Ken Thompson

From Academic Kids

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Ken_n_dennis.jpg
Ken Thompson (left) with Dennis Ritchie (right)

Kenneth Thompson (born February 4 1943) is a computer scientist, notable for his work on the UNIX operating system.

Thompson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. He received a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree, both in electrical engineering, from the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1969, while at Bell Labs, Thompson and Dennis Ritchie were the principal creators of the UNIX operating system. Thompson also wrote the B programming language, a precursor to Dennis Ritchie's C programming language, currently one of the world's most commonly used programming languages. In addition, while writing the MULTICS operating system, he created the Bon programming language. He also wrote the original standard Unix editor, ed, which was descended from an earlier editor, QED.

Somewhat later, while still at Bell Labs, he and Rob Pike were the principal creators of the Plan 9 operating system. During this work, he created the UTF-8 character encoding for use on the Plan 9 operating system.

He also wrote programs for generating the complete enumeration of chess endings, for all 4, 5, and currently 6-piece endings. Using these, a chess-playing computer program can play perfectly once a position stored in them is reached.

Thompson and Ritchie jointly received the Turing Award in 1983 "for their development of generic operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the UNIX operating system". Thompson's style of programming has influenced others, notably in the terseness of his expressions and a preference for clear statements.

Thompson retired from Bell Labs on December 1, 2000, and is currently a fellow at Entrisphere, Inc (http://www.entrisphere.com).

External links

cs:Ken Thompson da:Kenneth Thompson de:Ken Thompson es:Ken Thompson fr:Kenneth Thompson hu:Ken Thompson ja:ケン・トンプソン nl:Ken Thompson pl:Ken Thompson pt:Ken Thompson sl:Kenneth Thompson tr:Ken Thompson

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