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* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
@ 2020-08-01 21:24 Norman Wilson
  2020-08-01 22:00 ` [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation [ really PhD's at BTL ] Jon Steinhart
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 18+ messages in thread
From: Norman Wilson @ 2020-08-01 21:24 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

John Gilmore:

  Yes -- but [Bell Labs'] administration was anything but egalitarian or
  meritocratic.  I know someone who had immense trouble getting inside the
  door at the Labs because "all" he had was a bachelor's degree.  Let
  their character be judged by how they treated a stranger.

  Sign me proud to have succeeded in life with no degrees at all,

====

That was where local management came in.

I have no degrees at all.  I haven't been nearly as
successful in many ways as John, but I was recruited
and hired by 1127.  That I had no degree meant I was
initially hired as a `special technical assistant'
rather than a `member of technical staff,' but my
department head and director and executive director
(the last was the legendary Vic Vyssotsky) worked
tirelessly on my behalf, without my pushing them at
all, to get me upgraded, and succeeded after I'd been
there about a year.  It was only later that I realized
just how much work they'd done on my behalf.

The upgrade gave me a big raise in pay, but I was
young enough and nerdy enough not to notice.

Within the 1127 culture there was no perceptible
difference; it was very much an egalitarian culture.
I felt respected as an equal from the start (really
from the day and a half I spent interviewing there).

Not every part of the Labs, let alone AT&T, was like
that, especially outside of the Research area.  I
didn't realize it initially but that was one of the
ways I benefited from the success of UNIX (that 1127's
and 112's management could push past such bureaucratic
barriers).

After all, Ken never had more than an MS.

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation [ really PhD's at BTL ]
  2020-08-01 21:24 [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation Norman Wilson
@ 2020-08-01 22:00 ` Jon Steinhart
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Jon Steinhart @ 2020-08-01 22:00 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

Norman Wilson writes:
> John Gilmore:
>
>   Yes -- but [Bell Labs'] administration was anything but egalitarian or
>   meritocratic.  I know someone who had immense trouble getting inside the
>   door at the Labs because "all" he had was a bachelor's degree.  Let
>   their character be judged by how they treated a stranger.
>
>   Sign me proud to have succeeded in life with no degrees at all,
>
> ====
>
> That was where local management came in.
>
> I have no degrees at all.  I haven't been nearly as
> successful in many ways as John, but I was recruited
> and hired by 1127.  That I had no degree meant I was
> initially hired as a `special technical assistant'
> rather than a `member of technical staff,' but my
> department head and director and executive director
> (the last was the legendary Vic Vyssotsky) worked
> tirelessly on my behalf, without my pushing them at
> all, to get me upgraded, and succeeded after I'd been
> there about a year.  It was only later that I realized
> just how much work they'd done on my behalf.
>
> The upgrade gave me a big raise in pay, but I was
> young enough and nerdy enough not to notice.
>
> Within the 1127 culture there was no perceptible
> difference; it was very much an egalitarian culture.
> I felt respected as an equal from the start (really
> from the day and a half I spent interviewing there).
>
> Not every part of the Labs, let alone AT&T, was like
> that, especially outside of the Research area.  I
> didn't realize it initially but that was one of the
> ways I benefited from the success of UNIX (that 1127's
> and 112's management could push past such bureaucratic
> barriers).
>
> After all, Ken never had more than an MS.

Having spend time in both areas 10 and 20, there were more advanced degrees
in area 10.  But, it was really low key.  You wouldn't know unless you asked.

One of the nice benefits at BTL is that they had a program for employees to
get advanced degrees.  I was told that if I decided to work there post college
that I would need to plan on going for an advanced degree.

There are many different definitions of success.  I agree that John was successful
at making money, and as being part of a team that made free software what it is
today.  But that's not the definition for pre-divestiture BTL.  They were a research
and development lab.  Success meant blazing new trails and inventing.  I don't
think that BTL was specifically looking for people with PhDs, they were looking for
people who had a history of doing good research.  During most of BTLs history one
found those people by reading dissertations.  People who had no degree, much less
an advanced degree, were researcher-wannabees, not proven researchers.  They didn't
hire Shannon because they liked his name, I'd guess that his master's theses opened
the door.

