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Malcolm Douglas McIlroy
Douglas McIlroy.jpeg
McIlroy at the Japan Prize Foundation in 2011
Born 1932 (age 89–90)
Alma mater Cornell University (B.S., 1954)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1959)
Scientific career
Fields computer science, mathematics, engineering
Thesis On the Solution of the Differential Equations of Conical Shells (1959)

Malcolm Douglas McIlroy is an American mathematician, engineer, and programmer. He is famous for inventing the pipeline used in the UNIX computer operating system , the principles of component-based software engineering and several original UNIX utilities: spell, diff, sort, join, speak, and tr.


Douglas McIlroy went to school and earned a Bachelor's degree in engineering physics from Cornell University in 1954 and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959. In 1958, he joined Bell Labs. From 1965 to 1986, he was Head of Computer Research at Bell Labs. The UNIX operating system was invented in Bell Labs. In 1997, McIlroy retired from Bell Labs and wen to work as an Adjunct Professor at Dartmouth College's Computer Science Department.

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