University of Pittsburgh
August 10, 2010

Pitt’s Indian Room Committee to Celebrate India’s 63rd Year of Independence With a Parade and Festival Aug. 15

C.R. Rao, one of the world’s foremost statisticians, will be the featured speaker
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh’s Indian Nationality Room Committee will commemorate India’s 63rd year of independence Sunday, Aug. 15, with a communitywide celebration, including a parade around Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland, followed by a flag hoisting and festival in the Cathedral’s Commons Room. C.R. Rao, Eberly Professor Emeritus of Statistics at Pennsylvania State University, will be the featured speaker. 

Marchers will assemble at 11:45 a.m. on the Bigelow Boulevard side of the Cathedral for the parade on the streets surrounding the building. Patriot songs will be sung and played, and an Indian youth group will perform the Bhangra dance on Fifth Avenue. 

Revelers will move into the Cathedral, and at 1 p.m. the group will hoist the American and Indian flags and begin the cultural gala in the Commons Room. Admission is free. 

Rao is recognized internationally as a pioneer who laid the foundation of modern statistics, with multifaceted distinctions as a mathematician, researcher, scientist, and teacher. His contributions to mathematics and to the theory and application of statistics during the last six decades have become part of graduate and postgraduate courses in statistics, econometrics, electrical engineering, and many other disciplines at universities throughout the world. 

Rao is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Science in the United States, a Fellow of the Royal Society in the United Kingdom, and a member of the Indian National Science Academy, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, and the Developing World Academy of Sciences. 

Rao earned his Ph.D. and Sc.D. degrees in 1948 at Cambridge University in England. He came to the United States in 1978 after serving as the director of the Indian Statistical Institute, where he had held various research and administrative positions since 1943. In 1982 he established the Center for Multivariate Analysis at Pitt, where he continues as an adjunct professor. Rao joined the Penn State faculty in 1988 as a professor and holder of the Eberly Chair in Statistics. He was named the Eberly Professor of Statistics in 1989, and he became the Eberly Professor Emeritus of Statistics in 2009. Among his many achievements at Penn State, he was the founding director of the Center for Multivariate Statistics. 

The committee, along with Pitt’s Intercultural Exchange Program, the Pittsburgh Indian community, several local organizations, and the general public will participate in this day of culture with performances of traditional folk dance, henna hand painting, and an opportunity to purchase genuine Indian artifacts from local vendors and Pitt’s Gift Shop on the first floor of the Cathedral. Traditional food will be available for purchase, including samosas, chickpeas, naan, pekora, boondi, and cold savory mixtures. 

For more information, contact Saroj Bahl at 412-828-2911 or bahlsaroj@gmail.com. 

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