Another way to look at it is that one could certainly become financially successful
by reimplementing tar as free software, but the invention of tar is successful
research.

The only way that I got my foot in the door was because Heinz and Carl knew me through
the Explorer Scout post.  My unscientific survey of summer students was that they either
came from scouts, or were people working on advanced degrees in college.

Jon

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-08-01 15:08       ` John P. Linderman
  2020-08-01 16:43         ` Dan Cross
@ 2020-08-01 20:24         ` John Gilmore
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: John Gilmore @ 2020-08-01 20:24 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: John P. Linderman; +Cc: The Unix Heritage Society

John P. Linderman <jpl.jpl@gmail.com> wrote:
> The use of honorifics was subtly discouraged at the Labs. I never saw a
> policy statement, but nobody I knew used "Dr" (except those in the medical
> department), even though the place was crawling with doctoral degrees.

Yes -- but their administration was anything but egalitarian or
meritocratic.  I know someone who had immense trouble getting inside the
door at the Labs because "all" he had was a bachelor's degree.  Let
their character be judged by how they treated a stranger.

Sign me proud to have succeeded in life with no degrees at all,

	John Gilmore

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-08-01 16:43         ` Dan Cross
  2020-08-01 17:21           ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
@ 2020-08-01 17:48           ` John Cowan
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: John Cowan @ 2020-08-01 17:48 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Dan Cross; +Cc: The Unix Heritage Society


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On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 12:44 PM Dan Cross <crossd@gmail.com> wrote:

On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 11:09 AM John P. Linderman <jpl.jpl@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> The use of honorifics was subtly discouraged at the Labs.
>>
>
I think this is true, or at least used to be true, everywhere between the
East and California, where it was typical for tertiary students to address
their teachers with the ordinary titles of Mr., Mrs., and Miss (now Ms.
too, most likely).  I once heard of an organization named "The Society for
Calling University Professors 'Mister'".

Occasionally I teach a session of a graduate course somewhere or another;
> less occasionally I get emails from students who attended the lecture. I
> always find it flattering and amusing when they variously refer to me as
> "Dr" or "Prof": I am neither,
>

I have a standard reply to that when it comes from people who know nothing
about me:  "Neither doctor nor master nor even bachelor am I, but plain
John of New Avalon.  :-)"  New Avalon is of course more usually known as
the Big Apple.  I use that and my middle name as my Twitter username (now
long idle), @woldemar_avalon.


> About half of the people in the immediate vicinity of my office have PhDs.
>

I have four siblings and two parents with doctorates, while I myself remain
untitled (as shown above).   When I was a kid and answered the phone, and
someone asked for either Professor Cowan or Doctor Cowan, I would carefully
ask "Do you mean Professor Thomas or Professor Marianne?"   My mother
wanted me to say "Do you want my mother or my father?", but I rejected this
as below the dignity of a telephone receptionist.

A particular impedance mismatch is when someone has a PhD in a completely
> unrelated field:
>

Many people have advanced degrees in English (or another language) or
library science but also a programming background: they tend to wind up in
the digital humanities because their original fields aren't hiring.



John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan@ccil.org
I should say generally that that marriage was best auspiced, for the
achievement of happiness, which contemplated a relation between a man and a
woman in which the independence was equal, the dependence mutual, and the
obligations reciprocal.

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-08-01 17:21           ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
@ 2020-08-01 17:34             ` Thomas Paulsen
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Thomas Paulsen @ 2020-08-01 17:34 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Ken Thompson; +Cc: tuhs


> so i would drop this discussion about him, which
> draws attention to the fact, leave it ambiguous
> and just call him "dennis."

the final word on the issue. Thanks a lot Ken.
<br>_________________________________________________________________<br><strong>Gesendet mit Firemail.de - Freemail</strong>



^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-08-01 16:43         ` Dan Cross
@ 2020-08-01 17:21           ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
  2020-08-01 17:34             ` Thomas Paulsen
  2020-08-01 17:48           ` John Cowan
  1 sibling, 1 reply; 18+ messages in thread
From: Ken Thompson via TUHS @ 2020-08-01 17:21 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Dan Cross; +Cc: The Unix Heritage Society


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long story:

i have a friend with a phd in computer science.
his wife has a phd in chaucer.

