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Ken Thompson - developer of the operating system UNIX and C language

Ken Thompson was fascinated by logic from childhood. As he noted later, even in elementary school he would solve arithmetic problems in the binary system. This love led him to the computer world, where his achievements were incomparable and always original.

ken thomson

Ken Thompson: Study

In 1943, Ken was born in New Orleans (stateLouisiana). In his youth, Ken Thompson studied at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1965-1966 he received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in electronic devices and information systems. His supervisor was Alvin Berlekkamp.

Work at Bell Labs

In 1966, he showed great abilityscientist Ken Thompson was admitted to the powerful corporation Bell Labs, known as the largest and glorious research center that deals with electronics and computer technology. Its headquarters is located in Murray Hill. Prior to the arrival of young developers, Bell Labs designed the MAC. In its framework, the CTSS was created. Then the lab began working on Multix.

Here Ken met with Dennis Ritchie. They became like-minded people and began to work together with other laboratory scientists. Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie saw the future behind desktop small personal computers. They realized that such computers need a mechanism that controls the hardware of the computer, which manages files, executes application programs, performs input and output operations. So there was an idea about the creation of a new operating system. All 70-ies Thompson and Ritchie worked on UNIX. Her first versions were created by Thompson almost alone, and Ritchie joined later.

Simultaneously Ken Thompson invented the Bon language, andthen - the language B, on the basis of which was later created the language C, and began to develop the game "Space travel". The game simulated the solar system with its bodies. The spacecraft was required to be planted on planets or satellites. The laboratory abandoned the Multix project.

ken tompson and dennis ritchie
In 1969, Thompson and Ritchie developed the UNICS operating system,which later received the modern name UNIX. Thompson created the Qed editor for CTSS, which included regular expressions for manipulating the lines in the text. This project has made regular expressions popular in programming, and not just in logic. They were constantly used in UNIX in word processing programs. Nowadays, most programs that use regular expressions use Thompson's notation. Ken also invented the algorithm that got his name to convert regular expressions to a nondeterministic finite state machine.

Work on chess programs

Since the XVIII century, people have tried to create chessautomata. The attempt was successful in 1983, when Thompson and Condon created Belle, the first computer to reach the level of a chess master. Thompson wrote a program for the full enumeration of endgames for 4-6 figures.

ken tomson achieve
Later, with the help of a chess expert, John Roikroft, he recorded them on a CD-ROM. In 1994 the new improved chess computer beat Garry Kasparov.

Further activities

In the mid-80s, Thompson at Bell Labs beganto design a new OS, which was supposed to be a replacement for UNIX. It was called "plan 9". Also at this time, he tested the early versions of the C ++ language, but expressed a negative attitude towards him, not approving the ideas that formed the basis of the language.

In 1992, together with Rob Pike, he wasthe encoding utf-8, which became the main one for the World Wide Web, was developed. In the 90 years, together with Ritchie and other researchers from Bell Labs, he began the process of forming the operating system Inferno.

In 2000, Thompson left Bell Labs.Until 2006, he worked for Entrisphere, then moved to Google, where he still works on Go. This gifted scientist in the future can reveal all his creative potential.

Ken Thompson: Achievements

The main thing in his life is the creation of UNIX and the programming language C. Ken Thompson, whose biography was considered in the article, received many awards for his life.

In 1983Thompson and Ritchie together received the Turing Award. In 1990, he was awarded the Richard Hamming medal from the IEEE for the creation of UNIX and the C language. In 1994 he was awarded the "Pioneer of Computer Technology" medal, also in conjunction with Ritchie.

ken tompson biography
In 1999, President Bill Clinton awardedThompson and Ritchie National Medal. In 1999, Thompson received the first prize of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers for his role in the creation of the UNIX OS, in 2003, together with Ritchie - the Harold Pender Award. Japan also noted its innovative developments (2011 Prize).

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