Ken Thompson

Ranked #36 on the list Best Operating System Developer of All Time

Based on 2 votes

About Ken Thompson

  • Operating Systems Developed: Plan 9

Kenneth Lane Thompson (born February 4, 1943), commonly referred to as ken in hacker circles, is an American pioneer of computer science. Having worked at Bell Labs for most of his career, Thompson is notable for his work with the B programming language (basing it mainly on the BCPL language he had used to write Unix while in the MULTICS project), the C programming language, and as one of the creators and early developers of the Unix and Plan 9 operating systems. Other notable contributions included his work on regular expressions and early computer text editors QED and ed, his work on computer chess that included creation of endgame tablebases and the chess machine Belle, and most recently the co-creation of Google's programming language Go. Thompson was born in New Orleans. He received a Bachelor of Science in 1965 and a master's degree in 1966, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from the University of California, Berkeley, where his master's thesis advisor was Elwyn Berlekamp. In the 1960s, Thompson and Dennis Ritchie worked on the Multics operating system. While writing Multics, Thompson created the Bon programming language. The two left the Multics project

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