i was having lunch with them when they were
opening a bank account and were discussing
what was to go on the checks.

she wanted "dr & dr X", he said he would let
her have her "dr", but insisted on "joe" -
she hit the ceiling, "dr & joe X" wouldn't do.
they both were very mad and "decided" on "dr
and mr X."

i am not sure what they put on the checks, but
the best part of the story is when they left.
they stomped out of the diner, very angry,
and bumped into someone coming in. the guy
coming in said "watch out asshole" and joe
replied without hesitation "that's dr asshole
to you."

another friend, this time by name, bob (h) morris,
would call me "boy" because he and i were the
only non-phds within several floors at the labs.

so, about dennis. he was always ambiguous about
the title. from that, i gather that, since he
put the time in, he wanted people to think he
had a phd. but he never used the title because
of the stigma around bell labs in so doing.

so i would drop this discussion about him, which
draws attention to the fact, leave it ambiguous
and just call him "dennis."

On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 9:44 AM Dan Cross <crossd@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 11:09 AM John P. Linderman <jpl.jpl@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> The use of honorifics was subtly discouraged at the Labs. I never saw a
>> policy statement, but nobody I knew used "Dr" (except those in the medical
>> department), even though the place was crawling with doctoral degrees.
>>
>
> My officemate has a PhD and told me a funny story. Someone (not him) from
> his program graduated and shortly thereafter flew somewhere. Realizing that
> they could put "Dr" as an honorific when booking their flight, this person
> did so. Shortly after take-off, a flight attendant approached the
> newly-minted PhD and said something along the lines of, "Uh, Doctor? We
> have a passenger we think may be having a heart attack..." This person had
> to quickly explain that they were not "that kind of doctor" but rather "the
> other kind." The nonplussed flight attendant advised this person not to use
> "Dr" as a title when booking future flights. As an aside, I have a close
> friend who is a medical doctor and she's been on _five_ separate flights
> where the flight attendants have asked for medical assistance from
> qualified passengers: usually it's a heart-attack or an allergic reaction.
> As a result, she now prescribes herself an epi pen and keeps it in her bag.
>
> I think there are times when titles are contextually appropriate: perhaps
> on the byline of a paper, in accordance with the editorial guidelines of a
> publication or conference proceedings or something, or perhaps when
> teaching a class in an academic setting. Occasionally I teach a session of
> a graduate course somewhere or another; less occasionally I get emails from
> students who attended the lecture. I always find it flattering and amusing
> when they variously refer to me as "Dr" or "Prof": I am neither, though I
> understand that in academic settings that's simply the norm.
>
> About half of the people in the immediate vicinity of my office have PhDs.
> When my kids have come to visit, I try to use titles and last names.
> Sometimes this gets them confused, "why did I have to call that person Dr
> So-and-so but you call her Lucy?" "Because you're six and I'm her
> colleague." But otherwise everyone is on a first-name basis; if a PhD tried
> to assert use of their title outside of some context where it's explicitly
> relevant, I don't imagine it would go well and that person would likely not
> remain in their position long due to a cultural mismatch.
>
> A particular impedance mismatch is when someone has a PhD in a completely
> unrelated field: It's not unheard of for someone with a degree in the
> humanities to work in software. I once briefly met someone who had worked
> on MVS as a systems programmer, but who had a PhD in study of the Japanese
> language. I doubt he insisted on being called "Doctor" at work.
>
>         - Dan C.
>
> On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 10:14 AM Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Sat, Aug 01, 2020 at 09:14:36AM +0200, markus schnalke wrote:
>>> > Hoi.
>>> >
>>> > [2020-07-30 20:30] Dan Cross <crossd@gmail.com>
>>> > >
>>> > > I understood from Mike Anshel that he was rather proud of this, [...]
>>> >
>>> > I once read that someone is famous when people omit the titles,
>>> > because they add nothing to the name, but rather would smaller it.
>>> > A good example is Albert Einstein. Who cares what titles he has.
>>> >
>>> > Another is Dennis Ritchie. What does it matter what degrees, titles,
>>> > whatever he has? -- He's already a genius!
>>>
>>> My dad wasn't famous, but he had a PhD in physics.  He never asked people
>>> to call him Dr McVoy.  As we grew up and realized he could be called that
>>> we asked him why not.  He said it sounds fancy, the only time he used it
>>> was when he wanted a table at a crowded restaurant (which was very rare,
>>> Madison didn't pay him very well).
>>>
>>> Somehow that stuck with me and I've always been sort of wary of people
>>> who use their title.  The people I admire never did.
>>>
>>> Someone on the list said that they thought Dennis wouldn't appreciate
>>> it if we got his PhD official.  I couldn't put my finger on it at the
>>> time, but I agreed.  And I think it is because the people who are really
>>> great don't need or want the fancy title.  I may be over thinking it,
>>> but Dennis does not need the title, it does nothing to make his legacy
>>> better, his legacy is way way more than that title.
>>>
>>> Which is a long ramble to say I agree with Markus.
>>>
>>

