Philip Emeagwali Supercomputer | How I Invented the World’s Fastest Computer | Famous Inventors


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] [Discovering What Makes Computers Faster] [How I Discovered What Makes the Computer
Faster] I’m Philip Emeagwali. At 10:15 in the morning New York Time
Tuesday the Fourth of July 1989 I experimentally discovered
how and why parallel processing makes modern computers faster
and makes the new supercomputer the fastest
and I invented how and why to use
that new supercomputer knowledge to build a new supercomputer
that encircled the globe in the way the internet does. The reason my invention
made the news headlines was that for the four decades
onward of 1946 the parallel processing machine
was a supercomputer-hopeful that no supercomputer scientist
understood what made it super. The new supercomputer, in turn,
gave birth to the new field of computational science. And a new supercomputer
gives birth to a new computational science. 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]
My Fourth of July 1989 experimental discovery
of how and why to use massively parallel processing
to solve initial-boundary value problems of a new calculus
and of the fastest computational physics made the news headlines
as the biggest advance in computational science. My world’s fastest
supercomputer algebraic calculations made the news headlines
and entered into the June 20, 1990 issue
of the Wall Street Journal. A week later,
the computer and information technology writer, Judith Axler Turner,
wrote in the June 27, 1990 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education
that I—Philip Emeagwali— [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]
My discovery that made the news headlines
back in 1989 was the tipping point
of the increasing speeds of the supercomputer. That turning point
in massively parallel processing supercomputing
of the Fourth of July 1989, led to a new computer. [School Reports on Philip Emeagwali] I was asked to explain
why American children are writing school reports
on my early life in Nigeria, Africa and on my contributions
to the development of the fastest supercomputer. Teaching the groundbreaking discovery
of any historical scientist is not mandated in U.S. schools. However, it’s included in the guidelines
known as the Core Knowledge Series. It’s included in social studies standard. Each teacher decides
how to incorporate stories about scientists into her curriculum. The computer
was not invented by super-intelligent aliens from the moon
that are disguised as humans. Therefore, the fathers
of the modern computer should be studied in schools
that use computers. Philip Emeagwali
is studied in American schools because I experimentally discovered
how and why parallel processing across a new internet
is faster than computing within any vector processing supercomputer
that was the state-of-the-art technology of the 1980s. Ironically, I am mostly studied in schools
in the United States, not in my country of birth,
Nigeria (Africa). Historically, if a scientist—such as
Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell—is studied
in American schools, that scientist will later be studied
in schools all over the world. But if a scientist is only studied in schools
in Nigeria, that scientist will only be studied
in schools in Nigeria. My experimental discovery
of how and why parallel processing makes computers faster
first made the news headlines in 1989
in the United States and my discovery story
spread to American schools and to newspapers in other countries. [A World Without Supercomputers] The human species
evolved from Africa and evolved about two hundred thousand years
ago. The reason our human ancestors
discovered was to make their world
a more knowledgeable place Our ancestors invented
to make their world a better place. Fire
is man’s first invention, or rather man’s first discovery. Our ancestors did not discover fire
to make the news headlines but discovered it
to make their world better. We discover
not to make the news headlines but to contribute to human progress. For two hundred millennia,
we discovered to make the world
a more knowledgeable place. We discovered
to discover new fields of study. The new field that I discovered
in the 1970s and ‘80s is what is now described as
modern parallel processing supercomputing. The supercomputer is a witness
to humanity’s most computation-intensive problems. The supercomputer doesn’t just solve
the toughest problems. The supercomputer
is the modern diving rod for discovering crude oil and natural gas. The supercomputer
is the crystal ball for foreseeing otherwise unforeseeable global
warming. The supercomputer
is an instrument for telling the future. I experimentally discovered
that the global circulation model with rigorous reproducibility requirements
running across a new internet that’s a global network of
commodity processors that emulates a new supercomputer
can be used to gaze across the centuries. In my home country of Nigeria,
that is a member of OPEC —the acronym
for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries???—
their petrodollars is their instrument of national development
