WASHINGTON Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, the Bell Laboratories team that invented the Unix operating system and the C programming language, are among five 1998 National Medal of Technology winners announced by the White House yesterday (Dec. 8).
Thompson and Ritchie's inventions are credited with paving the way to enormous advances in computer hardware, software and networking. They also stimulated the growth of the information industry.
Thompson is a Bell Labs Fellow in the Systems Software Research Department. Ritchie is also a Bell Labs Fellow and head of the Systems Software Research Department at Lucent Technology's Bell Labs (Murray Hill, N.J.).
Awarded since 1985, the National Medal of Technology is the nation's highest honor for technological innovation. The award is administered by the Commerce Department's Office of Technology Policy.