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's dissertation
@ 2020-08-01 16:44 Doug McIlroy
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Doug McIlroy @ 2020-08-01 16:44 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

> The use of honorifics was subtly discouraged at the Labs. I never saw a
policy statement, but nobody I knew used "Dr" (except those in the medical
department)

With the sole exception of the president's office, secretaries were
instructed not to say "Dr so-and-so's office" when they picked up an
unanswered phone call. (When that happened you could be sure that
the party you were calling was genuinely unavailable. Part of the
AT&T ethos--now abandoned--was that everybody, right up to the
president, answered their own phones.)

Doug

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-08-01 15:08       ` John P. Linderman
@ 2020-08-01 16:43         ` Dan Cross
  2020-08-01 17:21           ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
  2020-08-01 17:48           ` John Cowan
  2020-08-01 20:24         ` John Gilmore
  1 sibling, 2 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Dan Cross @ 2020-08-01 16:43 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: John P. Linderman; +Cc: The Unix Heritage Society


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On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 11:09 AM John P. Linderman <jpl.jpl@gmail.com> wrote:

> The use of honorifics was subtly discouraged at the Labs. I never saw a
> policy statement, but nobody I knew used "Dr" (except those in the medical
> department), even though the place was crawling with doctoral degrees.
>

My officemate has a PhD and told me a funny story. Someone (not him) from
his program graduated and shortly thereafter flew somewhere. Realizing that
they could put "Dr" as an honorific when booking their flight, this person
did so. Shortly after take-off, a flight attendant approached the
newly-minted PhD and said something along the lines of, "Uh, Doctor? We
have a passenger we think may be having a heart attack..." This person had
to quickly explain that they were not "that kind of doctor" but rather "the
other kind." The nonplussed flight attendant advised this person not to use
"Dr" as a title when booking future flights. As an aside, I have a close
friend who is a medical doctor and she's been on _five_ separate flights
where the flight attendants have asked for medical assistance from
qualified passengers: usually it's a heart-attack or an allergic reaction.
As a result, she now prescribes herself an epi pen and keeps it in her bag.

I think there are times when titles are contextually appropriate: perhaps
on the byline of a paper, in accordance with the editorial guidelines of a
publication or conference proceedings or something, or perhaps when
teaching a class in an academic setting. Occasionally I teach a session of
a graduate course somewhere or another; less occasionally I get emails from
students who attended the lecture. I always find it flattering and amusing
when they variously refer to me as "Dr" or "Prof": I am neither, though I
understand that in academic settings that's simply the norm.

About half of the people in the immediate vicinity of my office have PhDs.
When my kids have come to visit, I try to use titles and last names.
Sometimes this gets them confused, "why did I have to call that person Dr
So-and-so but you call her Lucy?" "Because you're six and I'm her
colleague." But otherwise everyone is on a first-name basis; if a PhD tried
to assert use of their title outside of some context where it's explicitly
relevant, I don't imagine it would go well and that person would likely not
remain in their position long due to a cultural mismatch.

A particular impedance mismatch is when someone has a PhD in a completely
unrelated field: It's not unheard of for someone with a degree in the
humanities to work in software. I once briefly met someone who had worked
on MVS as a systems programmer, but who had a PhD in study of the Japanese
language. I doubt he insisted on being called "Doctor" at work.

        - Dan C.

