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.