Kanti V Mardia

Senior Research Professor
Department of Statistics, School of Mathematics, University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.
Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 113-343510 Office Fax: +44 (0)113-3435090
Email: k.v.mardia@leeds.ac.uk

Visiting Professor
Department of Statistics, University of Oxford,
24-29 St Giles
Oxford OX1 3LB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1 865-282926 Fax: +44 (0)1 865 272595
Email: mardia@stats.ox.ac.uk


Kanti V. Mardia is presently Senior Research Professor, a position which has been specially created by the University of Leeds after ending in 2000 his position as Chair of Applied Statistics which he had held since 1973. He is also Visiting Professor in Oxford University from March 2013.

Professor Mardia has received many prestigious honours and he is always in demand for presentations in high profile national and international conferences.

Professor Mardia was awarded the Wilks memorial medal by the American Statistical Society (in 2013) and the citation below for the award highlights his wide ranging and outstanding contributions:

"For extensive work covering a wide span of applied and theoretical research, including seminal results in shape analysis, spatial statistics, multivariate analysis, directional data analysis and bioinformatics with special applications to geostatistics, image analysis and protein structure; for the international dissemination of statistical thought and innovative ideas through research publications, presentations, books, monographs, the establishment and running of annual research workshops and interdisciplinary centers; and for his insightful guidance of future generations of statisticians."

Kanti Mardia was awarded the Guy Medal in Silver of the Royal Statistical Society in 2003, and the citation for the award reads:

" The Guy Medal in Silver for 2003 is awarded to Professor Kanti Mardia for his many pathbreaking contributions to statistical science, including two fundamental papers read to the Society on Statistics of directional data. (1975) and "A penalised likelihood approach to image warping" (with C.A. Glasbey, 2001), his highly acclaimed monographs and his lasting leadership role in interdisciplinary research."

One of his very high profile research works is of saving lives by analysing the shape of the brain: methods developed for shape analysis by him in Leeds, with other collaborators, have been used on brain images to assess the extent of brain damage in people suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). His joint paper (in Significance) summarizes the direct impact of Professor Mardia's collaborative work, and explains how it continues to help in infant care and in judicial matters. In particular, this evidence has been used in court cases in the US as a mitigating circumstance when determining guilt and for sentencing.

Ian Dryden and John Kent have edited the volume "Geometry Driven Statistics", a Festschrift volume celebrating Mardia's 80th birthday. This book is published by Wiley and the cover page describes it as

"a timely collection of advanced, original material in the area of statistical methodology motivated by geometric problems dedicated to the influential work of Professor Mardia".

Further, it says

"This volume celebrates Mardia's long and influential career in statistics. A common theme unifying much of his work is the importance of geometry in statistics, and this book brings together 16 contributions from eminent statisticians and scientists in the areas in which he has been influential."

The cover of the Festschrift volume depicts the Jain holistic principle of Anekantevad related to the parable of the six blind men. About the first 100 pages of this 400-page book are related to Professor Mardia's biographical conversation, with photographs, including his contributions to Jainism.

Due to his initiative and efforts, the Centre of Statistical Bioinformatics (CoSB), Leeds, was established in 2006. In 1993, he was a founding Director of the Centre of Medical Imaging Research (CoMIR) and was the founding Vice-President of the International Indian Statistical Association (IISA). He founded and has organized the Leeds Annual Statistics Research Workshops (LASR) which have grown since 1973 into international conferences. workshops was celebrated in July 2006. In 2017, it was organized jointly by Jeannine Houwing-Duistermaat and Kanti Mardia. The silver anniversary of the LASR workshops was celebrated in July 2006. In 2015 celebrations took place for the 40th anniversary of the workshops. Various glowing tributes were paid by eminent scientists and statisticians.

For example, Professor Michael Levitt (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2013; FRS), who participated in LASR 2008, wrote:

"I so enjoyed the informal yet scientifically rigorous atmosphere and really wanted to return as statistics is the one subjects that I feel I missed growing up. I hope to return to LASR, Dr Mardia and the city of Leeds soon."

Sir David Cox, who participated in many LASR workshops wrote:

"40 years is a wonderful achievement and to have kept topicality and high relevance throughout that period is remarkable indeed. Congratulations to all concerned".

With the aim of making his vision of LASR broader by encouraging cutting-edge interdisciplinary work between statisticians and other science communities, the Mardia Prize has been created. This prize was inaugurated by the Royal Statistical Society on 7 September 2016 to fund a grant programme supporting events or workshops in emerging interdisciplinary areas.

The first recipient is Dr Fiona Underwood. Fiona is an applied statistician working on interdisciplinary problems in renewable natural resources management, food security, climate change and the illegal wildlife trade.

Kanti Mardia's H-index is 62 (Google Scholar). His research contributions (some well cited/recent publications) span over many areas including the following:

Bioinformatics, directional statistics, geosciences, image analysis, multivariate analysis, shape analysis, spatial statistics, and spatial temporal modelling; see some of the highlights of research material within these areas. He has been a major force in creating the subject of Statistics of Manifolds (Directional Statistics, Shape Analysis in particular) and has been leading the subject for more than four decades.

His research monographs Statistical Shape Analysis, Statistics of Directional Data, and Multivariate Analysis are classics.

Biographical details on him up to 2000 appear in the article:
"A Conversation with Kanti Mardia", by Mukhopadhyay, N. (2002), Statistical Science, vol 17, pages 113-148,

and updates are covered in the following article:

"A conversation with Kanti Mardia: Part 2." by Mukhopadhyay, N. (2015), Geometry Driven Statistics, Wiley, pages 59-84.
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This page was last updated on 20 September 2017.

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