and poverty alleviation. Crude oil and natural gas
are at the core essence of Nigeria’s sovereignty and identity. [My Quest for the Rosetta Stone of Computing] My experimental discovery
of massively parallel processing that occurred
on the Fourth of July 1989 made the news headlines. That discovery
of the parallel processing supercomputer were highlighted in the June 20, 1990
issue of The Wall Street Journal and entered
as the new supercomputer knowledge of how to manufacture
faster computers and the fastest supercomputers. That discovery of the precursor
of the modern supercomputer made the news headlines
because it was akin to the decipherment
of the Rosetta stone of the unknown world of supercomputers
that, in turn, will be used to discover and recover otherwise elusive
crude oil and natural gas. The Rosetta stone was discovered
in Rosetta, Egypt in 1799. The decipherment of the writings
on the Rosetta stone enabled historians
to decipher the previously undecipherable writings of ancient Egyptians,
and the writings of Africans that lived along the Valley
of the River Nile. The Rosetta stone
enabled us to know Imhotep as the father of medicine. The Rosetta stone
enabled us to know that the Pyramid of Giza
was a tomb for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu,
who was the second ruler of the Fourth Dynasty. The Rosetta stone
enabled us to know the Pharaohs, or the kings of ancient Egypt. My technological quest
for the fastest computation began on a sequential processing supercomputer. My supercomputing began
in the early morning of Thursday June 20, 1974. My supercomputing began
in the Computer Center at 1800 SW Campus Way,
Corvallis, Oregon, United States. My supercomputing
was my technological quest for the Rosetta stone
that will enable me to experimentally discover
how and why massively parallel processing
must be embodied within the fastest supercomputer. In 1989, it made the news headlines
that I experimentally discovered that parallel computing
is faster than serial computing, and, in particular, faster
when applied to solving the most computation-intensive
initial-boundary value problems of a new calculus
and of the fastest computational physics. Such problems arise
and are at the core of computational mathematics
and computational physics. In a sense, solving difficult problems
in parallel is observed when dogs or lions or humans
cooperatively hunt a bigger game, or hunt in groups. Three thousand seven hundred [3,700]
years ago, the Pyramid of Giza
in Africa was cooperatively constructed in parallel. That Pyramid of Giza
remains the oldest and the only remaining
of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Human parallel processing computing
could have been used to solve
the grand challenge problem that was posed four millennia ago
by the African mathematician Ahmes and posed in his papyrus
that’s the oldest mathematics literature. So, the idea of harnessing
the power of several commodity processors, or computers,
had been around since the nineteen forties [1940s]. However, the massively parallel processing
supercomputer was science fiction
in the 1940s. In nineteen forty-six [1946],
there was only one programmable computer in the world. The December 13, 1947 issue
of the New York Times described that first programmable computer
of 1946 as [quote]
“the only electronic computer among the four ‘mathematical brains’
now in use.” [unquote]
That first supercomputer was at Aberdeen Proving Ground,
outside Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Fast forward four decades
from that sequential processing supercomputer of 1946,
I was an expert in parallel processing supercomputers
who declined a job offer as a vector processing
supercomputer scientist at Aberdeen Proving Ground,
Aberdeen, Maryland, United States. That first programmable computer
was the fastest computer, or the supercomputer,
of nineteen forty-six [1946]. In 1946, the massively parallel processing
supercomputer was dismissed as science fiction. The January 11, 1946 issue
of The New York Times wrote:
[And I quote] “Meteorologists contemplate that
with enough of these machines (100 was mentioned as an arbitrary figure)
area stations could be set up which would make it possible
to forecast the weather all over the world. The United States would be divided
into “blocks” penetrating into the stratosphere,
and every condition which would have any bearing
on the weather would be analyzed. Plans for the machine even provide
for ‘alarm’ which would give a warning
if any error in calculation occurred.” [end of quote]
The fastest supercomputer in the world costs the budget of a small African nation. So manufacturing
sixty-five thousand five hundred and thirty-six [65,536] programmable
supercomputers and manufacturing them
in nineteen forty-six [1946] was as laughable as spending
65 trillion dollars to build a mega supercomputer today
that’s a global network of sixty-five thousand
five hundred and thirty-six [65,536] supercomputers. [Wild applause and cheering for 17 seconds] Insightful and brilliant lecture

1 thought on “Philip Emeagwali Supercomputer | How I Invented the World’s Fastest Computer | Famous Inventors”

