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Dennis Ritchie

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Dennis Ritchie
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{{Use mdy dates|date=September 2017}}







factoids
| birth_place = Bronxville, New York, U.S.2011129|9}}| death_place = Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, U.S.| residence =| citizenship =| nationality = American| alma_mater = Harvard University (Ph.D., 1968)| doctoral_advisor =| doctoral_students =ALTRANB (programming language)>BBCPLCMulticsUnix| footnotes =| ethnicity =| field = Computer science| work_institutions = Lucent TechnologiesBell LabsTuring Award (1983)National Medal of Technology (1998)IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (1990)Computer Pioneer Award (1994) Computer History Museum Fellow (1997)HTTP://WWW.COMPUTERHISTORY.ORG/FELLOWAWARDS/HALL/BIOS/DENNIS,RITCHIE/ ACCESSDATE=JANUARY 5, 2015 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150103005313/HTTP://WWW.COMPUTERHISTORY.ORG/FELLOWAWARDS/HALL/BIOS/DENNIS,RITCHIE/ DF=MDY, Harold Pender Award (2003)Japan Prize (2011)}}Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – {{circa}} October 12, 2011){{Citation| last = Lohr| first = Steve| author-link =| last2 =| first2 =| author2-link =| title = Dennis Ritchie, Programming Trailblazer, Dies at 70| newspaper=The New York Times| date = October 12, 2011| url =weblink| quote = Dennis M. Ritchie, who helped shape the modern digital era by creating software tools that power things as diverse as search engines like Google and smartphones, was found dead on Wednesday at his home in Berkeley Heights, N.J. He was 70. Mr. Ritchie, who lived alone, was in frail health in recent years after treatment for prostate cancer and heart disease, said his brother Bill.| accessdate = October 13, 2011}}WEB
,weblink
, Unix creator Dennis Ritchie dies aged 70
, October 13, 2011
, October 14, 2011
, BBC News
, Pioneering computer scientist Dennis Ritchie has died after a long illness. ... The first news of Dr Ritchie's death came via Rob Pike, a former colleague who worked with him at Bell Labs. Mr Ritchie's passing was then confirmed in a statement from Alcatel-Lucent which now owns Bell Labs.
, {{Citation
| author=Rob Pike
| title = (untitled post to Google+)
| date = October 12, 2011
| url =weblink
| quote = I just heard that, after a long illness, Dennis Ritchie (dmr) died at home this weekend. I have no more information.
| accessdate = October 14, 2011
}}{{Citation| last = Campbell-Kelly| first = Martin| author-link =| last2 =| first2 =| author2-link =| title = Dennis Ritchie obituary| newspaper=The Guardian| date = October 13, 2011| url =weblink| quote = Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, computer scientist, born 9 September 1941; died 12 October 2011| accessdate = October 13, 2011}} was an American computer scientist. He created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the Unix operating system. Ritchie and Thompson were awarded the Turing Award from the ACM in 1983, the Hamming Medal from the IEEE in 1990 and the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007. He was the "R" in K&R C, and commonly known by his username dmr.

