What is Philip Emeagwali Famous For? | Black Inventors and their Inventions | African History


TIME magazine called him
“the unsung hero behind the Internet.” CNN called him “A Father of the Internet.”
President Bill Clinton called him “one of the great minds of the Information
Age.” He has been voted history’s greatest scientist
of African descent. He is Philip Emeagwali.
He is coming to Trinidad and Tobago to launch the 2008 Kwame Ture lecture series
on Sunday June 8 at the JFK [John F. Kennedy] auditorium
UWI [The University of the West Indies] Saint Augustine 5 p.m.
The Emancipation Support Committee invites you to come and hear this inspirational
mind address the theme:
“Crossing New Frontiers to Conquer Today’s Challenges.”
This lecture is one you cannot afford to miss. Admission is free.
So be there on Sunday June 8 5 p.m.
at the JFK auditorium UWI St. Augustine. [Wild applause and cheering for 22 seconds] [Why is Philip Emeagwali Famous?] [Why is Philip Emeagwali Important to the
World of Computers?] Why is Philip Emeagwali famous? Why is Philip Emeagwali
important to the world of computers? In 1989, I was in the news
as the African Supercomputer Genius that won top U.S. Prize.
I was in the news because I discovered how to produce
the world’s fastest supercomputers and how to manufacture them
from a large ensemble of the world’s slowest processors
that were identical to each other that were equal distances apart
from each other and that shared nothing
between each other. That discovery
from my parallel supercomputing experiment of July 4, 1989
is the foundation of the modern supercomputer
that now computes and communicates in parallel.
That discovery of practical parallel supercomputing
added a new pillar for the never-ending quest
for faster and fastest supercomputers. I discovered practical parallel supercomputing
as the new technology that will underpin
future computers and supercomputers. To stand at the farthest frontier
of supercomputer knowledge was a surreal feeling
that gave me goosebumps. On my Eureka moment
of 8:15 in the morning of the Fourth of July 1989
in Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States,
I saw for the first time a never-before-seen supercomputer.
That virtual supercomputer was beyond the computer
and is not a computer per se. It is a new internet de facto. [Why is Philip Emeagwali Important to the
World of Mathematics?] Why is Philip Emeagwali important
to the world of mathematics? Studying mathematics
and understanding the partial differential equation
will not make the cover story of the top mathematics publications.
I invented a new system of partial differential equations
that was the cover story of the May 1990 issue
of the SIAM News, the top publication
in research mathematics. Abstract calculus and large-scale algebra
were at the mathematical physics core of my supercomputer invention.
My contribution to modern mathematical knowledge
and extreme-scale computational physics is this: I constructed algebraic algorithms
that I used to derive a new system
of finite difference equations of algebra
that approximated, at finite places, my new partial differential equations
of calculus that were defined at infinite places
and, therefore, required infinite calculations
to solve it’s associated initial-boundary value problem exactly. What made the news headlines
was that I—Philip Emeagwali—discovered how to crank up my computations
and email communications and do so by sixteen levels
and by computing and communicating their answers across a new internet
and doing so simultaneously within two-raised-to-power sixteen,
or 64 binary thousand, central processing units,
or within as many computers. Since 1989, I gave lectures
in which I explained the details of how I discovered
the world’s fastest supercomputer. Those lectures were videotaped
and posted at emeagwali dot com. Please allow me to present
a one-minute version of the new mathematical core
of my two hundred hour lecture series on my contributions
to the development of the computer.
In the 1980s, I invented complex email communication primitives—each
consisting of a pair of five-subject line
and three-subject line emails. Each email was addressed to 65,536,
or two-raised-to-power sixteen, sixteen-bit long email addresses.
Each email contained a computational fluid dynamics code
that each solves an initial-boundary value problem
of calculus and their initial and boundary conditions.
Each email was simultaneously delivered at ferocious speeds
and synchronously delivered across some of my sixteen times
two-raised-to-power sixteen, or 1,048,576,
bi-directional email wires. Those email wires
had a one-edge to one-wire correspondence to the as many bi-directional edges
of the cube in an imaginary
sixteen-dimensional universe. The end result
was that I discovered how 65,536 central processing units
can emulate a giant, seamless, cohesive
central processing unit that is 65,536 times more powerful
than one original CPU. I visualized setting up all 65,536
initial-boundary value problems that mathematically defined
the Grand Challenge Problem and setting them up
like ducks in a shooting gallery. My quest was to discover
how to topple those ducks over and like a domino.
Because I did not invent practical parallel supercomputing
in prose, some knowledge of that technology
is lost as I translated my new knowledge
into a scientific report that is further reduced to
a school inventor report of the 12-year-old. In retrospect, the laws of motion
of physics were discovered three centuries
and three decades ago. The technique of calculus
was also invented three centuries and three decades ago.
The partial differential equation of calculus was invented
a century and half ago. The partial differential equation
is the recurring decimal in computational physics,
such as extreme-scale, high-fidelity petroleum reservoir simulation
that is used to extract crude oil and natural gas
and such as long-term general circulation modeling
that is used to predict global warming. [Wild applause and cheering for 17 seconds] Insightful and brilliant lecture

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