Dr.
Philip Emeagwali developed the world's fastest computer,
invented hyperball computer networks, invented a new approach for
designing supercomputers by observing and emulating patterns in nature,
formulated new mathematical (partial differential) equations for slowly
moving liquids and gases such as the flow within the Earth's interior,
and is
regarded as one of the world's most astute scientific brains.
In 1989 he
won the coveted Gordon Bell Prize for his work with massively parallel
computers, after programming the Connection Machine to compute a
world record 3.1 billion calculations per second using 65,536 processors—via
the Internet—to simulate oil reservoirs.
In 1990 he solved the largest weather forecasting equations with
128 million points. Dr. Emeagwali solved one of America's 20 Grand
Challenges—accurately computing how oil flows underground and
thereby showing the petroleum industry that massively parallel computers
can be used to recover more oil.
The Nigerian
born mathematician describes his research approach as multidisciplinary,
unorthodox, intuitive and natureinspired.
"I am a mathematician who relies heavily on qualitative problem
solving techniques."
Dr. Emeagwali
believes that the greatest grand challenge for any scientist is discovering
how to prevent the spread of HIV and finding the cure or an effective
vaccine for AIDS. One out of every 100 American men is HIV positive.
The rate of infection has reached epidemic proportions in 40 developing
nations. Worldwide, 23 million people are infected with the HIV virus.
"Because I am not formally trained in the medical sciences, I
can bring in new ideas to AIDS research, and the crossfertilization
of ideas from different fields could be a valuable contribution to
finding the cure for AIDS. It could be easier for me to develop an
AIDS vaccine than to solve the next grand challenge in computer science."
