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Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

posted Jul 20, 2013, 12:59 AM by The Scientific Indian   [ updated Jul 20, 2013, 12:59 AM ]

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis FRS (Bengali: প্রশান্ত চন্দ্র মহলানবিস) (29 June 1893 – 28 June 1972) was an Indian scientist and applied statistician. He is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure. He made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India. He founded the Indian Statistical Institute, and contributed to the design of large-scale sample surveys.

He found a way of comparing and grouping populations using a multivariate distance measure. This measure, D2, which is now named after him as Mahalanobis distance, is independent of measurement scale.

Harold Hotelling wrote: "No technique of random sample has, so far as I can find, been developed in the United States or elsewhere, which can compare in accuracy with that described by Professor Mahalanobis"