and made fundamental contributions to statistical theory. The AIMSCS was set up in his honour.

Big jump

He said that statistics had helped people to understand risk, measure it and weigh its consequences. It was incorrect to use statistics and data interchangeably. The big jump happened for statistics as a discipline when it moved from statistical enumeration to statistical inference.

“We are at a crucial stage in the evolution of statistics itself. The age of ‘big data’ had arrived. Today, one can crunch an incomprehensible amount of information. Big data’s ascendancy represented a shift in the way information was analysed. All the data relating to a particular phenomenon could even be processed,” he said.

Big data could help people discover behaviour patterns and correlation that could offer novel and invaluable insights.

He wondered if statistics as a discipline was at the threshold of a far reaching change and how different was data science from statistics.

Earlier, D.N. Reddy, Director, CR Rao AIMSCS, said that the institute served as a focal point of advanced research in the fields of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science.

C.R. Rao’s work in several areas of statistics and applications in many scientific areas enriched physical, biological, economic and engineering sciences in the 20th century and also data science and big data of 21st century.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 11:55:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/prof-cr-raos-pioneering-contributions-remembered/article29395512.ece

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