How I Solved the Hardest Problem in Physics | Philip Emeagwali | Famous Black Physicists


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 the Toughest Problem in Physics] [The Chant of a Lone Wolf] How did I solve the toughest problem
in computational physics? The secret is that I heard voices
from the sixteenth dimensional hyperspace. Metaphorically speaking,
I discovered that the laws of physics and the equations of mathematics
that encoded those laws and the algebraic algorithms
that discretized those equations and the computer codes
that communicated those algebraic equations and that sent and received them
across a new internet that is a global network of
sixty-four [64] binary thousand processors contained what felt like a poetry
and contained my data and my thoughts
that sang their own songs and sang them
with the data dancing across my sixteen times
two-to-power-sixteen, or 1,048,576,
bi-directional email pathways and dancing towards
my two-to-power-sixteen, or 65,536, processors. My data
circulated endlessly and circulated towards the everlasting infinitity
of a new internet that had centers everywhere,
circumference nowhere. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s,
my research in the massively parallel processing supercomputer
was ridiculed, mocked, and rejected by the vector processing
supercomputer community. In the June 14, 1976 issue
of the Computer World, the flagship publication
of the world of computing, the foremost experts in the field of supercomputing
mocked parallel processing supercomputer technology as a [quote-unquote] “waste of time”
and ridiculed parallel processing as “large” and “clumsy.”
For me, Philip Emeagwali, my quest for the fastest computation across
a new internet powered by two-to-power-sixteen commodity-off-the-shelf
processors was de facto
the chant of a lone wolf massively parallel processing programmer
that was hearing voices from the sixteenth-dimensional hyperspace.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, I wrote voluminously in my private supercomputer laboratory notebooks
and I wrote with the hope that my writings
will endure and survive the ravages of the millennia and, hopefully,
become my tangible connection to our post human descendants
of Year Million. I kept my handwritten notes private
because the things that I saw that were previously unseen
by any human being were inner poems
that were revealed only to me and that I stole
from God’s book of knowledge. To you, my friend, the internet
is where you send your emails. For me, Philip Emeagwali,
my new internet transcends your simple definition
of an internet. My new internet
is my river of knowledge that has 1,048,576 bi-directional tributaries
that fed arithmetical data into 65,536 electronic brains
that, as an ensemble, is metaphorically shaped like the vertices and the edges
of the cube in my imaginary sixteen dimensional hyperspace. [Wild applause and cheering for 17 seconds] Insightful and brilliant lecture

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