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Kanti V. Mardia
Mardia in 2008
Born (1935-04-03) 3 April 1935 (age 89)
EducationPhD (1965) from University of Rajasthan, PhD (1967) and DSc (1973) from University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Alma materIsmail Yusuf College, University of Bombay, University of Poona, University of Rajasthan, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Known forBivariate von Mises distribution
Multivariate Pareto distribution
Mardia test
AwardsGuy Medal (Silver, 2003)
Wilks Memorial Award (2013)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Leeds

Kantilal Vardichand "Kanti" Mardia OBE (born 1935) is an Indian-British statistician specialising in directional statistics, multivariate analysis, geostatistics, statistical bioinformatics and statistical shape analysis.[1] He was born in Sirohi, Rajasthan, India in a Jain family and now resides and works in Leeds. He is known for his series of tests of multivariate normality based measures of multivariate skewness and kurtosis[2][3] as well as work on the statistical measures of shape.[4]

Life and career

Mardia was educated at the Ismail Yusuf College at the University of Bombay (BSc 1955, MSc in statistics 1957), the University of Poona (MSc in pure mathematics 1961), the University of Rajasthan (PhD 1965) and the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (PhD 1967, DSc 1973).[5][6] He held academic positions at the Institute of Science, Mumbai and the University of Hull.

Mardia was appointed professor of applied statistics and head of the Department of Statistics in the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds in 1973. He retired in 2000 with the title emeritus professor and is currently senior research professor of applied statistics at Leeds.[7][8] He is also a long-term visiting professor at the University of Oxford, from March 2013, and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), from 2008.

He was instrumental in founding the Centre of Medical Imaging Research (CoMIR) in the University of Leeds, where he held the position of joint director. He was the driving force behind the exchange programs between Leeds and other scholarly centres such as the University of Granada, Spain, and the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta. He has written several scholarly books and edited conference proceedings and other special volumes.

In 1973, Mardia founded the University of Leeds Annual Statistics Research Workshops (LASR) which have run for most years and he has edited all the proceedings. These workshops attract an international audience and focus on applied statistical topics especially those involving shape and images, and more recently, bioinformatics.

In 2003, he was awarded the Guy Medal in Silver by the Royal Statistical Society.[9]

In 2013, he was awarded the Wilks Memorial Award by the American Statistical Association.[10]

In 2019, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Indian Statistical Association.[11]

In 2020, he was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Medal of Honour by the NRI Institute.[12]

In 2021, he received the OneJAIN Life Achievement Award from the Jain All-Party Parliamentary Group.[13]

The 40th Fisher Memorial Lecture was given by Professor Mardia on 18 November 2022 at the Oxford Mathematical Institute.[14]

He is a practicing Jain and strict vegetarian.[15] His 1990 book The Scientific Foundations of Jainism introduced the Four Noble Truths of Jains.[16][17][18][19] He is the founding and current chairman of the Yorkshire Jain Foundation.[20]

Mardia was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2023 New Year Honours for services to statistical science.[21]


Mardia Prize

The Mardia Prize (founded by Kantilal Mardia) is awarded by the Royal Statistical Society.[22] This award is given annually/biennially to support interdisciplinary workshops. The aim of these workshops is to bring together statisticians and other science communities who can help in developing new interdisciplinary area and maintain a sustained focus. The first award was inaugurated in 2016[23] (Topic: renewable natural resources management, food security, climate change and the illegal wildlife trade) with the second in 2018[24] (Topic: extreme weather research) and the third in 2019[25] (Topic: economics of mental health).


  1. ^ * Nitis Mukhopadhyay (2002). "A Conversation with Kanti Mardia". Statistical Science. 17 (1): 113–148. doi:10.1214/ss/1023799001.
  2. ^ L. Baringhaus and N. Henze (1992) Limit Distributions for Mardia's Measure of Multivariate Skewness. The Annals of Statistics 20(4):1889–1902
  3. ^ Mardia, K. V. (1970). Measures of multivariate skewness and kurtosis. Biometrika 57:519–530
  4. ^ Mardia KV and IL Dryden (1989). "The statistical analysis of shape data". Biometrika. 76 (2): 271–281. doi:10.1093/biomet/76.2.271.
  5. ^ University of Leeds, List of Prof Mardia's degrees
  6. ^ Kanti Mardia at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  7. ^ University of Leeds, List of Emeritus Professors Archived 26 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ University of Leeds, Staff Profile
  9. ^ "Guy Medal in Silver". Royal Statistical Society. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  10. ^ "Wilks Memorial Award". American Statistical Association. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award". International Indian Statistical Association. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Mahatma Gandhi Medal of Honour". University of Leeds, Staff Profile - Honours. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  13. ^ "OneJAIN Life Achievement Award". University of Leeds, Staff Profile. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  14. ^ "Fisher Memorial Lecture". Fisher Memorial Trust. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  15. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Nitis. “A Conversation with Kanti Mardia.” Statistical Science, vol. 17, no. 1, 2002, pp. 113–148. JSTOR, Accessed 11 Dec. 2020.
  16. ^ Jain eLibrary: Contents, The Scientific Foundations of Jainism
  17. ^ Mardia, Kanti. "Modern Science and the Four Noble Truths of Jains." Young Jains International Newsletter, vol. 22, no. 1, 2008. London, UK,
  18. ^ JAINpedia. Themes>Principles>Jain Beliefs>Jainism in Scientific Terms>'Four Noble Truths', Accessed 11, Dec. 2020.
  19. ^ Marett, Paul. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 12, no. 1, 2002, pp. 116–118. JSTOR, Accessed 11 Dec. 2020.
  20. ^ "YORKSHIRE JAIN FOUNDATION - YJF HOME". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011.
  21. ^ "No. 63918". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2022. p. N14.
  22. ^ "RSS fellow to support cutting edge interdisciplinary workshops | StatsLife". Archived from the original on 19 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "2018 Mardia Prize to support extreme weather research | StatsLife". Archived from the original on 19 August 2019.
  25. ^ "2019 Mardia Prize to support workshops on economics of mental health | StatsLife". Archived from the original on 19 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.