  1. I’m Philip Emeagwali.
    At 10:15 in the morning New York Time Tuesday the Fourth of July 1989 I experimentally discovered how and why parallel processing makes modern computers faster and makes the new supercomputer the fastest and I invented how and why to use that new supercomputer knowledge to build a new supercomputer that encircled the globe in the way the internet does. The reason my invention made the news headlines was that for the four decades onward of 1946 the parallel processing machine was a supercomputer-hopeful that no supercomputer scientist understood what made it super. The new supercomputer, in turn, gave birth to the new field of computational science. And a new supercomputer gives birth to a new computational science. 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]

    My Fourth of July 1989

    experimental discovery

    of how and why

    to use massively parallel processing

    to solve initial-boundary value problems

    of a new calculus

    and of the fastest computational physics

    made the news headlines

    as the biggest advance

    in computational science.

    My world’s fastest

    supercomputer algebraic calculations

    made the news headlines

    and entered

    into the June 20, 1990 issue

    of the Wall Street Journal.

    A week later,

    the computer and information technology writer, Judith Axler Turner,

    wrote in the June 27, 1990 issue

    of The Chronicle of Higher Education

    that I—Philip Emeagwali—

    [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]

    My discovery

    that made the news headlines

    back in 1989

    was the tipping point

    of the increasing speeds

    of the supercomputer.

    That turning point

    in massively parallel processing

    supercomputing

    of the Fourth of July 1989,

    led to a new computer.

    School Reports on Philip Emeagwali

    I was asked to explain

    why American children

    are writing school reports

    on my early life in Nigeria, Africa

    and on my contributions

    to the development

    of the fastest supercomputer.

    Teaching the groundbreaking discovery

    of any historical scientist

    is not mandated in U.S. schools.

    However, it’s included in the guidelines known as the Core Knowledge Series.

    It’s included in social studies standard.

    Each teacher decides

    how to incorporate stories

    about scientists into her curriculum.

    The computer

    was not invented by super-intelligent aliens from the moon

    that are disguised as humans.

    Therefore, the fathers

    of the modern computer

    should be studied in schools

    that use computers.

    Philip Emeagwali

    is studied in American schools

    because I experimentally discovered

    how and why

    parallel processing across a new internet

    is faster than computing

    within any vector processing supercomputer

    that was the state-of-the-art technology

    of the 1980s.

    Ironically, I am mostly studied in schools

    in the United States,

    not in my country of birth,

    Nigeria (Africa).

    Historically, if a scientist—such as

    Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison

    or Alexander Graham Bell—is studied

    in American schools,

    that scientist will later be studied

    in schools all over the world.

    But if a scientist is only studied in schools

    in Nigeria,

    that scientist will only be studied

    in schools in Nigeria.

    My experimental discovery

    of how and why

    parallel processing makes computers faster

    first made the news headlines

    in 1989

    in the United States

    and my discovery story

    spread to American schools

    and to newspapers in other countries.

    A World Without Supercomputers

    The human species

    evolved from Africa

    and evolved about two hundred thousand years ago.

    The reason our human ancestors

    discovered

    was to make their world

    a more knowledgeable place

    Our ancestors invented

    to make their world a better place.

    Fire

    is man’s first invention,

    or rather man’s first discovery.

    Our ancestors did not discover fire

    to make the news headlines

    but discovered it

    to make their world better.

    We discover

    not to make the news headlines

    but to contribute to human progress.

    For two hundred millennia,

    we discovered

    to make the world

    a more knowledgeable place.

    We discovered

    to discover new fields of study.

    The new field that I discovered

    in the 1970s and ‘80s

    is what is now described as

    modern parallel processing supercomputing.

    The supercomputer is a witness

    to humanity’s most computation-intensive problems.

    The supercomputer doesn’t just solve

    the toughest problems.

    The supercomputer

    is the modern diving rod

    for discovering crude oil and natural gas.

    The supercomputer

    is the crystal ball

    for foreseeing otherwise unforeseeable global warming.

    The supercomputer

    is an instrument for telling the future.

    I experimentally discovered

    that the global circulation model

    with rigorous reproducibility requirements running across a new internet

    that’s a global network of

    commodity processors

    that emulates a new supercomputer

    can be used to gaze across the centuries.

