T Names: Famous People in Technology

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T

Thompson, Ken

Co-created the UNIX operating system along with Dennis Ritchie in 1969 while working in Bell Labs Computing Research Department. In 1970, he wrote the B computer language, which Ritchie would use to develop C. In 1973, Thompson rewrote UNIX in Ritchie’s C language. In 1980, he co-created “Belle,” a chess-playing computer that won the U.S. and World Computing Chess Championships. In 1983, he was named a Fellow of Bell Labs.

Tomlinson, Ray

After graduating from MIT in 1965 and working for two years on a graduate degree, he created the first e-mail program in 1972 while working at Bolt Beranek and Newman, the company that built the ARPANET. Tomlinson was the person who invented the use of the @ sign in e-mail addresses.

Torvalds, Linus

Wrote the core of the Linux operating system in 1991 to compete with Microsoft’s Windows. Linux is unique in that Torvalds never sought a copyright on his work, and it is free to users. Torvald invited users to improve on the original open language system he created, and currently only about 2% of the program was written by Torvalds himself. His most recent work has been in developing the Crusoe chip at Transmeta to compete with Intel.

Turing, Alan

1912(b.)-1954(d.) English mathematician, logician and philosopher who made important advancements in the field of computer theory and who contributed important logical analyses of computer processes. During WWII, Turing served in the cryptanalytic headquarters at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, where he was largely responsible for breaking the German Enigma military codes. In 1936, he introduced the Universal Turing Machine, a hypothetical machine used for computability theory proofs that is regarded as the first digital computer. In 1950, Turing introduced the Turing Test to prove his theory that computers eventually would be constructed that would be capable of human thought. His papers on the subject provide a foundation for modern research in artificial intelligence.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Index

This article was originally published on June 24, 2010

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