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Department of Statistics

C. R. Rao and Bhargavi Prize

The C. R. Rao and Bhargavi 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 throughout the world. 

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 Fall 2022. 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:

2019 - Professor 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.