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Dennis Ritchie : A forgotten landmark
"Ritchie was under the radar. His name was not a household name at all, but... if you had a microscope and could look in a computer, you'd see his work everywhere inside."
- Paul E. Ceruzzi
Sitting in front of your apple MacBook pro, listening to the fantastic world of iTunes and chatting with your buddies on your iPhone 4… life has been so easy by apple, by Steve Jobs but you know someone made making these easy for all computer scientists after him. Steve Jobs, no doubt was a visionary but Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie had a vision far too deep and more futuristic. He however was forgotten amidst the media hype Jobs received.
Ritchie was born on 9th September 1941 in Bronxville, New York. He graduated from Harvard University with degrees in physics and applied mathematics. In 1967, he began working at the Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center, and in 1968, he received a PhD from Harvard under the supervision of Patrick C. Fischer, his doctoral dissertation being "Program Structure and Computational Complexity". A genius American Computer Scientist he laid the base of the digital era.
He developed the mother of programming: THE C- PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE. C has varied applications in the fields of computer technology. It’s used in application, Operating Systems and Embedded Systems development. C-objective is the base of programming for most of the apple apps. C influences most of the modern programming languages.
He along with Ken Thompson developed the UNIX Operating Systems which established concepts and principles which are the precepts of modern computing.
Both this accomplishments led to his appointment to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988.
He received many accolades and awards for his evergreen contributions to the world of computers:
IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal
Fellow of the Computer History Museum
National Medal of Technology
Ritchie died on 12th October 2011 after a week from Jobs death. His demise was not publicly acknowledged but his contributions live on, working microscopically as we listen to each song in a playlist, as I upload this hub, as you type……. RIP Dennis Ritchie.