The Penn State Department of Statistics held the 2015 Rao Prize Conference on May 14, 2015 to honor three prize recipients: the 2015 C. R. and Bhargavi Rao Prize Recipient Sir David R. Cox, Professor Emeritus of Statistics and Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College at University of Oxford; the 2015 P. R. Krishnaiah Lecturer Nancy M. Reid, the University Professor of Statistical Sciences at University of Toronto; and the 2015 C. G. Khatri Lecturer Vijay V. Raghavan, the Alfred and Helen Lamson Endowed Professor in Computer Science at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. There were about 100 researchers attending this conference.

The conference program consisted of three plenary speakers, four invited speakers, and a poster presentation by postdocs and graduate students. The plenary speakers were Cox, Reid, and Raghavan. The invited speakers were Professors Aurore Delaigle of the University of Melbourne, Bing Li of Penn State, Runze Li of Penn State, and Jeffrey Racine of McMaster University.

One of the highlights of the conference was the award of the 2015 Rao Prize to Sir David R. Cox. Cox is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London, Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foreign Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Foreign Member of the Indian National Academy of Science, and Foreign Associate of the Indian Academy of Science. He is a winner of the Royal Statistical Society’s Guy Medals in Silver (1961) and in Gold (1973), the Kettering Prize and Gold Medal for Cancer Research in 1990, and the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 2010. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1985. He was editor of Biometrika from 1966 to 1991. He has served as president of the Bernoulli Society, of the Royal Statistical Society, and of the International Statistical Institute. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from Harvard University, Oxford University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Toronto, Waterloo University, and many others.

This conference also highlighted the 2015 P. R. Krishnaiah Lecturer Nancy M. Reid and the 2015 C. G. Khatri Lecturer Vijay V. Raghavan. Reid is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a recipient of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies Presidents’ Award in 1992, the Krieger-Nelson Prize in 1995, the Statistical Society of Canada Gold Medal in 2009, and the Statistical Society of Canada Distinguished Service Award in 2013. Raghavan is a recipient of the Web Intelligence Consortium Outstanding Service Award, the Association for Computing Machinery Distinguished Scientist Award, and the IEEE Intentional Conference on Data Mining Outstanding Service Award.

The C.R. and Bhargavi Rao Prize was established to honor and recognize outstanding and influential innovations in the theory and practice of mathematical statistics, international leadership in directing statistics research, and pioneering contributions by a recognized leader in the field of statistics. The C. G. Khatri Memorial Lectureship and P. R. Krishnaiah Memorial Lectureship honor the memory of C. G. Khatri and P. R. Krishnaiah by inviting outstanding researchers in statistics to deliver lectures at Penn State. More details about the conference can be found on the web at

Below: David Cox giving the 2015 C.R. and Bhargavi Rao Lecture

Nancy Reid (right) with C.R. Rao

Aurore Delaigle and Monia Rinalli at the poster session

Runze Li, C.R.Rao, Zhanxiong Xu and Ningtao Wang