The Japan Prize Foundation announced the laureates of its 2011 Japan Prize, "Two American innovators of technology, Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, and two Japanese scientists, Tadamitsu Kishimoto and Toshio Hirano, received this esteemed honor for the categories of information and communications, and bioscience and medical science, respectively."
Together Dr. Ritchie and Dr. Thompson developed the UNIX operating system which has significantly advanced computer software, hardware and networks over the past four decades, and facilitated the realization of the Internet.
The work and discoveries by Dr. Kishimoto and Dr. Hirano have led to the development of a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and Castleman's disease among others.
The 2011 Japan Prize laureates will each receive a certificate of recognition and a commemorative gold medal at an award ceremony during Japan Prize Week in Tokyo on April 20, 2011. A cash award of 50 million Japanese yen (approximately US$600,000) will also be given to each field - this year the two laureates in each field will split the prize equally.
UNIX was developed in conjunction with the programming language, C, which's still widely used for writing OS, and dramatically improved the readability and portability of UNIX source code. As a result, UNIX has come to be used by various systems such as embedded systems, personal computers, and super computers.
UNIX was also a major driving force behind the development of Internet. University of California, Berkeley developed Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), an extended version of UNIX that was implemented with the Internet protocol suite TCP/IP. The development was based on the sixth edition of UNIX that Bell Labs distributed along with its source code to universities and research institutions in 1975, which led to the beginning of an "open source" culture. BSD UNIX helped the realization of the Internet.
[tags]japan prize,dennis ritchie,ken thompson,bell labs,laureates,bsd,berkeley,disease[/tags]