Philip Emeagwali Lecture 180912
Why is Philip Emeagwali Famous? - A Black Mathematician's Contributions to Mathematics
Why is Philip Emeagwali Famous?
of a new supercomputer
put me in the news headlines
and in the June 20, 1990 issue
of the Wall Street Journal.
I was the cover story
of the June 1990 issue
of the SIAM News.
The SIAM News
is the top mathematics publication
and is published by
the Society of Industrial
and Applied Mathematics.
The cover stories in the SIAM News
report new inventions in mathematics
and they are written by
and written for research mathematicians.
In the cover story of the SIAM News
of June 1990,
it was reported that I—Philip Emeagwali—
had mathematically invented
how to solve the toughest problems
arising in modern calculus
and arising in extreme-scale algebra
and invented how to solve them across
a new ensemble of 65,536
commonly available processors.
how to use that new supercomputer
to solve many problems at once
and to solve the largest-scaled problems
arising in modern algebra.
6.1.6 Contributions of Philip Emeagwali to Physics
On the Fourth of July 1989,
the state-of-the-art of that toughest problem in modern algebra
was a system of 24 million equations
that arose from
my finite difference discretizations
of a system of partial differential equations
that I invented
that mathematically encoded
a set of laws of physics
the subterranean motions of crude oil, injected water, and natural gas
that flows one mile-deep
underneath the surface of the Earth
and that flows from water injection wells
crude oil and natural gas production wells.
I visualized my new instrument
of computational physics
as a new internet
that I defined
as my new global network
of 65,536 tightly-coupled
with each processor
operating its own operating system
and with each processor
having its own dedicated memory
that shared nothing with each other.
I visualized my new internet
as a new instrument
the most extreme-scaled
problems arising in algebra
and for solving them
as one seamless, cohesive unit
that is a new supercomputer de facto.
The defining feature
of my invention
of that new internet
was that the new technology
enabled me to compute synchronously
and to communicate automatically
and to do so via emails
that I sent to and received from
sixteen-bit long email addresses.
Each of my 64 binary thousand
had no @ sign or dot com suffix.
6.1.7 Sometimes, the Impossible is Possible
Back in 1989,
no author of any mathematics textbook
understood the concept of
solving many problems at once,
or in parallel.
Back in 1989,
was the spokesman
for the supercomputer community.
If Seymour Cray’s granddaughter
came to him for help
with her homework assignment
on how to solve
many mathematical problems at once,
would not have been able
to help her
to solve her problem in parallel.
The reason was that Seymour Cray
ardently believed that
the supercomputer technology
that I invented
that enables parallel processing across
my ensemble of 65,536
was impossible and science fiction.
53.3.2 Supercomputing the Motions of a Tennis Ball
I discovered that I recuperated faster
when I played tennis
in the late afternoon.
And that I recuperated slower
when I did not play tennis
watched television in the evening.
In the late 1970s,
I recuperated with three to five sets
of tennis games
at the Banneker Recreation Center
that was named after
and that was across the street
from and between
the School of Engineering
of Howard University
and Benjamin Banneker High School,
was the prominent
black American mathematician
of Senegalese ancestry.
was extolled as a “scientific genius”
by both Thomas Jefferson
and the French Academy of Sciences.
was on a US postage stamp
and is the subject of school reports.
famously and politely challenged Thomas Jefferson
by famously writing that:
“The colour of the skin
is in no way connected
with strength of the mind
or intellectual powers.”
In the summer of 1977,
I was twenty-two years old
and hanging around
Charles Drew dormitory
of Howard University,
Washington, D.C., and doing so
without realizing that
53.3.3 Crossing Paths With Benjamin Banneker
It seems surreal
and a strange coincidence
that I followed the footsteps
of Benjamin Banneker
even though he was born
two decades, and three years
before I was born.