Brian W. Kernighan (pronounced Ker'-ni-han; the 'g' is silent; born 1942) is a computer scientist who worked at the Bell Labs and contributed to the design of the pioneering AWK and AMPL programming languages.
Kernighan's name became widely known through co-authorship of the first book on the C programming language with Dennis Ritchie. Kernighan has said that he had no part in the design of the C language: "It's entirely Dennis Ritchie's work". He authored many Unix programs, including ditroff.
The "K" of K&R C and the "K" in the name AWK derive from "Kernighan."
He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and received his Bachelor's degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton University, where since 2000 he has held a professorship in the department of computer science.
- Software Tools (1976 with P. J. Plauger)
- The C Programming Language ("K&R") (1978 with Dennis Ritchie)
- The Elements of Programming Style (1982 with P. J. Plauger)
- The Unix Programming Environment (1984 with Rob Pike)
- The AWK Programming Language (1988 with Peter J. Weinberger)
- The Practice of Programming (1999 with Rob Pike)
- Brian Kernighan's home page at Princeton U.
- Brian Kernighan's home page at Bell Labs
- "Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language" – By Brian Kernighan, AT&T Bell Labs, 2 April 1981
- An Interview with Brian Kernighan – By Mihai Budiu, for PC Report Romania, August 2000
- Interview with Brian Kernighan – By Aleksey Dolya, for Linux Journal, July 2003.