Quick links

Brian Kernighan

Photo of Brian Kernighan
William O. Baker *39 Professor in Computer Science, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Ph.D., Princeton University, 1969
bwk  (@cs.princeton.edu) (609) 258-2089 311 Computer Science
Other Affiliations


Interests: Application-specific languages, document preparation, user interfaces, software tools, programming methodology

Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2019; Member, National Academy of Engineering, 2002; USENIX Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 1997

Research Areas:

Short Bio

Professor Brian W. Kernighan, who earned his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Princeton in 1969, joined the department in 2000. Before returning to Princeton, he worked for 30 years at the Computing Science Research Center of Bell Laboratories, where he was head of the Computing Structures Research Department from 1981 to 2000.  Professor Kernighan was a member of the editorial board for Software―Practice & Experience, 1990-2009, and has been the adviser for the Addison-Wesley series on Professional Computing since 1990. His research Interests include software tools, application-oriented languages, programming methodology, user interfaces, digital humanities, and technology education.

Selected Publications

  • The Elements of Programming Style (with P. J. Plauger). McGraw-Hill, 1974; 2nd edition, 1978.
  • Software Tools (with P. J. Plauger). Addison-Wesley, 1976.
  • The C Programming Language (with D. M. Ritchie). Prentice-Hall, 1978; 2nd edition, 1988.
  • Software Tools in Pascal (with P. J. Plauger). Addison-Wesley, 1981.
  • The UNIX Programming Environment (with R. Pike). Prentice-Hall, 1984.
  • The AWK Programming Language (with A. V. Aho and P. J. Weinberger), Addison-Wesley, 1988.
  • The Practice of Programming (with R. Pike), Addison-Wesley, 1998.
  • AMPL: A Modeling Language for Mathematical Programming (with D. Gay and R. Fourer), Cengage, 1993; 2nd edition 2002.
  • D is for Digital, Createspace, 2011.
  • The Go Programming Language (with A. A. A. Donovan), Addison-Wesley, 2016.
  • Understanding the Digital World, Princeton University Press, 2017; 2nd edition 2021.
  • Millions, Billions, Zillions, Princeton University Press, 2018.
  • Unix: A History and a Memoir, Kindle Direct, 2019.
Follow us: Facebook Twitter Linkedin