Philip Emeagwali Equations Are My Contributions to Physics – A Black Physicist Speaks


I was able to draw a line between the partial
differential equations we know and the ones that we don’t know. I was able to use my instinct and intuition
to solve initial-boundary value problems that arose in extreme-scale mathematical physics. A calling for solving unsolved problems of
mathematics is needed. Just like it’s impossible for you to set
the world record in a 26.2 mile marathon race and do so without extensive training in long-distance
running, it would have been impossible for me to set the world record of the fastest
mathematical computations that I did on the Fourth of July 1989 and set that record without
my sixteen-year-long training as a research mathematician
in the United States. Back in 1989,
what made the news headlines was that an African-born
research computational mathematician has discovered how to perform the fastest
mathematical computations and how to do so by
changing the way we count, namely, the new way of counting
a billion things at once instead of the old way of counting
only one thing at a time. That old way of counting
had been used since the era of our prehistoric human ancestors. That paradigm shift
from the sequential way of counting to the
parallel way of counting was to mathematical knowledge,
what the continental drift was to geological knowledge. 20.4 Contributions to Mathematics 20.4.1 My Contributions to Mathematics A significant contribution
to mathematical knowledge can only be made by a
research mathematician that has spent three, or four, decades training
as a research mathematician and as a polymath
that has reached the unknown world of mathematical knowledge
and the sciences and the terra incognita where new mathematics
can be discovered. My journey to the terra incognita
of mathematical knowledge, namely, becoming the first person
to figure out how to solve real world mathematics problems. Such problems exist beyond textbooks
Such grand challenge problems are formulated for a physical domain
that is one mile beneath the surface of the Earth,
as opposed to mathematical problems that are formulated
only for mathematics textbooks. It took me the first sixteen years
in the United States to gain the mathematical maturity
that was needed to solve advanced
mathematical problems arising in mathematical physics. During those three decades,
I constantly struggled against the toughest problems
that spanned disciplines, from geology to meteorology
from the partial differential equation of calculus
to the message-passed codes of computational physics,
and from extreme-scale algebra to massively parallel processing
across a new internet that is a new global network of
tightly-coupled processors. I grew as a research mathematician
during those three decades, or more, of solving increasingly challenging problems
that ranged from the times table to the fastest multiplications
ever recorded. That fastest parallel processed computation
is used to solve real world problems,
such as your evening weather forecast that is based upon extreme-scale computational
physics. My contribution to mathematics is this:
I discovered a royal road in calculus that leads to the solution
of the toughest problems in mathematics that are called
initial-boundary value problems of calculus. My discovery
of practical parallel processing enabled the supercomputer
to become the workhorse of mathematics and physics. 20.4.2 My Contributions to Calculus These grand challenge problems
are governed by partial differential equations
and their companion partial difference equations. The partial differential equation
of calculus is an equation for some quantity
that is called a dependent variable. That dependent variable
depends on some independent variables, and involves derivatives
of the dependent variable with respect to at least
some of the independent variables. For four decades, I investigated
partial differential equations that governs both the weather
one-mile below the Earth and the weather above the Earth. These are by far the most important
partial differential equations that arise in mathematical physics. My contribution to mathematics is this:
I discovered a royal road in mathematical physics
that led to the parallel processed solution of the most extreme-scaled problems
arising in computational physics, namely, solving real world initial-boundary value problems
and solving them across sixty-four binary thousand processors
that were tightly-coupled to each other
and that shared nothing
between each other. My discovery
of practical parallel processing as the vital technology
that will underpin every supercomputer made
the news headlines in 1989 and made me the subject of school reports.

3 thoughts on “Philip Emeagwali Equations Are My Contributions to Physics – A Black Physicist Speaks

  1. Hello my Igbo (Hebrew) brother, my ancestor go back to Nigerian and further back to the Middle East(Israel). It’s unfortunate that most of the world primarily, Negros have never heard of you. If they did ,things would change drastically. America flourishes on our lack of education and motivation. We have no example of excellence other than sport, when outside of U.S. specifically West African there a great mines like yourself, inventors pioneers that are getting no exposer. There’s a dark vail over Africa .If you never came to the west you would of been rejected by the rest of the World. Am a correct, with such a great mine do you still deal with prejudices and disbelief? Why don’t you or do you attend seminars in black university’s and schools throughout the west? I feel whites wouldn’t like that at all!!

