Solving the Grand Challenge Problem in Parallel Computing | Philip Emeagwali | Famous Mathematicians

Solving the Grand Challenge Problem in Parallel Computing | Philip Emeagwali | Famous Mathematicians


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] [Solving an Unsolved Problem in Mathematics] [The Grand Challenge Problem of Mathematics] The poster girl
of the twenty grand challenge problems is the petroleum reservoir simulation
of a production oilfield that may be two miles
below the surface of the Earth and the size of a town.
The reason one in ten supercomputers were purchased
by the petroleum industry was that the parallel processed
petroleum reservoir simulator helps the oil company
to discover and recover as much crude oil and natural gas
as is possible and to recover them
as long as possible as well as to compute them
at a supercomputer speed that was previously believed
to exist only in the realm of science fiction.
The speed increase of a factor of 65,536 that I recorded on July 4, 1989
was dismissed as science fiction and I was disinvited
from giving my lecture on how I discovered
practical parallel supercomputing. [My First Unveiling of Practical Parallel
Supercomputing] My discovery
of the practical parallel supercomputing was rejected as [quote unquote]
“a serious mistake.” After two months of continuous rejections
of my discovery of massively parallel supercomputing,
I went in search of re-confirmation of my discovery.
I was compelled to provide expert eye-witnesses
to my discovery of the practical parallel supercomputing.
My first stop was at a 15-day long supercomputer workshop
that took place from September 1 to 15, 1989
and in Chicago, United States. During that supercomputer workshop,
I spent the first fifteen days building the trust and confidence
of the supercomputer workshop instructors and participants
who at that time did not know who I was.
From my contributions to the workshop discussions
on how to record the fastest speeds within the parallel supercomputer,
the instructors realized that I had been supercomputing
for the past fifteen years and that they knew less than I did.
On the fifteenth and last day of that supercomputer workshop,
I suddenly cleared my throat and made the announcement
that brought me to Chicago, namely, that I’ve discovered
practical parallel processing. You could hear a pin drop
in the room as everybody gazed at me
in stunned silence! For the first time, since June 20, 1974,
in Corvallis, Oregon, United States, a group of supercomputer scientists
attentively listened to me as I explained to them
how I discovered how to massively parallel process
across 65,536 processors that each operated
its own operating system. I discovered
how to reduce the calculation time of the twenty grand challenge problems of
supercomputing. I discovered
how to reduce that time-to-solution and do so with a speed up of 65,536.
Before September 15, 1989, my speed up of 65,536 days,
or 180 years, of time-to-solution to just one day
existed only in the realm of science fiction.
For me, Philip Emeagwali, that Eureka Moment! in Chicago
was surreal. After my announcement
at that supercomputer workshop of my discovery
of practical parallel supercomputing it was so quiet
that you could hear a pin drop in the room.
The supercomputer scientists attending that Chicago workshop
challenged me to submit my discovery
to the highest authority in supercomputing.
That highest authority was The Computer Society
of the IEEE. The IEEE is the acronym
for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
In late December 1989, The Computer Society
re-confirmed my discovery of practical parallel supercomputing.
The Computer Society invited me to come to the forthcoming
International Computer Conference that will take place on February 28, 1990
in San Francisco, California. Two months prior to that conference,
the Computer Society of the IEEE sent out a press release
that recognized my contributions to [quote unquote]
“practical parallel processing.” In their press release,
the Computer Society announced that I have won
the highest award in the field of supercomputing. [Philip Emeagwali is Well Known, But Not Known
Well] I’m well known
but not known well. I’m well known
for inventing a new internet that is a new supercomputer de facto
and that is a new global network of sixty-five thousand
five hundred and thirty-six [65,536] processors
that were tightly-coupled to each other and that shared nothing
between each other. I’m well known for figuring out
how to harness the processors within that new internet
and how to use that new knowledge to solve initial-boundary value problems arising
in mathematical physics that were otherwise impossible-to-solve.
But I am not known well for foreseeing my discovery
as, de facto, a new internet. I’m well known
for experimentally discovering, or recording speeds
in floating-point arithmetical computations that were previously unrecorded.
But I am not known well for using email communications
across that new internet to record communication speeds
that were previously unrecorded. But I am not known well
for discovering, or seeing for the first time,
those supercomputer speeds and recording them across
my new internet. But I am not known well
for changing the way we look at the modern computer
and the modern supercomputer. After the Fourth of July 1989,
I became known for the experimental discovery
of parallel supercomputing. That discovery
made the news headlines because it was beyond theory
and beyond the computer and because it was specific,
quantifiable, and measurable. Every new technology
has a starting point. Parallel processing
is the starting point of the modern supercomputer. [Wild applause and cheering for 17 seconds] Insightful and brilliant lecture

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