Jon Bringhurst on 9 Nov 2008 09:14:43 -0800

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[PLUG] CIS Distinguished Lecture and Short Course (11/12): Brian Kernighan (Princeton)

Sorry for the short notice on this, but I was just given permission to
pass it on to PLUG, aka "the public".

In short, this guy's name stands for the 'K' of K&R C and the 'K' in AWK.

Here's some directions to the building:

-Jon B

Forwarded message:

Who: Brian Kernighan (
What: "The Origins and Evolution of the C Programming Language and
Other Languages" (Short Course)
When: 2:30-3:30pm, Wednesday, November 12
Where: Wachman Hall CC 0G006 (Ground Floor)

What: "The Changing Face of Programming" (Distinguished Lecture)
When: ***3:45-4:45***, Wednesday, November 12
Where: Wachman 447
With what: Cookies and beverages

Brian Kernighan, author of one of the most widely-used textbooks on C
and long-time researcher at Bell Labs and Princeton University, is
visiting our department next week. He has agreed to give two talks,
more or less back-to-back, about software engineering and programming
languages. The first is an informal discussion of the history of
programming languages and major developments, with a focus on C but
including a variety of other languages as well. The second talk is a
distinguished lecture about major recent developments in software
engineering tools and practices. Everyone is encouraged to come hear
both of these talks!


Speaker: Brian Kernighan (Princeton University)

Title 1: "The Origins and Evolution of the C Programming Language and
Other Languages"

Abstract 1: This talk will be an informal discussion of the grand
history of programming languages, including aspects of the development
of the C Programming Language as well as many other languages.

Title 2: "The Changing Face of Programming"

Abstract 2: The rapid evolution of languages, tools, environments and
expectations presents major challenges and opportunities for
programmers and for software engineering education.  This is true
across all kinds of programming, but is especially so for Web systems,
which are now routinely written in untyped scripting languages and
include Ajax, mashups, toolkits, frameworks like Rails and Django, and
a profusion of interfaces, all operating asynchronously on distributed

For the past 7 or 8 years I have been teaching a course on advanced
programming techniques that is more and more stretched between
important old material and unproven new material that might be
important.  In this talk I will illustrate some of the challenges and
discuss ways in which we might use complexity and rapid change to

Bio: Brian Kernighan received his BASc from the University of Toronto
in 1964 and a PhD in electrical engineering from Princeton in 1969.
He was in the Computing Science Research center at Bell Labs until
2000, and is now in the Computer Science Department at Princeton.

He is the author of 8 books and some technical papers, and holds 4
patents.  He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in
2002.  His research areas include programming languages, tools and
interfaces that make computers easier to use, often for non-specialist
users.  He is also interested in technology education for
non-technical audiences.

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