Philip Emeagwali (born in 1954) is a Nigerian-born engineer, mathematician, computer scientist and geologist. He was the winner of the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize in the "price/performance" category, for his use of a Connection Machine supercomputer, and has a 190 IQ.
Emeagwali was born in Akure, Nigeria on 23 August 1954. His early schooling was suspended in 1967 as a result of the Nigerian Civil War. At 14 years, he served in the Biafran army. After the war he completed high-school equivalence through self-study.
He travelled to the United States to study under a scholarship following completion of a correspondence course at the University of London. He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Oregon State University in 1977.He later moved to Washington DC, receiving in 1986 a master's degree from George Washington University in ocean and marine engineering, and a second master's in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland. Next magazine claims that Emeagwali claimed to have further degrees. During this time, he worked as a civil engineer at the Bureau of Land Reclamation in Wyoming.
Court case and the denial of degree
Emeagwali studied for a Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan from 1987 through 1991. His thesis was not accepted by a committee of internal and external examiners and thus he was not awarded the degree. Emeagwali filed a court challenge, stating that the decision was a violation of his civil rights and that the university had discriminated against him in several ways because of his race. The court challenge was dismissed, as was an appeal to the Michigan state Court of Appeals.
Emeagwali received the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize for an application of the CM-2 massively-parallel computer. The application used computational fluid dynamics for oil-reservoir modelling. He won in the "price/performance" category, with a performance figure of about 400 Mflops/$1M. The winner in the "performance" category, Mobil Research and Thinking Machines, used the CM-2 for seismic data processing and achieved the higher ratio of 500 Mflops/$1M. The judges decided on one award per entry. His method involved each microprocessor communicating with six neighbours.
Emeagwali's simulation was the first program to apply a pseudo-time approach to reservoir modeling.
His achievements were quoted in a speech by Bill Clinton as an example of what Nigerians could achieve when given the opportunity. He is also a frequent feature of Black History Month articles in the popular press.
- Emeagwali, Philip. "Ten Smartest Scientists" (PDF). Emeagwali. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- "Smartest Man Alive" (May 5, 2002). Sunday Herald.
- Hamilton, Janice. Nigeria in Pictures. Page 70
- African Americans in Science: Institutions. ABC-CLIO. 2008. ISBN 978-1851099986.
- Gray, Madison. "Philip Emeagwali, A Calculating Move". Time Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- "Emeagwali’s insistence on degrees muddles defence". Next. November 21, 2010.[dead link]
- Michigan Appeals Court decision, Emeagwali v. University of Michigan, October 1999 (summary article)
- "Special Report 1989 Gordon Bell Prize" (PDF). IEEE. pp. 100–104,110. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- Gordon Bell Prize winners 1987-1999
- Both Gordon Bell Prize Winners Tackle Oil Industry Problems, SIAM News 23(3), 1990; excerpted on Emeagwali's Web site.
- "Your 100 Greatest Africans of all time", New African, August 2004[dead link]
- Bill Clinton, Remarks to a Joint Session of the Nigerian National Assembly in Abuja, August 2000(transcript)[dead link]
- "Innovators Who Break Barriers", CNNfyi.com, February 9, 2001
- emeagwali.com - Emeagwali's personal website.
- Digital Giants: Philip Emeagwali (BBC)
- Biography of Emeagwali from IEEE[dead link]
- "Self-Promotion and Self-Authentication: the Abuse of Cyber Pseudo-Anonymity. Part II: 'Father of the Internet'", BiafraNigeriaWorld, November 2003 - an article that highly critically examines Emeagwali's claims, describing them as "disingenuous"
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