Personal life and career

Dennis Ritchie was born in Bronxville, New York. His father was Alistair E. Ritchie, a longtime Bell Labs scientist and co-author of The Design of Switching Circuits on switching circuit theory.NEWS,weblink Pioneer Programmer Shaped the Evolution of Computers, Miller, Stephen, 2011-10-14, Wall Street Journal, 2018-03-03, en-US, 0099-9660, As a child, Dennis moved with his family to Summit, New Jersey, where he graduated from Summit High School.WEB,weblink Keill, Liz, Berkeley Heights man wins Japan Prize for inventing UNIX operating system, Independent Press, February 1, 2011, October 17, 2011, Ritchie, 69, has lived in Berkeley Heights for 15 years. He was born in Bronxville, New York, grew up in Summit and attended Summit High School before going to Harvard University., He graduated from Harvard University with degrees in physics and applied mathematics.File:Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie.jpg|thumb|Ken ThompsonKen ThompsonFile:Version 7 Unix SIMH PDP11 Emulation DMR.png|thumb|Version 7 Unix for the (PDP-11]], including Dennis Ritchie's home directory: /usr/dmr)In 1967, Ritchie began working at the Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center, and in 1968, he defended his PhD thesis on "Program Structure and Computational Complexity" at Harvard under the supervision of Patrick C. Fischer. However, Ritchie never officially received his PhD degree.JOURNAL, van Renesse, Robbert, January 2014, The First SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award, ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review,weblink 48, 1, 100, 10.1145/2626401.2626421, During the 1960s, Ritchie and Ken Thompson worked on the Multics operating system at Bell Labs. However, Bell Labs pulled out of the project in 1969. Thompson then found an old PDP-7 machine and developed his own application programs and operating system from scratch, aided by Ritchie and others. In 1970, Brian Kernighan suggested the name "Unix", a pun on the name "Multics".WEB, Dennis M., Ritchie, The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System,weblink October 31, 2016, To supplement assembly language with a system-level programming language, Thompson created B. Later, B was replaced by C, created by Ritchie, who continued to contribute to the development of Unix and C for many years.WEB,weblink The Development of the C Language, Bell Labs, October 31, 2016, Dennis, Ritchie, During the 1970s, Ritchie collaborated with James Reeds and Robert Morris on a ciphertext-only attack on the M-209 US cipher machine that could solve messages of at least 2000–2500 letters.WEB,weblink Dabbling in Cryptography, Bell-labs.com, May 5, 2000, November 14, 2016, Ritchie relates that, after discussions with the NSA, the authors decided not to publish it, as they were told that the principle was applicable to machines still in use by foreign governments.Ritchie was also involved with the development of the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems, and the programming language Limbo.As part of an AT&T restructuring in the mid-1990s, Ritchie was transferred to Lucent Technologies, where he retired in 2007 as head of System Software Research Department.WEB,weblink Dennis Ritchie, father of C programming language, dies, October 13, 2011, cnet,

C and Unix

Ritchie is best known as the creator of the C programming language, a key developer of the Unix operating system, and co-author of the book The C Programming Language; he was the 'R' in K&R (a common reference to the book's authors Kernighan and Ritchie). Ritchie worked together with Ken Thompson, who is credited with writing the original version of Unix; one of Ritchie's most important contributions to Unix was its porting to different machines and platforms.[Pioneer Programmer Shaped the Evolution of Computers, Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2011, p.A7] They were so influential on Research Unix that Doug McIlroy later wrote, "The names of Ritchie and Thompson may safely be assumed to be attached to almost everything not otherwise attributed."TECHREPORT, M. D., McIlroy, Doug McIlroy, 1987,weblink A Research Unix reader: annotated excerpts from the Programmer's Manual, 1971–1986, CSTR, 139, Bell Labs, Ritchie liked to emphasize that he was just one member of a group. He suggested that many of the improvements he introduced simply "looked like a good thing to do," and that anyone else in the same place at the same time might have done the same thing. But Bjarne Stroustrup who designed C++ said "If Dennis had decided to spend that decade on esoteric math, Unix would have been stillborn."WEB,weblink Unix's founding fathers, The Economist, June 10, 2004, January 16, 2017, Nowadays, the C language is widely used today in application, operating system, and embedded system development, and its influence is seen in most modern programming languages. Unix has also been influential, establishing computing concepts and principles that have been widely adopted.In an interview from 1999, Ritchie clarified that he saw Linux and BSD operating systems as a continuation of the basis of the Unix operating system, and as derivatives of Unix:WEB, Benet, Manuel,weblink Interview With Dennis M. Ritchie, 1999, LinuxFocus.org, In the same interview, he stated that he viewed both Unix and Linux as "the continuation of ideas that were started by Ken and me and many others, many years ago."

