Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

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Bust in front of the Indian Statistical Institute building in Delhi

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis ( Bengali প্রশান্ত চন্দ্র মহালনবিশ Praśānta Chandra Mahālanabiś , Prashanta Chandra Mahalnabish ; born June 29, 1893 in Kolkata , West Bengal ; † June 28, 1972 ibid) was an Indian physicist and statistician . The Mahalanobis distance is named after him, which indicates the distance of an observation value of a multidimensional normal distribution from the mean value vector of this distribution.


Mahalanobis studied at the University of Calcutta and Cambridge University . In 1931 he founded the Indian Statistical Institute , to which he brought outstanding scientists like Raj Chandra Bose . From 1947 to 1951 he was head of the United Nations Subcommission on Statistical Sampling.

He always tried to maintain the connection to practical statistics and did important statistical work for the Indian government. For example, he drafted the Indian government's second five-year plan (1956–1961) at his institute.

Awards and honors

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Individual evidence

  1. ^ Foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1724. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. Russian Academy of Sciences, accessed October 5, 2015 .