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Heleno Bolfarine, Full Professor at the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, has been selected to receive the 2021 ISI Mahalanobis International Award. Professor Bolfarine will receive the award at the Virtual ISI World Statistics Congress in July 2021.

Government of India

The Mahalanobis International Award is sponsored by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation of the Government of India. The award recognizes an individual for Lifetime Achievements in Statistics in a developing country or region. It is expected that the award will have the potential to attract, inspire and motivate statisticians across the developing world to increase the quantity and improve the quality of their contributions to the cause of promotion and development of statistics and its applications.

Professor Heleno Bolfarine is awarded the Mahalanobis International Award 2021 for his outstanding research contributions and academic leadership, his lifelong and outstanding performance in capacity building through teaching and mentoring several generations of statisticians in South America, and for his leadership and promotion of statistics and the statistics profession both at a national and an international level, with special emphasis on South America.

Professor Heleno Bolfarine (born 1949) is a Full Professor at the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He has a Master’s degree in Statistics from the University of São Paulo and a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983 under the supervision of Professor Barlow. Apart from his Ph.D. years (1979-1983) in the US, his main affiliation has been in Brazil during his entire career, accompanied with an exceptional international network and impact, in particular in other developing countries in the region. He has been a visiting professor in the US, and in South American countries such as Chile, Colombia and Peru.

Professor Heleno Bolfarine is an outstanding and renowned researcher in the fields of statistical inference, error-in-variables models, calibration, reliability, distributions and sampling, prediction theory for finite populations and mixed models and regression analysis. He has published 5 books and more than 230 research papers in respected journals, and a large number of reports and book chapters, in addition. He has about 5000 Google scholar citations, showing that his work has been widely recognized and seminal in his fields of research.

Professor Heleno Bolfarine has also made considerable contributions to the teaching of statistics and to the education of researchers in statistics in Brazil and South America in general: He was advisor of a remarkable number of 44 Ph.D. students at the University of Sao Paulo, forming Ph.D.’s from Brazil, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Colombia, which now are part of at least 26 different departments of statistics in the main universities in South America. This makes Heleno Bolfarine a capacity builder and source of inspiration for thousands of new statistics students in the South American region. He has also authored/co-authored three statistics text books in Portuguese (in addition to those in English). Moreover, his extensive travelling and visits to universities all over South America presenting more than 100 colloquia or invited talks at conferences, have been of great importance for the development and dissemination of statistics in the region.

Professor Bolfarine has contributed to the statistical profession internationally by being very active over the years in the Brazilian Statistical Association, the Argentinian Statistical Society, the Chilean Statistical Society, and the Colombian Statistical Society as well as in ISBA, ISI, IMS and the International Chinese Statistical Association. He has been President of the Brazilian Statistical Association and Editor in chief of the Brazilian Journal of Probability and Statistics, which is the most prestigious journal in statistics in South America. He has also been associate editor of Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference and Co-Editor of Sankhya. In addition, he has led the organization of several scientific events in Latin America as the Latin American Congress of Probability and Mathematical Statistics and the Latin-American Congress of Statistical Societies.

The Mahalanobis International Award is an initiative by the Government of India which serves the dual purposes of honouring Professor P. C. Mahalanobis for his lifetime contributions and achievements in Statistics, and recognizing and stimulating progress in Statistics in developing countries.

The ISI is grateful to the Indian Government for its support. The award is presented biennially during the ISI World Statistics Congress.

We also thank members of the Mahalanobis Selection Committee, chaired by Ingrid Glad, for their excellent work in evaluating the nominations and selecting the award winner.
The International Statistical Institute and the members of the Mahalanobis Selection Committee warmly congratulate Professor Heleno Bolfarine.


A. John Bailer, ISI President
Fabrizio Ruggeri, ISI Award Coordinator