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Template:Infobox Scientist Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (username: dmr, born September 9, 1941) is an American computer scientist notable for his influence on C and other programming languages, and on operating systems such as Multics and Unix. He received the Turing Award in 1983 and the National Medal of Technology in 1998. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007.
C and Unix
Ritchie is best known as the creator of the C programming language and a key developer of the Unix operating system, and as co-author of the definitive book on C, The C Programming Language, commonly referred to as K&R (in reference to the authors Kernighan and Ritchie).
Ritchie's invention of C and his role in the development of Unix alongside Ken Thompson have placed him as an important pioneer of modern computing. The C language is still widely used today in application and operating system development, and its influence is seen in most modern programming languages. Unix has also been influential, establishing concepts and principles that are now well-established precepts of computing.
Ritchie has said that creating the C language "looked like a good thing to do" and that anyone else in the same place at the same time would have done the same thing, though Bell Labs colleague Bjarne Stroustrup, developer of C++, said that "if Dennis had decided to spend that decade on esoteric math, Unix would have been stillborn."
Following the success of Unix, Ritchie continued research into operating systems and programming languages with contributions to the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems and the Limbo programming language.
In 1983, Ritchie and Ken Thompson jointly received the Turing Award for their development of generic operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the UNIX operating system. Ritchie's Turing Award lecture was titled "Reflections on Software Research".
National Medal of Technology
On April 27, 1999, Thompson and Ritchie jointly received the 1998 National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton for co-inventing the UNIX operating system and the C programming language which together have led to enormous advances in computer hardware, software, and networking systems and stimulated growth of an entire industry, thereby enhancing American leadership in the Information Age.
Dennis Ritchie is often referred to as "dmr" (his Bell Labs email address) in technical discussion groups.
- "I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party."
- "Usenet is a strange place."
- "UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity."
- ↑ Ritchie and Thompson [to] Get National Medal of Technology Bell Labs pre-announcement
- ↑ Ritchie and Thompson Receive National Medal of Technology from President Clinton Bell Labs press release
- ↑ "Google Groups : net.unix-wizards". 1984-03-13. http://groups.google.com/group/net.unix-wizards/msg/1c9d2e4c341f9b41.
- ↑ "Google Groups : comp.lang.c". 2006-08-23. http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.c/browse_frm/thread/d024a2f831f81e2c/465ede5dc776f39d?lnk=st&q=dmr+group%3Acomp.lang.c&rnum=4&hl=en#465ede5dc776f39d.
- ↑ "Brainy Quote.com". http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dennis_ritchie.html.
- Transcript of an interview with Dennis Ritchie – Interview by Michael S. Mahoney
- Interview with Dennis M. Ritchie - By Manuel Benet (published in LinuxFocus.org in July 1999)
- Unix.se DMR interview published February 7. 2003
- Ritchie and Thompson Receive National Medal of Technology from President Clinton
- Video - TechNetCast At Bell Labs: Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan (1999-05-14)
- The future according to Dennis Ritchie - LinuxWorld.com 12/4/00
- The Limbo Programming Language by Dennis M. Ritchie
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