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S.N. Roy
Samarendra Nath Roy
Native name সমরেন্দ্রনাথ রায়
Born (1906-12-11)11 December 1906
Calcutta, India
Died 23 July 1964(1964-07-23) (aged 57)
Jasper, Alberta, Canada
Residence India, US
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Calcutta University
Known for Multivariate analysis
Scientific career
Fields Mathematician and Statistician
Institutions Calcutta University
Indian Statistical Institute
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Doctoral advisor P. C. Mahalanobis
N. R. Sen
Doctoral students Ingram Olkin

Samarendra Nath Roy or S. N. Roy (11 December 1906 – 23 July 1964) was an Indian-born American mathematician and an applied statistician.

Early life[edit]

Roy was the first of three children of Kali Nath Roy and Suniti Bala Roy.[1] His father, Kali Nath Roy was a freedom fighter and the Chief Editor of the newspaper The Tribune, then publishing from Lahore.[2] During the massacre of the Indians at the hands of the British in the infamous incident at Jallianwala Bagh in April 1919, The Tribune published a news report titled "Prayer at the Jama Masjid", on 6 April 1919. For this "offence" Kali Nath Roy was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for two years along with a fine of one thousand rupees.[3][4][5][6]

Roy secured first division in the Matriculation Examination in 1923 from the Khulna District School.[6] He was the topper in the Intermediate Science (Higher Secondary) Examinations in 1925 from the Daulatpur Hindu Academy.[6] He obtained first class and was the topper in both the BSc Mathematics (Honours) from Presidency College of the University of Calcutta in 1928 and the MSc in Applied Mathematics (with the Theory of Relativity as the elective) from the University of Calcutta in 1931.[1][6]

Academic career[edit]

In 1931, when Roy joined the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Calcutta as a research associate, he used computing facilities at the newly established Indian Statistical Institute,[6] which was founded by Professor P. C. Mahalanobis. Roy along with several talented young scholars including J. M. Sengupta, H. C. Sinha, Raj Chandra Bose, K. R. Nair, K. Kishen and C. R. Rao, joined to form an active group of statisticians under Mahalanobis. Roy was one of the very early students of Mahalanobis, who initiated some of the early works in Statistics.[7] He was well known for his pioneering contribution to multivariate statistical analysis, mainly that of the Jacobians of complicated transformations for various exact distributions, rectangular coordinates and the Bartlett decomposition.[8] His dissertation included the Post master's work at the Indian Statistical Institute where he worked under Mahalanobis.[9]

It was Bose who first went to the United States as a visiting professor at Columbia University and then joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1947. Roy followed suit by later joining him at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the spring of 1950, after initially travelling to the United States to take up a Visiting Professorship of Statistics at Columbia University in New York in the spring of 1949. In between this Roy returned to India and became Head of the Department of Statistics at the University of Calcutta during the academic year 1949–50.[6] Roy joined Bose as full Professor of Statistics in the Statistics Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. S. N. Roy had 15 doctorate students there from 1950 till 1963.[10] To commemorate his Birth Centenary an International Conference on "Multivariate Statistical Methods in the 21st Century: The Legacy of Prof. S.N. Roy" was held at Kolkata, India during 28–29 December 2006.[11] The Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference published a special issue for celebrating the Centennial of Birth of S. N. Roy.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Roy was married to Bani Roy and had four children, Prabir, Subir, Tapon and Sunanda. He died while on holiday in Jasper, Canada. His eldest son, Prabir Roy was also a mathematician, who obtained his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1962. His dissertation was on the "Separability of Metric Spaces".[12] He later went on to become full Professor at a young age at the Binghamton University.

S. N. Roy is presently being survived by his son Subir Roy who is an MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Reproductive Endocrinologist at the LAC+USC Medical Center, LA,[13] and his daughter Sunanda R. McGarvey who works at the National Center of Public Health Informatics, CDC in Washington, DC.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Potthoff, R. F. and Roy, S. N. (1964), “A generalized multivariate analysis of variance model useful especially for growth curve problems”, Biometrika, vol. 51, pp. 313–326.
  • Roy, S. N. (1957), “Some Aspects of Multivariate Analysis”, New York: Wiley.
  • Roy, S. N. and Sarhan, A. E. (1956), “On inverting a class of patterned matrices”, Biometrika, 43, 227–231.

Selected Ph.D. dissertations under Roy's guidance[edit]

  • Olkin, Ingram (1951). "On distribution problems in multivariate analysis".
  • Pachares, James (1953). "On the distribution of quadratic forms".
  • Pillai, K.C. Sreedharan (1954). "On some distribution problems in multivariate analysis".
  • Mitra, Sujit K. (1956).[14] "Contributions to the statistical analysis of categorical data".
  • Gnanadesikan, Ramanathan (1957). "Contributions to multivariate analysis including univariate and multivariate variance components analysis and factor analysis".
  • Potthoff, Richard F. (1958). "Multi-dimensional incomplete block designs".
  • Diadmond, Earl L. (1958). "Asymptotic power and independence of certain classes of tests on categorical data".
  • Bargman, Rolf (1958). "A study of independence and dependence in multivariate normal analysis".
  • Cobb, Whitfield (1959). "Studies in univariate and multivariate variance components analysis connected with sampling from a finite population".
  • Bhapkar, Vasant P. (1959). "Contributions to the statistical analysis of experiments with one or more responses".
  • Sathe, Yashawande S. (1962). "Studies in certain types of nonparametric inference".
  • Das Gupta, Somesh (1963). "Some problems in classification".
  • Mudholkar, Govind S. (1963). "Some contributions to the theory of univariate and multivariate statistical analysis".




  1. ^ a b Bose, R. C. (1964). "Samarendra Nath Roy, December 11, 1906-July 23, 1964". The American Statistician. American Statistical Association. 18 (5): 26–27. doi:10.1080/00031305.1964.10482640. JSTOR 2682467. 
  2. ^ "Tribuneindia...119 Years of Trust". The Tribune. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Varinder Walia; Neeraj Bagga (13 April 2006). "Jallianwala Bagh revisited". The Tribune. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Gobind Thukral. "EDITORIAL PAGE; LOOKING BACK; How 1919 Punjab rebellion was suppressed". The Tribune. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Viscount Cave, J. "Kali Nath Roy vs The King-Emperor on 9 December, 1920". Indian Kanoon – Search engine for Indian Law. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f J J O'Connor; E F Robertson. "Roy Biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Govind S. Mudholkar; Alan D. Hutsonb; Michael P. McDermotta. "Life and legacy of Samarendra Nath Roy 1906–1964". ScienceDirect. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  8. ^ V. Mardia, Kanti (23 January 2008). "On S.N. Roy's Legacy to Multivariate Analysis" (PDF). Presented as a plenary talk to S. N. Roy Multivariate Conference, Kolkata (December 2006). Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Samarendra Nath Roy at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  10. ^ "PhDs Awarded". Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Multivariate Statistical Methods in the 21st Century: The Legacy of Prof. S.N. Roy". Indian Statistical Institute. 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  12. ^ Prabir Roy at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  13. ^ "Subir Roy, M.D." USC OBGYN Faculty, University of Southern California. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Bhimasankaram, P (2004). "Sujit Kumar Mitra (1932–2004)" (PDF). Current Science. 87 (3): 395. 
  15. ^ "PhDs awarded". The Department of Statistics and Operations Research at UNC. 

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