On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 10:14 AM Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, Aug 01, 2020 at 09:14:36AM +0200, markus schnalke wrote:
>> > Hoi.
>> >
>> > [2020-07-30 20:30] Dan Cross <crossd@gmail.com>
>> > >
>> > > I understood from Mike Anshel that he was rather proud of this, [...]
>> >
>> > I once read that someone is famous when people omit the titles,
>> > because they add nothing to the name, but rather would smaller it.
>> > A good example is Albert Einstein. Who cares what titles he has.
>> >
>> > Another is Dennis Ritchie. What does it matter what degrees, titles,
>> > whatever he has? -- He's already a genius!
>>
>> My dad wasn't famous, but he had a PhD in physics.  He never asked people
>> to call him Dr McVoy.  As we grew up and realized he could be called that
>> we asked him why not.  He said it sounds fancy, the only time he used it
>> was when he wanted a table at a crowded restaurant (which was very rare,
>> Madison didn't pay him very well).
>>
>> Somehow that stuck with me and I've always been sort of wary of people
>> who use their title.  The people I admire never did.
>>
>> Someone on the list said that they thought Dennis wouldn't appreciate
>> it if we got his PhD official.  I couldn't put my finger on it at the
>> time, but I agreed.  And I think it is because the people who are really
>> great don't need or want the fancy title.  I may be over thinking it,
>> but Dennis does not need the title, it does nothing to make his legacy
>> better, his legacy is way way more than that title.
>>
>> Which is a long ramble to say I agree with Markus.
>>
>

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-08-01 14:13     ` Larry McVoy
@ 2020-08-01 15:08       ` John P. Linderman
  2020-08-01 16:43         ` Dan Cross
  2020-08-01 20:24         ` John Gilmore
  0 siblings, 2 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: John P. Linderman @ 2020-08-01 15:08 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Larry McVoy; +Cc: The Unix Heritage Society


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The use of honorifics was subtly discouraged at the Labs. I never saw a
policy statement, but nobody I knew used "Dr" (except those in the medical
department), even though the place was crawling with doctoral degrees.

On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 10:14 AM Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Aug 01, 2020 at 09:14:36AM +0200, markus schnalke wrote:
> > Hoi.
> >
> > [2020-07-30 20:30] Dan Cross <crossd@gmail.com>
> > >
> > > I understood from Mike Anshel that he was rather proud of this, [...]
> >
> > I once read that someone is famous when people omit the titles,
> > because they add nothing to the name, but rather would smaller it.
> > A good example is Albert Einstein. Who cares what titles he has.
> >
> > Another is Dennis Ritchie. What does it matter what degrees, titles,
> > whatever he has? -- He's already a genius!
>
> My dad wasn't famous, but he had a PhD in physics.  He never asked people
> to call him Dr McVoy.  As we grew up and realized he could be called that
> we asked him why not.  He said it sounds fancy, the only time he used it
> was when he wanted a table at a crowded restaurant (which was very rare,
> Madison didn't pay him very well).
>
> Somehow that stuck with me and I've always been sort of wary of people
> who use their title.  The people I admire never did.
>
> Someone on the list said that they thought Dennis wouldn't appreciate
> it if we got his PhD official.  I couldn't put my finger on it at the
> time, but I agreed.  And I think it is because the people who are really
> great don't need or want the fancy title.  I may be over thinking it,
> but Dennis does not need the title, it does nothing to make his legacy
> better, his legacy is way way more than that title.
>
> Which is a long ramble to say I agree with Markus.
>

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-08-01  7:14   ` markus schnalke
@ 2020-08-01 14:13     ` Larry McVoy
  2020-08-01 15:08       ` John P. Linderman
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 18+ messages in thread
From: Larry McVoy @ 2020-08-01 14:13 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: markus schnalke; +Cc: tuhs

On Sat, Aug 01, 2020 at 09:14:36AM +0200, markus schnalke wrote:
> Hoi.
> 
> [2020-07-30 20:30] Dan Cross <crossd@gmail.com>
> >
> > I understood from Mike Anshel that he was rather proud of this, [...]
> 
> I once read that someone is famous when people omit the titles,
> because they add nothing to the name, but rather would smaller it.
> A good example is Albert Einstein. Who cares what titles he has.
> 
> Another is Dennis Ritchie. What does it matter what degrees, titles,
> whatever he has? -- He's already a genius!

