sealPurdue News

February 22, 2002

Program honors life, work of Purdue statistics head

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Department of Statistics will sponsor a program Saturday, March 2, to celebrate the life and scientific achievements of Professor Shanti S. Gupta, founder and former head of the department, who died on Jan. 11.

The 45-minute program, "Celebrating the Life and Work of Professor Shanti S. Gupta," will be at 3 p.m. in Purdue's Krannert Drawing Room in the Krannert Building. A reception will immediately follow the program.

Internationally recognized for his achievements in mathematics, Gupta was born in Saunasi, Mainpuri, India, on Jan. 25, 1925. He completed his master's degree in mathematics at the University of Delhi and taught for several years before coming to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar in 1953. In 1956 he received a doctorate in statistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and subsequently worked in statistics research at Bell Labs in Allentown, Penn.

He went on to hold teaching positions at the University of Alberta and the Courant Institute, New York University, as well as visiting appointments at Stanford University, the University of California-Berkeley, and the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

In 1968 he founded Purdue's Department of Statistics and served as department head until 1995. During this period and up to his illness, he was engaged in research and teaching. He was a professor of statistics and mathematics at Purdue from 1962 until his death.

Among his many honors, Gupta was named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the Erskine Fellow of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He also was named honorary fellow of the Indian Statistical Association.

He served as president of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference. He was a prominent scholar in the area of statistical ranking and selection. He was the author of more than 200 published articles and books and was the major adviser to 30 doctoral students.

Surviving are his wife, Marianne Heinicke Gupta, of West Lafayette and a daughter, Maya Gupta, of Athens, Ga. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations go to the Purdue Foundation.

Additional information on the program may be obtained on the web.

CONTACT: Norma Lucas, 765-494-3141,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page