“The Nine Emeagwali Equations Were Like Nine Bullets Out of My Eyes” | My Contributions to Calculus

“The Nine Emeagwali Equations Were Like Nine Bullets Out of My Eyes” | My Contributions to Calculus


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] [Bullets Out of My Eyes] At age four, along Yoruba Road
and adjacent to the Eagle Club, Sapele, Western Region,
Nigeria, British West Africa, I had my first pair of shoes.
The shoes were gifts for the Christmas of 1958.
At first, I struggled to put my feet into those shoes.
The reason was that I did not understand
that a shoe must fit a foot. My Aha Moment!
was when I discovered why the shoe for the right leg
was not fitting into my left leg. The same thing occurs in mathematics.
As a research parallel processing computational mathematician,
one of my basic premises was that each partial differential equation
of mathematical physics must be congruent
with the law of physics it encodes
and must not be contradictory to the law of physics
that it arose from. To be specific, the three physical forces—namely,
pressure, viscous, and gravitational forces—
in the partial differential equations used by the petroleum industry
and written in the calculus textbooks on porous media flows
cannot be congruent to the four physical forces—namely,
inertial, pressure, viscous, and gravitational forces—
that drove the mile-deep crude oil and natural gas
to flow across the Oloibiri Oil Field of Nigeria,
or to flow across any oilfield. It’s just as incongruent
as the sculpture of a dog with only three legs
is incongruent to the actual dog that it represents.
After correcting the 36 mathematical errors—or inventing
the 36 partial derivative terms— that were missing in production
petroleum reservoir simulators that were used
by every oil company, I continued
on a two-dimensional blackboard and finished
on 65,536 three-dimensional motherboards that simultaneously emailed messages
to places that I visualized as the 65,536 vertices of a cube
in a sixteen-dimensional hyperspace that were equidistantly distributed
across the surface of a tightly
circumscribing sphere in the same sixteen-dimensional hyperspace.
That is, I visualized my global network of 65,536 processors
in the sixteenth dimension but I actualized it
in the third dimension. Leapfrogging upwards
from the third dimension in space into the sixteenth dimension in hyperspace
leaves the non-mathematician to wonder: where did the extra thirteen dimensions come
from or go to?
On my motherboard, the extra thirteen orthogonal dimensions
were compressed into the depth, height, and width directions.
For me, Philip Emeagwali, harnessing the total computing power
of my global network of 65,536 processors
that outlined and defined my new internet was as challenging as dancing on hot coals:
a lot to learn, discover, or invent in the beginning
but in the end it became natural.
The 65,536 simultaneously sent and synchronously received
email messages were like bullets out of my eyes. [My Contributions to Calculus] The importance of computational science was
underscored in an article that was in the May 8, 1987 issue
of The Chronicle of Higher Education, the flagship newspaper
that presents news to universities. That article was written by
computer and information technology writer Judith Axler Turner.
The article was titled: [quote]
“Some Hail ‘Computational Science’ as Biggest Advance Since Newton, Galileo.”
[unquote] Three years later, my Fourth of July 1989
experimental discovery was how to use
a massively parallel processing supercomputer to solve an initial-boundary value problem
of modern calculus and extreme-scale computational physics.
I mathematically discovered how to correctly encode Isaac Newton’s
Second Law of Motion of physics
into the partial differential equation of modern calculus
that governs the multiphase flow of crude oil, injected water, and natural
gas that are flowing from
a water injection well to an crude oil and natural gas production
well. That root of that modern calculus
was co-discovered, 330 years ago, by Isaac Newton.
My experimental discovery that occurred on the Fourth of July 1989
made the news headlines as the biggest advance
in computational mathematics and in computational physics.
One year after my experimental discovery and in the June 27, 1990 issue
of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Judith Axler Turner
wrote that I [quote]
“took on an enormously difficult problem. …solved it alone,
has won computation’s top prize, captured in the past
only by seasoned research teams.” [unquote] [Wild applause and cheering for 17 seconds] Insightful and brilliant lecture

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