My dad wasn't famous, but he had a PhD in physics.  He never asked people
to call him Dr McVoy.  As we grew up and realized he could be called that
we asked him why not.  He said it sounds fancy, the only time he used it
was when he wanted a table at a crowded restaurant (which was very rare,
Madison didn't pay him very well).

Somehow that stuck with me and I've always been sort of wary of people
who use their title.  The people I admire never did.

Someone on the list said that they thought Dennis wouldn't appreciate
it if we got his PhD official.  I couldn't put my finger on it at the
time, but I agreed.  And I think it is because the people who are really
great don't need or want the fancy title.  I may be over thinking it,
but Dennis does not need the title, it does nothing to make his legacy
better, his legacy is way way more than that title.

Which is a long ramble to say I agree with Markus.

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-07-31  0:30 ` Dan Cross
  2020-07-31  0:36   ` Rich Morin
@ 2020-08-01  7:14   ` markus schnalke
  2020-08-01 14:13     ` Larry McVoy
  1 sibling, 1 reply; 18+ messages in thread
From: markus schnalke @ 2020-08-01  7:14 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

Hoi.

[2020-07-30 20:30] Dan Cross <crossd@gmail.com>
>
> I understood from Mike Anshel that he was rather proud of this, [...]

I once read that someone is famous when people omit the titles,
because they add nothing to the name, but rather would smaller it.
A good example is Albert Einstein. Who cares what titles he has.

Another is Dennis Ritchie. What does it matter what degrees, titles,
whatever he has? -- He's already a genius!


meillo

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
@ 2020-07-31 12:56 Doug McIlroy
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Doug McIlroy @ 2020-07-31 12:56 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

> "My graduate school experience convinced me that I was not smart enough to
> be an expert in the theory of algorithms and also that I liked procedural
> languages better than functional ones."
> 
> Amen to that.  Me too, I tried functional languages and my head hurt.  C
> seems so natural to me.

Dennis made quite a generalization from a sample of one--Lisp,
the only functional language that existed when he was in grad
school. I'm sure he'd agree today that functional languages
shine for spplications rooted in algebraic domains. I
immodestly point to www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~doug/powser.html,
which has nothing to do with Unix, but certainly would have
appealed to Dennis.

Doug

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-07-31  0:35 ` Larry McVoy
@ 2020-07-31  0:54   ` John Cowan
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: John Cowan @ 2020-07-31  0:54 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Larry McVoy; +Cc: Kirk McKusick, TUHS main list


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On Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 8:36 PM Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com> wrote:

Amen to that.  Me too, I tried functional languages and my head hurt.  C
> seems so natural to me.
>

IMO impure functional languages like Common Lisp, ML, Scheme, and the
somewhat ironically named Pure language are straightforward extensions of
imperative programming: you can make your code less imperative without
being completely deprived of it.  All of these are tail-recursive (formally
CL is not, but most implementations are) which means that recursive loops
become non-recursive gotos, and for/do-loops wind up being pure without you
noticing.



John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan@ccil.org
If a traveler were informed that such a man [as Lord John Russell] was
leader of the House of Commons, he may well begin to comprehend how the
Egyptians worshiped an insect.  --Benjamin Disraeli

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-07-31  0:30 ` Dan Cross
@ 2020-07-31  0:36   ` Rich Morin
  2020-08-01  7:14   ` markus schnalke
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Rich Morin @ 2020-07-31  0:36 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: TUHS main list

It seems odd to me that nobody seems to have given him an honorary PhD.
Perhaps offers were made, but declined?

-r


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-07-31  0:03 Kirk McKusick
  2020-07-31  0:26 ` Royce Williams
  2020-07-31  0:30 ` Dan Cross
@ 2020-07-31  0:35 ` Larry McVoy
  2020-07-31  0:54   ` John Cowan
  2 siblings, 1 reply; 18+ messages in thread
From: Larry McVoy @ 2020-07-31  0:35 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Kirk McKusick; +Cc: tuhs

"My graduate school experience convinced me that I was not smart enough to
be an expert in the theory of algorithms and also that I liked procedural
languages better than functional ones."

