Pranab Kumar Sen (born 7 November 1937 in Calcutta, India)[1] is a statistician, a professor of statistics and the Cary C. Boshamer Professor of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[2]

Pranab Kumar Sen
Born (1937-11-07) 7 November 1937 (age 82)
ResidenceChapel Hill, NC
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Calcutta
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Doctoral studentsMalay Ghosh

Academic biographyEdit

Sen was the second of seven siblings; his father, a railway officer, died of leukemia when Sen was ten, and he was raised by his mother, the daughter of a physician.[3] He began his undergraduate studies at Presidency College, Kolkata, initially intending to study medicine but shifting to statistics when it was discovered that he was too young for medical college.[3] He received a B.S. from the University of Calcutta in 1955, an M.Sc. in 1957, and a Ph.D. in 1962;[1][2][4] his doctoral advisor was Hari Kinkar Nandi.[3] He taught for three years at the University of Calcutta and one more year at the University of California, Berkeley before joining the UNC faculty in 1965; although he has held visiting positions at other universities, he has remained at Chapel Hill for the rest of his career.[1][2] He was the founding co-editor of two journals, Sequential Analysis and Statistics and Decisions,[3] and was joint editor-in-chief of the Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference from 1980 to 1983.[1]

Research and graduate advisingEdit

Sen is the author or co-author of multiple books on non-parametric statistics, the advisor of over 80 Ph.D. students, and the author of over 600 research publications.[1][5] He is known for inventing the Hodges–Lehmann estimator independently of and contemporaneously with Hodges and Lehmann[3][6] and for the Theil–Sen estimator, a form of robust regression that fits a line to two-dimensional sample points by choosing the slope of the fit line to be the median of the slopes of the lines through pairs of samples.[7][8]

Awards and honorsEdit

Sen is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics[9] and of the American Statistical Association.[10] He became the Cary C. Boshamer Professor in 1982.[1] He was the Lukacs Distinguished Visiting Professor at Bowling Green State University in 1996–1997.[11] In 2002 he won the Gottfried E. Noether Senior Scholar Award of the American Statistical Association,[12] and he was the 2010 winner of the Wilks Memorial Award of the ASA "for outstanding contributions to statistical research, especially in nonparametric statistics and biostatistics; and for exceptional service in mentoring doctoral students."[13] The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2011.[14] In 2012, the University of Calcutta awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree.[15]

In 2007, a festschrift was dedicated to him on the occasion of his 70th birthday.[3][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Curriculum vitae Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2011-07-03.
  2. ^ a b c Faculty profile, UNC Chapel Hill, retrieved 2011-07-03.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ghosh, Malay; Schell, Michael J. (2008), "A Conversation with Pranab Kumar Sen", Statistical Science, 23 (4): 548–564, arXiv:0906.4165, doi:10.1214/08-STS255.
  4. ^ Pranab Kumar Sen at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
  5. ^ a b Balakrishnan, N.; Pena, E.; Silvapulle, M. J. (2008), "Pranab Kumar Sen: Life and Works", Beyond Parametrics in Interdisciplinary Research: Festschrift in Honor of Professor Pranab K. Sen, IMS, pp. 1–16, arXiv:0805.2229, doi:10.1214/193940307000000013.
  6. ^ Lehmann, Erich L. (2006). Nonparametrics: Statistical methods based on ranks (Reprinting of 1988 revision of 1975 Holden-Day ed.). New York: Springer. pp. 176 and&nbsp, 200–201. ISBN 978-0-387-35212-1. MR 0395032.
  7. ^ Rousseeuw, Peter J.; Leroy, Annick M. (2003), Robust Regression and Outlier Detection, Wiley Series in Probability and Mathematical Statistics, 516, Wiley, p. 67, ISBN 978-0-471-48855-2.
  8. ^ Wilcox, Rand R. (2001), "Theil–Sen estimator", Fundamentals of Modern Statistical Methods: Substantially Improving Power and Accuracy, Springer-Verlag, pp. 207–210, ISBN 978-0-387-95157-7.
  9. ^ IMS Fellows, retrieved 2011-07-03.
  10. ^ ASA Fellows, retrieved 2011-07-03.
  11. ^ Bowling Green State University: Eugene Lukacs Professors Archived 12 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2011-07-03.
  12. ^ Gottfried E. Noether Awards, retrieved 2011-07-03.
  13. ^ Samuel S. Wilks Award, retrieved 2011-07-03.
  14. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Annual Convocation". University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012.