Dr. Vasant Krishna Prabhu was born on May 13, 1937 in Kumta, India. In 1958, Prabhu received his Bachelor of Science degree from Karnatak University. He also received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Science in 1962, a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963, and a Doctor of Science also from M.I.T. in 1966. He was the recipient of the Alfred Hay Gold medal from the Indian Institute of Science (1961) and the Centennialr Medal of IEEE (1984).
Dr. Prabhu was at Bell Labs for 25 years. At Bell Labs, Prabhu was part of the team that invented cellular phone networks. In 1986, he was elevated to the grade of IEEE fellow for his contributions to interference, noise, and spectral analysis of analog and digital communications systems. Dr. Prabhu, in March 1991, named one of his Bell Labs inventions “the Personal Communication System,” a prototype cellular wrist phone.
Dr. Prabhu started as a professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Arlington teaching telecommunication courses in 1991. His area of excellence was in digital wireless communication systems. He was awarded with the Robert Q. Lee Excellence in Teaching award from UTA (1998). He became the professor emeritus in 2008. During his tenure at UTA, Dr. Prabhu was the supervising professor for 17 Doctoral students and over 25 Masters students. In his honor, his graduate students endowed the Barbara & Vasant Prabhu Scholarship, named for Dr. Prabhu and his late wife of more than 55 years in 2022 to award the students specializing in telecommunications.
He is remembered by countless students for his thoroughness and passion for mathematical rigor, his openness and willingness to help anyone that would approach him. Dr. Prabhu's legacy will continue through his lasting contributions to the field of wireless communication.
Vasant and Barbara are survived by their son, Jayant Prabhu - a Harvard Law School graduate who resides in Arlington, VA and is a federal prosecutor.