What is it Like to Live in Washington, DC as a Black African Supercomputer Scientist | Emeagwali

What is it Like to Live in Washington, DC as a Black African Supercomputer Scientist | Emeagwali


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] [Things I Did in the Nation’s Capital] For me, the answer
to the Grand Challenge Problem of mathematics and supercomputing
demanded my sixteen-year-long journey, onward of June 20, 1974
from Corvallis, Oregon, United States through Los Alamos, New Mexico,
United States to receiving the top prize in supercomputing
from Silicon Valley, California. A research pure mathematician
is re-searching a new proof of a deep and abstract theorem.
I sojourned to an unknown world of technology.
In that sojourn, I used sixteen supercomputer-hopefuls
as my guideposts along the new pathways to the never-before-seen
global network of processors that is a new internet
that is a new supercomputer and that is a new computer.
A research applied mathematician is seeking
a new and better mathematical description, such as a system of coupled, non-linear,
time-dependent, and state-of-the-art partial differential equations
that governs an initial-boundary value problem
of modern calculus. A research computational mathematician
is seeking a faster computational model,
that explains or predicts a phenomenon
that is otherwise impossible to explain or predict.
In the late 1970s and early ‘80s, I was a research
computational mathematician that lived in room eight hundred
and seventy-seven [877] of Meridian Hill Hall
at twenty-six hundred and one [2601] 16th Street
that was at the corner of 16th Street and Euclid Street
of Adams-Morgan neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C.
On a Friday evening, I might have dinner with my future-wife, Dale.
Our favorite place was an Ethiopian restaurant
that was a short walk down 18th street
from Columbia Road in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood.
My other favorite places are the small cafes along “T” and “U” streets,
and the Meridian Hill Park Drum Circle. In the late 1970s and early ‘80s,
I was most likely to be seen in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C,
jogging across the Smithsonian’s National Zoo of Washington, D.C.
at 6 a.m. in the mornings. I also walked or jogged across
the Adams-Morgan neighborhood, or across the Dupont Circle neighborhood,
or across the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, or across Rock Creek Park.
The 12-mile-long Rock Creek Park extends from the Potomac River
to the border of Maryland. Foggy Bottom
is named after the fog that clings to the neighborhood
in the morning. Foggy Bottom
is a late 18th-century neighborhood and is one of the oldest neighborhoods
in Washington, D.C. The Dupont Circle
has a famous traffic circle and a water fountain at its center.
For me, the Dupont Circle drum circle and its array of late afternoon drummers and
dancers was like a church.
Fast forward to the late 1990s, and from the drum circles
of Washington, D.C. to West African drummers
in Baltimore, Maryland. My wife Dale and I took lessons
on African dance and rhythm and from a charismatic griot
and choreographer named Kibibi Ajanku.
Kibibi Ajanku was the founding mother
of the Sankofa Dance Theatre of Baltimore, Maryland. [My Night Life in the Nation’s Capital] From October 1978 to May 1981,
I lived a short walk from the Kilimanjaro Restaurant
and Nightclub that was started in 1982.
Kilimanjaro Restaurant and Nightclub was throbbing with
live African music and reggae. Kilimanjaro Restaurant
and Nightclub was in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood
of Washington, D.C. In the early 1980s,
I lived at 1915 East-West Highway,
apartment three zero three [303], Silver Spring, Maryland.
And I walked the short distance to the railway subway station
called Metro Station. That underground railway station
was at the boundary between Silver Spring, Maryland
and Washington, District of Columbia. On weekdays, I took the
Washington, D.C. rapid transit system to Foggy Bottom Station
that is west of the White House and in downtown Washington.
Foggy Bottom was a very short walk
to the computer center where I programmed fast computers
and used them to solve the most computation-intensive
initial-boundary value problems of modern calculus
that was the mathematical foundation of computational fluid dynamics. [Wild applause and cheering for 17 seconds] Insightful and brilliant lecture

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