Gopal Prasad received BSc (Hons) (1963) from Magadh University, and MSc (1965) from Patna University. After joining Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1966, he completed his PhD (1974) under the supervision of MS Raghunathan. He continued to work at TIFR from where he retired in 1992. Thereafter, he has been Professor at the University of Michigan, where he later became the Raoul Bott Collegiate Professor of Mathematics. He has held long-term visiting positions at Yale University, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, IHES, France and ETH, Zurich.
Academic and Research Achievements: Prasad's notable contributions relate to rigidity of lattices in semi-simple groups and formula for the covolume of arithmetic subgroups which has had several important applications. In a joint work with Armand Borel, he proved a very general finiteness theorems for arithmetic groups. In collaboration with Raghunathan, and later, with Andrei Rapinchuk, he worked on the congruence subgroup problem, determined topological central extensions, and computed the metaplectic kernel. He worked on the representation theory of reductive p-adic groups together with Allen Moy. The geometric techniques they introduced in the area are being used widely. With Jiu-Kang Yu, Prasad studied group actions on the Bruhat-Tits buildings and determined the structure of quasi-reductive group schemes. In a recent work with Andrei Rapinchuk, he studied weak commensurability of arithmetic groups. Together with Brian Conrad and Ofer Gabber, he classified noncommutative pseudo-reductive groups.
Awards and Honours: Professor Gopal Prasad was conferred the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1989), Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1998) and Humboldt Foundation Senior Research Award for Lifetime Achievement (2006). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore in 1984.