Brian Kernighan

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Brian Wilson Kernighan (b. 1942) is a Canadian-born computer scientist who co-wrote the first text on the C programming language, helped improve the Unix operating system, and co-wrote the powerful but cryptic AWK script programming language (the "K" in AWK refers to him). Kernighan also co-authored several other Unix programs, including ditroff.

A prolific author, Kernighan was editor of a Software Tools series that explained improvements to BASIC, FORTRAN (especially his rational FORTRAN - Ratfor), and Pascal.

Kernighan also helped develop an algorithm for the enigmatic traveling salesman and graph partitioning problems, which are well-known challenges to computer programmers.

Kernighan claims credit for assigning the name "Unics" (later "Unix") to the famous multi-tasking operating system developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie.