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My original research area was theoretical computer science, with a focus on automata and formal languages. I was later a member of the team that built Mothra, a pioneering software testing system based on the idea of program mutation.
For the last twenty years, my specialty has been programming languages. I have written three books about languages: C Programming: A Modern Approach, Java Programming: From the Beginning, and Modula-2: A Complete Guide. The first edition of C Programming: A Modern Approach, published in 1996, went through 17 printings before being replaced by the second edition in 2008. C Programming: A Modern Approach is widely used by universities in North America and abroad and has been translated into Chinese and Italian.
I also have a strong interest in computer science education. My 1997 paper, "The Case for Java as a First Language," was one of the first to argue that Java should become the primary language for teaching introductory programming. In 2008, I obtained funding from the Institute for Personal Robots in Education to introduce personal robots into CSc 2010 (Introduction to Computer Science), a project that is now well underway.
K. N. King, The case for Java as a first language, Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Southeast Conference (April 1997), 124–131.
K. N. King, Java Programming: From the Beginning, W. W. Norton, 2000.
K. N. King, C Programming: A Modern Approach, Second Edition, W. W. Norton, 2008.
S. Markham and K. N. King, Using personal robots in CS1: experiences, outcomes, and attitudinal influences, Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (June 2010).