Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Philip Emeagwali * Internet Pioneer

PHILIP EMEAGWALI, born in Akure, Nigeria on August 23rd, 1954 to Agatha and James Emeagwali; is the oldest of nine children. Son of a scientist and mathematician, his father insisted upon him doing 100's of calculations daily in his head. He became known as the human calculator. By the time Emeagwali was 12-years-old, civil war broke out and he was inducted into the Biafran army as a cook; a position that he says saved his life. He was smuggled out the country by his family and came to America; where he studied and earned his GED. From there he's won many awards and has received several degrees. Emeagwali speaks of the comparison of him to Bill Gates:

"It is like comparing apples to oranges. I am a supercomputer scientist while Bill Gates is a software entrepreneur. The scientist creates the knowledge while the entruepreneur takes it, monetizes it, and runs with it."

In 1989, Emeagwali created the knowledge that thousands of electronic brains, called processors could outperform a supercomputer. His discovery was against the prevailing dogma: The president of the leading supercomputer company told The New York Times [11/29/89]:

"A major scientific discovery by a team of 24 co-discoverers supported by a 400 person laboratory or $400 million grants. How then did an African immigrant who worked alone...indifferent to other's skepticism of wild theories achieve a break-through in supercomputing?
"New knowledge builds upon old knowledge and the names of most contributors were lost in antiquity. For instance, I developed nine algorithms which I implemented as 24 million algebraic equations. My work therefore builds upon the knowledge of the ninth century Persian mathematician, Muhammed idn Musa Al-Khwarizmi, who published an influential book Al-Jabr wa'l maqabalah. The words "Al-Khwarizmi" and "Al-Jabr wa'l" were corrupted to algorithm and algebra, respectively. I could not have solved 24 million algebraic equations without building upon the knowledge developed 1680 years before Christ was born by an African mathematician named Ahmes who wrote the oldest mathematic text book with solutions of equation. There were many discoveries and inventions that I built upon to make mine."[1]
(c)1972-2005 Page 51 of 517

EMEAGWALI is responsible for:

* 65,000 computers in 1970 connected around the world is what we now know as the Internet
* 65,536 processors in 1988 configured in parallel to yield 3.1 billion calculations per second
* Hyperball model represents the earth is what meteorologist use today to predict weather
* Real time video Internet conversation exists because of enumerated processor speeds

[1] to learn more about our cyberspace pioneer!

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