Awards

In 1983, Ritchie and Thompson 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".{{Citation
| last = Ritchie
| first = Dennis M.
| title = ACM Turing Award Lectures: The First Twenty Years 1666–1985
| place =
| publisher = Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
| series = ACM Press Anthology Series
| year = 1987
| month=
| edition =
| chapter = 1983 Turing Award Lecture: Reflections on Software Research
| chapterurl =weblink
| accessdate = January 30, 2012
| pages = 163–169 }}
In 1990, both Ritchie and Thompson received the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), "for the origination of the UNIX operating system and the C programming language".WEB,weblink IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal Recipients, IEEE, May 29, 2011,
In 1997, both Ritchie and Thompson were made Fellows of the Computer History Museum, "for co-creation of the UNIX operating system, and for development of the C programming language."WEB, Dennis Ritchie — CHM Fellow Award Winner, CHM,weblink, March 30, 2015, yes, https:web.archive.org/web/20150403185444weblink April 3, 2015, mdy-all, On April 21, 1999, Thompson and Ritchie jointly received the National Medal of Technology of 1998 from President Bill Clinton for co-inventing the UNIX operating system and the C programming language which, according to the citation for the medal, "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".WEB,weblink Archived copy, September 6, 2006, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060327052807weblink">weblink March 27, 2006, mdy, WEB,weblink Archived copy, November 4, 2003, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20031011075017weblink">weblink October 11, 2003, mdy, In 2005, the Industrial Research Institute awarded Ritchie its Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to science and technology, and to society generally, with his development of the Unix operating system.WEB,weblink Dennis Ritchie, Bell Labs Researcher and Co-Inventor of Unix, Receives 2005 Industrial Research Institute Achievement Award, Alcatel-Lucent Press Release, November 15, 2005, February 8, 2012, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140204000724weblink">weblink February 4, 2014, mdy-all, In 2011, Ritchie, along with Thompson, was awarded the Japan Prize for Information and Communications for his work in the development of the Unix operating system.WEB,weblink Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie win Japan Prize, Evangelista, Benny, San Francisco Chronicle, January 25, 2011,

Death

File:Dennis Ritchie (right) Receiving Japan Prize.jpeg|thumb|Dennis Ritchie with Doug McIlroyDoug McIlroyRitchie was found dead on October 12, 2011, at the age of 70 at his home in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, where he lived alone. First news of his death came from his former colleague, Rob Pike. The cause and exact time of death have not been disclosed.{{Citation| author=Associated Press| title = Summary Box: Dennis Ritchie, pioneer in computer programming at Bell Labs, dies at 70| newspaper=The Washington Post| date = October 13, 2011| url =weblink| quote = NOT KNOWN: Alcatel-Lucent confirmed his death to The Associated Press but would not disclose the cause of death or when Ritchie died.| accessdate = October 14, 2011 }}
He had been in frail health for several years following treatment for prostate cancer and heart disease.WEB, Gallagher, Sean, Dennis Ritchie, Father of C and Co-Developer of Unix, Dies,weblink Wired (magazine), Wired, October 13, 2011, October 13, 2011, WEB, Binstock, Andrew, Dennis Ritchie, in Memoriam,weblink Dr. Dobb's Journal, Dr. Dobb's Journal, October 14, 2011, News of Ritchie's death was largely overshadowed by the media coverage of the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs, which occurred the week before.WEB,weblink Dennis Ritchie, a tech genius as great as Steve Jobs, Srinivasan, Rajeev, October 25, 2011, Firstpost, December 4, 2017,