    In my home country of Nigeria,

    that is a member of OPEC

    —the acronym

    for the Organization

    of Petroleum Exporting Countries???—

    their petrodollars

    is their instrument of national development

    and poverty alleviation.

    Crude oil and natural gas

    are at the core essence

    of Nigeria’s sovereignty and identity.

    My Quest for the Rosetta Stone of Computing

    My experimental discovery

    of massively parallel processing

    that occurred

    on the Fourth of July 1989

    made the news headlines.

    That discovery

    of the parallel processing supercomputer

    were highlighted in the June 20, 1990

    issue of The Wall Street Journal

    and entered

    as the new supercomputer knowledge

    of how to manufacture

    faster computers

    and the fastest supercomputers.

    That discovery of the precursor

    of the modern supercomputer

    made the news headlines

    because

    it was akin to the decipherment

    of the Rosetta stone

    of the unknown world of supercomputers

    that, in turn, will be used to

    discover and recover otherwise elusive

    crude oil and natural gas.

    The Rosetta stone was discovered

    in Rosetta, Egypt in 1799.

    The decipherment of the writings

    on the Rosetta stone

    enabled historians

    to decipher the previously undecipherable

    writings of ancient Egyptians,

    and the writings of Africans

    that lived along the Valley

    of the River Nile.

    The Rosetta stone

    enabled us to know Imhotep

    as the father of medicine.

    The Rosetta stone

    enabled us to know that

    the Pyramid of Giza

    was a tomb

    for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu,

    who was the second ruler

    of the Fourth Dynasty.

    The Rosetta stone

    enabled us to know the Pharaohs,

    or the kings of ancient Egypt.

    My technological quest

    for the fastest computation

    began on a sequential processing supercomputer.

    My supercomputing began

    in the early morning of Thursday

    June 20, 1974.

    My supercomputing began

    in the Computer Center

    at 1800 SW Campus Way,

    Corvallis, Oregon, United States.

    My supercomputing

    was my technological quest

    for the Rosetta stone

    that will enable me

    to experimentally discover

    how and why

    massively parallel processing

    must be embodied within

    the fastest supercomputer.

    In 1989, it made the news headlines

    that I experimentally discovered

    that parallel computing

    is faster than serial computing,

    and, in particular, faster

    when applied to solving

    the most computation-intensive

    initial-boundary value problems

    of a new calculus

    and of the fastest computational physics.

    Such problems arise

    and are at the core

    of computational mathematics

    and computational physics.

    In a sense, solving difficult problems

    in parallel is observed

    when dogs or lions or humans

    cooperatively hunt a bigger game,

    or hunt in groups.

    Three thousand seven hundred [3,700]

    years ago,

    the Pyramid of Giza

    in Africa

    was cooperatively constructed in parallel.

    That Pyramid of Giza

    remains the oldest

    and the only remaining

    of the Seven Wonders

    of the Ancient World.

    Human parallel processing computing

    could have been used

    to solve

    the grand challenge problem

    that was posed four millennia ago

    by the African mathematician Ahmes

    and posed in his papyrus

    that’s the oldest mathematics literature.

    So, the idea of harnessing

    the power of several commodity processors,

    or computers,

    had been around

    since the nineteen forties [1940s].

    However, the massively parallel processing

    supercomputer

    was science fiction

    in the 1940s.

    In nineteen forty-six [1946],

    there was only one programmable computer in the world.

    The December 13, 1947 issue

    of the New York Times

    described that first programmable computer

    of 1946 as

    [quote]

    “the only electronic computer

    among the four ‘mathematical brains’

    now in use.”

    [unquote]

    That first supercomputer

    was at Aberdeen Proving Ground,

    outside Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

    Fast forward four decades

    from that sequential processing supercomputer of 1946,

    I was an expert

    in parallel processing supercomputers

    who declined a job offer

    as a vector processing

    supercomputer scientist

    at Aberdeen Proving Ground,

    Aberdeen, Maryland, United States.

    That first programmable computer

    was the fastest computer,

    or the supercomputer,

    of nineteen forty-six [1946].

    In 1946, the massively parallel processing

    supercomputer

    was dismissed as science fiction.

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