Paris, January 25, 2011 – Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that Dr. Dennis Ritchie, Ph.D., Bell Labs Fellow and Distinguished Member of Technical Staff Emeritus, Bell Labs, and Dr. Kenneth Thompson, Ph.D., Bell Labs Fellow and now Distinguished Engineer, Google Inc., were honored with the 2011 Japan Prize in information and communications.

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Since 1985, the Japan Prize has been awarded by the Japan Prize Foundation annually to scientists and researchers who have made substantial contributions to the fields science and technology and to the world.

Ritchie and Thompson received this honor for developing the UNIX® operating system and the C programming language for use on UNIX, significantly advancing computer software, hardware and networks over the past four decades, and facilitating the realization of the Internet.  

Much of the progress of computer hardware, software, and networks during the past quarter century can be traced to Ritchie and Thompson.

UNIX, created in 1969 while both were researchers at Bell Labs, is the operating system of most large Internet servers, businesses and universities, and a major part of academic and industrial research in operating systems. The C programming language is prized for its efficiency, and has since spread to many other operating systems, becoming one of the most widely-used programming languages for both system software and applications. UNIX was also a driving force behind the development of the Internet and a later edition led to the advent of an “open source” culture.

“Dennis and Ken changed the way people used, thought and learned about computers and computer science,” said Jeong Kim, President, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. “The UNIX system and the C programming language have revolutionized computing and communications, making open systems possible.”

Both Ritchie and Thompson have won numerous awards for their work, including the U.S. National Medal of Technology, the Association for Computing Machinery Turing Award, the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal, and the IEEE Emanuel Piore Award, and both have been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

The 2011 Japan Prize laureates will each receive a certificate of recognition and a commemorative gold medal at an award ceremony on April 20, 2011 during Japan Prize Week in Tokyo.

About The Japan Prize Foundation

Since inception in 1985, the Japan Prize Foundation has maintained the goal of promoting the advancement of science and technology for the peace and prosperity of mankind.  The Foundation awards the Japan Prize annually to scientists and researchers in two categories who, regardless of nationality, made substantial contributions to their field and to the world.  The Japan Prize has been awarded to 70 people from 13 countries. In addition to awarding the Japan Prize, which is endorsed by the Japanese government, the Foundation has been hosting "Easy-to-Understand Science and Technology" seminars and awarding research grants to help nurture young scientists and further promote the advancement of science and technology throughout the world. For additional details about the Japan Prize Foundation and its activities, please visit

About Alcatel-Lucent
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted transformation partner of service providers, enterprises, strategic industries such as defense, energy, healthcare, transportation, and governments worldwide, providing solutions to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP and optics technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent leverages the unrivalled technical and scientific expertise of Bell Labs, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications industry. With operations in more than 130 countries and the most experienced global services organization in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with a global reach. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 15.2 billion in 2009 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet:, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog and follow us on Twitter:

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