Amen to that.  Me too, I tried functional languages and my head hurt.  C
seems so natural to me.

On Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 05:03:24PM -0700, Kirk McKusick wrote:
> The Computer History Museum has an interesting blog post about
> Dennis Ritchie's lost dissertation:
> 
> https://computerhistory.org/blog/discovering-dennis-ritchies-lost-dissertation/
> 
> Interesting fact is that Dennis never received his PhD because he failed
> to provide a bound copy of his dissertation to the Harvard library.
> 
> 	Kirk McKusick

-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-07-31  0:03 Kirk McKusick
  2020-07-31  0:26 ` Royce Williams
@ 2020-07-31  0:30 ` Dan Cross
  2020-07-31  0:36   ` Rich Morin
  2020-08-01  7:14   ` markus schnalke
  2020-07-31  0:35 ` Larry McVoy
  2 siblings, 2 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Dan Cross @ 2020-07-31  0:30 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Kirk McKusick; +Cc: TUHS main list


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I understood from Mike Anshel that he was rather proud of this, though of
course I never asked Dennis myself.
I wonder if Harvard would posthumously enter it in the books if someone
dropped off a bound copy now?
I imagine somehow Dennis wouldn't appreciate that.

On Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 8:23 PM Kirk McKusick <mckusick@mckusick.com> wrote:

> The Computer History Museum has an interesting blog post about
> Dennis Ritchie's lost dissertation:
>
>
> https://computerhistory.org/blog/discovering-dennis-ritchies-lost-dissertation/
>
> Interesting fact is that Dennis never received his PhD because he failed
> to provide a bound copy of his dissertation to the Harvard library.
>
>         Kirk McKusick
>

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
  2020-07-31  0:03 Kirk McKusick
@ 2020-07-31  0:26 ` Royce Williams
  2020-07-31  0:30 ` Dan Cross
  2020-07-31  0:35 ` Larry McVoy
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Royce Williams @ 2020-07-31  0:26 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs


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On Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 4:23 PM Kirk McKusick <mckusick@mckusick.com> wrote:

> The Computer History Museum has an interesting blog post about
> Dennis Ritchie's lost dissertation:
>
>
> https://computerhistory.org/blog/discovering-dennis-ritchies-lost-dissertation/
>
> Interesting fact is that Dennis never received his PhD because he failed
> to provide a bound copy of his dissertation to the Harvard library.


It would seem fitting to try to get this posthumously corrected.

If we provided said bound copy, does anyone have any Harvard contacts that
could facilitate?

Royce

-- 
Royce Williams
Tech Solvency

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation
@ 2020-07-31  0:03 Kirk McKusick
  2020-07-31  0:26 ` Royce Williams
                   ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 18+ messages in thread
From: Kirk McKusick @ 2020-07-31  0:03 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

The Computer History Museum has an interesting blog post about
Dennis Ritchie's lost dissertation:

https://computerhistory.org/blog/discovering-dennis-ritchies-lost-dissertation/

Interesting fact is that Dennis never received his PhD because he failed
to provide a bound copy of his dissertation to the Harvard library.

	Kirk McKusick

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 18+ messages in thread

end of thread, back to index

Thread overview: 18+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2020-08-01 21:24 [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation Norman Wilson
2020-08-01 22:00 ` [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation [ really PhD's at BTL ] Jon Steinhart
  -- strict thread matches above, loose matches on Subject: below --
2020-08-01 16:44 [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's dissertation Doug McIlroy
2020-07-31 12:56 [TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation Doug McIlroy
2020-07-31  0:03 Kirk McKusick
2020-07-31  0:26 ` Royce Williams
2020-07-31  0:30 ` Dan Cross
2020-07-31  0:36   ` Rich Morin
2020-08-01  7:14   ` markus schnalke
2020-08-01 14:13     ` Larry McVoy
2020-08-01 15:08       ` John P. Linderman
2020-08-01 16:43         ` Dan Cross
2020-08-01 17:21           ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
2020-08-01 17:34             ` Thomas Paulsen
2020-08-01 17:48           ` John Cowan
2020-08-01 20:24         ` John Gilmore
2020-07-31  0:35 ` Larry McVoy
2020-07-31  0:54   ` John Cowan

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