Emeagwali: “I Discovered How to Solve the Toughest Algebra Problems Across a Million Processors”

Emeagwali: “I Discovered How to Solve the Toughest Algebra Problems Across a Million Processors”


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] [Father of Large-Scale Algebra] Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m Philip Emeagwali. The need to calculate
is as old as humanity. The need to compute
existed because it is central to human existence.
The Latin equivalence of the word “computer”
was first used in print two thousand years ago.
The word “computer” was first used by the Roman author
Pliny the Elder. The word “supercomputer”
was coined in 1967. I believe that our children’s children
will coin a new word for their supercomputers.
I believe that our children’s children will invent supercomputers
that are science fiction to us. [Contributions of Philip Emeagwali to Algebra] The discovery and recovery
of every single barrel of oil from any oilfield
in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria must be preceded
by the massively parallel processed solution of the toughest problem
in extreme-scale algebra. For the fifteen years, inclusive
of from the 20th of June of 1974 that I was in Corvallis, Oregon, United States
through the Fourth of July 1989 in Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States,
I conducted my supercomputer research, and did so from speeds of
one million instructions per second in Oregon
to billions upon billions of floating-point arithmetical calculations
that I executed across a new internet
that is outlined and defined by a new global network of
two-raised-to-power sixteen tightly-coupled processors
that are commonly available in the market.
Each of those 64 binary thousand commodity processors
operated its own operating system. Each of those 65,536 processors
has its own dedicated memory that shares nothing with each other.
I was in the news in 1989 because I invented
how to solve the most computation-intensive problems
arising in large-scale algebraic computations.
Such problems arose from discretizing partial differential equations
that, in turn, arose from physics-based supercomputer simulations
of the motions of fluids that flow below the surface of the Earth,
such as the mile-deep crude oil, injected water, and natural gas
in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria; and from supercomputer simulations
of the motions of fluids that flow on the surface of the Earth,
such as the River Niger, Lake Chad, and the Atlantic ocean;
and from supercomputer simulations of the motions of fluids
that flow above the surface of the Earth, such as atmospheric rivers
that are defined as bands of moisture in the sky
that can discharge as much water as many land rivers.
Following my invention of the massively parallel processing supercomputer
that occurred on the Fourth of July 1989,
and that occurred in Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States,
the top publications in petroleum engineering and mathematics credited
I—Philip Emeagwali— with the invention
of how to solve the toughest problems arising in extreme-scale algebra
that must be solved as a pre-condition for discovering
and recovering otherwise elusive
crude oil and natural gas. For fifteen years,
my supercomputer research on how to solve the toughest problems
arising in large-scale algebraic computations and how to solve them across
a new internet that is a new ensemble of 65,536
commonly-available processors that were identical
and that were equal distances apart was criticized, scorned, and rejected.
My invention of how to solve the most extreme-scale problems
arising in algebra and how to solve them across
my new internet that is a new global network of
65,536 commodity processors was only accepted
after the Fourth of July 1989, the date that I invented it.
To the non-mathematician, my mathematical invention is abstract
and impenetrable. But my contributions
to calculus and algebra made sense to the research mathematician.
For that reason, my contributions to using the modern supercomputer
to solve the toughest problems arising in calculus and algebra
was the cover stories of top mathematics publications,
such as the May 1990 issue of the SIAM News.
The SIAM News is the flagship publication
of the mathematics community. The SIAM News
is published by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
I was not on the cover of top mathematics publications
because I was good looking. I was on the cover
of top mathematics publications because I contributed
new algebraic knowledge to the existing body of knowledge
written in algebra textbooks, namely, I invented
how to solve the toughest problems arising in algebra and calculus
and invented how to solve them across my new internet
that is a new global network of processors that emulates one seamless, cohesive
new supercomputer. [Wild applause and cheering for 17 seconds] Insightful and brilliant lecture

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