Statistical Science

A Conversation with Pranab Kumar Sen

Malay Ghosh and Michael J. Schell

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Pranab Kumar Sen was born on November 7, 1937 in Calcutta, India. His father died when Pranab was 10 years old, so his mother raised the family of seven children. Given his superior performance on an exam, Pranab nearly went into medical school, but did not because he was underage. He received a B.Sc. degree in 1955 and an M.Sc. degree in 1957 in statistics from Calcutta University, topping the class both times. Dr. Sen’s dissertation on order statistics and nonparametrics, under the direction of Professor Hari Kinkar Nandi, was completed in 1961. After teaching for three years at Calcutta University, 1961–1964, Professor Sen came to Berkeley as a Visiting Assistant Professor in 1964. In 1965, he joined the Departments of Statistics and Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has remained.

Professor Sen’s pioneering contributions have touched nearly every area of statistics. He is the first person who, in joint collaboration with Professor S. K. Chatterjee, developed multivariate rank tests as well as time-sequential nonparametric methods. He is also the first person who carried out in-depth research in sequential nonparametrics culminating in his now famous Wiley book Sequential Nonparametrics: Invariance Principles and Statistical Inference and SIAM monograph. Professor Sen has over 600 research publications. In addition, he has authored or co-authored 11 books and monographs, and has edited or co-edited 11 more volumes. He has supervised over 80 Ph.D. students, many of whom have achieved distinction both nationally and internationally. Professor Sen is the founding co-editor of two international journals: Sequential Analysis and Statistics and Decisions. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. Professor Sen was the third recipient of the prestigious Senior Noether Award offered by the Nonparametrics Section of the American Statistical Association. In 2007, a Festschrift was held in his honor at the Nonparametrics Conference on the 70th anniversary of his birth.

This conversation took place at the Speech Communication Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on November 11, 2005.

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Statist. Sci., Volume 23, Number 4 (2008), 548-564.

First available in Project Euclid: 11 May 2009

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Ghosh, Malay; Schell, Michael J. A Conversation with Pranab Kumar Sen. Statist. Sci. 23 (2008), no. 4, 548--564. doi:10.1214/08-STS255.

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