Legacy

Following Ritchie's death, computer historian Paul E. Ceruzzi stated:NEWS, Langer, Emily, Dennis Ritchie, founder of Unix and C, dies at 70,weblink November 3, 2011, Washington Post, October 14, 2011, In an interview shortly after Ritchie's death, long time colleague Brian Kernighan said Ritchie never expected C to be so significant.HTTP://FORBESINDIA.COM/INTERVIEW/SPECIAL/BRIAN-KERNIGHAN-NO-ONE-THOUGHT-C-WOULD-BECOME-SO-BIG/29982/1> TITLE = NO ONE THOUGHT 'C' WOULD BECOME SO BIG: BRIAN KERNIGHAN, Forbes India, November 4, 2011, November 28, 2011, Q Did Dennis Ritchie or you ever think C would become so popular? [Kernighan] I don't think that at the time Dennis worked on Unix and C anyone thought these would become as big as they did. Unix, at that time, was a research project inside Bell Labs., Shishir Prasad, Kernighan told The New York Times "The tools that Dennis built—and their direct descendants—run pretty much everything today.”NEWS, Steve Lohroct,weblink Dennis Ritchie, 70, Dies, Programming Trailblazer, The New York Times, October 13, 2011, November 14, 2016, Kernighan reminded readers of how important a role C and Unix had played in the development of later high-profile projects, such as the iPhone.NEWS,weblink Myths of Steve Jobs, Deccan Herald, November 28, 2011, November 28, 2011, Dennis Ritchie, the inventor of the C language and co-inventor of the Unix operating system, died a few days after Steve Jobs. He was far more influential than Jobs., NEWS,weblink The tale of three deeply different technologists, The Hindu, November 14, 2011, November 28, 2011, Subhajit Datta, Other testimonials to his influence followed.NEWS,weblink Dennis Ritchie, creator of C, bids "goodbye, world", Extreme Tech, November 2, 2011, November 28, 2011, The book came off the shelf in service of teaching another generation a simple, elegant way to program that allows the developer to be directly in touch with the innards of the computer. The lowly integer variable—int—has grown in size over the years as computers have grown, but the C language and its sparse, clean, coding style live on. For that we all owe a lot to Dennis Ritchie., David Cardinal, NEWS,weblink Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy: Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy, machine whisperers, died on October 8th and 24th respectively, aged 70 and 84, The Economist, November 5, 2011, November 28, 2011, NOW that digital devices are fashion items, it is easy to forget what really accounts for their near-magical properties. Without the operating systems which tell their different physical bits what to do, and without the languages in which these commands are couched, the latest iSomething would be a pretty but empty receptacle. The gizmos of the digital age owe a part of their numeric souls to Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy., NEWS,weblink The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix, Newswise, November 23, 2011, November 28, 2011, Four decades ago, Ken Thompson, the late Dennis Ritchie, and others at AT&T's Bell Laboratories developed Unix, which turned out to be one of the most influential pieces of software ever written. Their work on this operating system had to be done on the sly, though, because their employer had recently backed away from operating-systems research., NEWS
,weblink
, The forgotten tech luminaries: The new generation of the digital age owe a part of their numeric souls to Dennis Ritchie and John McCarthy
, Ciol.com
, November 1, 2011
, November 28, 2011
, UNIX, to the development of which Ritchie greatly contributed, and whose C made it possible it to be ported to other machines, is, even today, in its different avatars, the de facto OS for anything that is mission critical. Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Linux—all these are derived from UNIX.
, Shyamanuja Das
, yes
,weblink
, January 28, 2012
, mdy-all
, At his death, a commentator compared the relative importance of Steve Jobs and Ritchie, concluding that "[Ritchie's] work played a key role in spawning the technological revolution of the last forty years—including technology on which Apple went on to build its fortune."WEB, Duncan, Geoff,weblink Was Dennis Ritchie more important than Steve Jobs?, Digital Trends, October 13, 2011, November 14, 2016, Another commentator said, "Ritchie, on the other hand, invented and co-invented two key software technologies which make up the DNA of effectively every single computer software product we use directly or even indirectly in the modern age. It sounds like a wild claim, but it really is true."WEB, Perlow, Jason,weblink Without Dennis Ritchie, there would be no Steve Jobs, ZDNet.com, October 9, 2015, November 14, 2016, Another said, "many in computer science and related fields knew of Ritchie’s importance to the growth and development of, well, everything to do with computing,..."WEB,weblink What Can We Learn From Dennis Ritchie?, TechCrunch.com, October 15, 2011, November 14, 2016, The Fedora 16 Linux distribution, which was released about a month after he died, was dedicated to his memory.WEB,weblink Red Hat Releases Fedora 16 "Verne", Phoronix, November 8, 2011, FreeBSD 9.0, released January 12, 2012 was also dedicated in his memory.WEB,weblink FreeBSD-9.0 Announcement, The FreeBSD project, January 12, 2012,

Gallery

File:Usenix84 3 Small.jpg|Ritchie engaged in conversation in a chalet in the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City at the 1984 Usenix conference.File:Usenix84 1.jpg|At the same Usenix 1984 conference, Dennis Ritchie is visible in the middle, wearing a striped shirt, behind Steven Bellovin wearing a baseball hat.

Notable work

See also

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

External links

{{Commons category}}{{Spoken Wikipedia|Dennis Ritchie.ogg|June 17, 2006}} {{Richard W. Hamming Medal recipients}}{{Turing award}}{{Authority control}}

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