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    K Names: Famous People in Technology

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    K

    Kahn, Robert

    Along with Vinton Cerf, Kahn conceived the TCP/IP suite, a technical innovation that permitted the transformation of the original ARPANET into today’s Internet. He has worked on the technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories and was an assistant professor at MIT. He took a leave of absence from MIT to join Bolt Beranek and Newman, where he was responsible for the system design of the ARPANET, the first packet-switched network. Kahn is president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, which he founded in 1986 after a thirteen-year term at ARPA. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a former member of its computer science and technology board. He also is a member of the board of regents of the National Library of Medicine and a fellow of the IEEE.

    Kay, Alan

    One of the founders of Xerox PARC, Kay earned a doctorate from the University of Utah in 1969 for the development of the first graphical object-oriented personal computer. His interest in education and the ways that computers could help children learn inspired him to lead a group at Xerox PARC to develop Smalltalk, the overlapping window interface, desktop publishing, the Ethernet, laser printing, and network client-servers. While at Xerox he also formalized the design of a general purpose laptop computer he called the “DynaBook,” even though the technology to build it did not yet exist.

    Kernighan, Brian

    A pioneer in the development of both the C programming language and in the UNIX programming system. Kernighan is currently the head of the Computing Structures Research Department at Bell Laboratories. He has written numberous books on programming languages, the most famous of which are The C Programming Language and The UNIX Programming Environment.

    Khosla, Vinod

    The founding CEO of Sun Microsystems where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors. He left Sun in 1986 to become a partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he remains today. Khosla currently serves on the boards of Asera, Corio Inc., Corvis Corporation, BigVine.com, Juniper Networks, Redback and QWEST Communications, plus several other private companies.

    Kleinrock, Leonard

    Based on his Ph.D. work at MIT on computer networking, Kleinrock was asked to join ARPA to work on a unified network in response to Sputnik. Kleinrock’s work with ARPA led directly to the creation of the ARPANET (the precursor to the Internet), and UCLA, where Kleinrock had been a professor since 1963, was the first node to join the ARPANET. Kleinrock is currently a professor of computer science at UCLA and is chairman and founder of Nomadix.

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    This article was originally published on June 24, 2010