Ashok Prasad Maitra obtained his PhD degree (1963) from the University of California, Berkeley, USA. His specialization was in mathematics and descriptive set theory. He was Visiting Professor, Camputation Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (1973-74); Professor (1974-80) and Director (1984-87), Division of Theoretical Statistics and Mathematics, Dean of Studies (1975-78) and Acting Director (1978-79) Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata; and Visiting Professor, Department of Statistics, University of California, Berkeley, USA (1982-83).
Academic and Research Achievements: Maitra has contributed to several areas of mathematics, such as mathematical statistics, dynamic programming, theory of games, ergodic theory and descriptive set theory. In the theory of sufficient statistics he aimed at classification of the notion of dimension of sufficient statistics. In dynamic programming he proved the existence of optimal and inoptimal stationary strategies under various set-ups and also developed systematically the connections between dynamic programming and Stochastic games. The latest thrust of Maitra’s research was on classical as well as effective descriptive theory. He also contributed to the study of Blackwell spaces and to the isomorphism problem of analytic sets.
Other Contributions: Maitra initiated, for the first time in India, research in descriptive set theory and built up a leading school in this field.