50 Years of Computer Science culminates in an original book about operating systems

By Victoria Sandmeyer, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

kc_new_500(1)Dr. KC Wang received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1965. It was at that point he decided to study Computer Science. KC explains, “I realized in the late 60’s that computers were the future and began to shift my study in that direction.”

KC began teaching at WSU in 1970 in both EE and CS and continued after the schools merged to become EECS. “KC teaches the really hard classes” says Scott Hanson, EECS Research Operations Manager, “The classes that serious employers like Microsoft want to see on your resume”. KC has intensely studied and taught computer science for the last 50 years.  He has acquired a level of knowledge in this area that only a few in the world can claim.  Having written a complete operating system from scratch entirely by himself he is now coming out with a book that provides a detailed platform for teaching and learning the theory and practice of operating systems.

KC’s new book, Design and Implementation of the MTX Operating System is scheduled to print this fall. It provides a comprehensive explanation of the theoretical and practical aspects of operating systems, and describes the design and implementation of a real operating system in detail. It is intended for computer science students and computer professionals who wish to study the internal details of operating systems. Its inclusion of detailed example code and complete working sample systems make it suitable as a textbook for technically oriented operating systems courses in a Computer Science/Engineering curriculum as well as for self-study by computer enthusiasts.  KC explains: “The book contains a lot of original material that you will not find anywhere else, especially on the design and use of parallel algorithms in SMP to improve the concurrency and efficiency in Symmetric Multiprocessor systems.” Click here for a full list of unique features.

When asked what his advice is to students in the serious pursuit of computer science, KC replies, “It is important that one’s primary focus be on gaining real knowledge. Students must not be distracted by the mercenary concerns of a career in place of the pursuit of real knowledge, otherwise, it will be impossible to adapt to the rapidly changing field.” He goes on to discuss the danger of near- sidedness and explains, “Becoming too narrow in a field is dangerous. Technology is evolving and CHANGING fast, especially in the area of computing.  To be trained in a very narrow and specialized area is undesirable because it may be phased out and disappear very soon. Without a solid and broad background, one cannot adapt to the changing world.”  At the end of the conversation I asked KC why he continues to study computer science after fifty years, he replied, “I still have a lot to learn. Learning is never ending”.