  2. I was able to draw a line between the partial differential equations we know and the ones that we don’t know. I was able to use my instinct and intuition to solve initial-boundary value problems that arose in extreme-scale mathematical physics. A calling for solving unsolved problems of mathematics is needed. Just like it’s impossible for you to set the world record in a 26.2 mile marathon race and do so without extensive training in long-distance running, it would have been impossible for me to set the world record of the fastest mathematical computations that I did on the Fourth of July 1989 and set that record without my sixteen-year-long training

    as a research mathematician

    in the United States.

    Back in 1989,

    what made the news headlines

    was that an African-born

    research computational mathematician has discovered

    how to perform the fastest

    mathematical computations

    and how to do so by

    changing the way we count,

    namely, the new way of counting

    a billion things at once

    instead of the old way of counting

    only one thing at a time.

    That old way of counting

    had been used since the era

    of our prehistoric human ancestors.

    That paradigm shift

    from the sequential way of counting

    to the parallel way of counting

    was to mathematical knowledge,

    what the continental drift

    was to geological knowledge.

    20.4 Contributions to Mathematics

    20.4.1 My Contributions to Mathematics

    A significant contribution

    to mathematical knowledge

    can only be made by a

    research mathematician

    that has spent three, or four, decades training as a research mathematician

    and as a polymath

    that has reached the unknown world

    of mathematical knowledge

    and the sciences and the terra incognita

    where new mathematics

    can be discovered.

    My journey to the terra incognita

    of mathematical knowledge,

    namely, becoming the first person

    to figure out how to solve

    real world mathematics problems.

    Such problems exist beyond textbooks

    Such grand challenge problems

    are formulated for a physical domain

    that is one mile beneath the surface

    of the Earth,

    as opposed to mathematical problems

    that are formulated

    only for mathematics textbooks.

    It took me the first sixteen years

    in the United States

    to gain the mathematical maturity

    that was needed

    to solve advanced

    mathematical problems

    arising in mathematical physics.

    During those three decades,

    I constantly struggled against

    the toughest problems

    that spanned disciplines,

    from geology to meteorology

    from the partial differential equation

    of calculus

    to the message-passed codes

    of computational physics,

    and from extreme-scale algebra

    to massively parallel processing

    across a new internet

    that is a new global network of

    tightly-coupled processors.

    I grew as a research mathematician

    during those three decades, or more,

    of solving increasingly challenging problems

    that ranged from the times table

    to the fastest multiplications

    ever recorded.

    That fastest parallel processed computation

    is used to solve real world problems,

    such as your evening weather forecast

    that is based upon extreme-scale computational physics.

    My contribution to mathematics is this:

    I discovered a royal road in calculus

    that leads to the solution

    of the toughest problems in mathematics

    that are called

    initial-boundary value problems

    of calculus.

    My discovery

    of practical parallel processing

    enabled the supercomputer

    to become the workhorse

    of mathematics and physics.

    20.4.2 My Contributions to Calculus

    These grand challenge problems

    are governed by

    partial differential equations

    and their companion

    partial difference equations.

    The partial differential equation

    of calculus

    is an equation for some quantity

    that is called

    a dependent variable.

    That dependent variable

    depends on some independent variables, and involves derivatives

    of the dependent variable

    with respect to at least

    some of the independent variables.

    For four decades, I investigated

    partial differential equations

    that governs both the weather

    one-mile below the Earth

    and the weather above the Earth.

    These are by far the most important

    partial differential equations

    that arise in mathematical physics.

    My contribution to mathematics is this:

    I discovered a royal road

    in mathematical physics

    that led to the parallel processed solution

    of the most extreme-scaled problems

    arising in computational physics, namely, solving real world

    initial-boundary value problems

    and solving them across

    sixty-four binary thousand processors

    that were tightly-coupled to each other

    and that shared nothing

    between each other.

    My discovery

    of practical parallel processing

    as the vital technology

    that will underpin every supercomputer

    made the news headlines in 1989

    and made me the subject of

    school reports.

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