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Philip Emeagwali

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.[1][2]


Emeagwali was born in Akure, Nigeria on 23 August 1954.[3] 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 is married to Dale Brown Emeagwali, a noted African-American microbiologist.[4][5]


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.[6][5] During this time, he worked as a civil engineer at the Bureau of Land Reclamation in Wyoming.

Court case and the denial of degree[edit]

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.[7]

Super computing[edit]

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.[8][9] His method involved each microprocessor communicating with six neighbours.[5]

Emeagwali's simulation was the first program to apply a pseudo-time approach to reservoir modeling.[10]


Emeagwali was voted the "35th-greatest African (and greatest African scientist) of all time" in a survey by New African magazine.[11][citation needed]

His achievements were quoted in a speech by Bill Clinton as an example of what Nigerians could achieve when given the opportunity.[12][citation needed] He is also a frequent feature of Black History Month articles in the popular press.[13][5]


  1. ^ Emeagwali, Philip. "Ten Smartest Scientists" (PDF). Emeagwali. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Smartest Man Alive" (May 5, 2002). Sunday Herald. 
  3. ^ Hamilton, Janice. Nigeria in Pictures. Page 70
  4. ^ African Americans in Science: Institutions. ABC-CLIO. 2008. ISBN 978-1851099986. 
  5. ^ a b c d Gray, Madison. "Philip Emeagwali, A Calculating Move". Time Magazine. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Emeagwali’s insistence on degrees muddles defence". Next. November 21, 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ Michigan Appeals Court decision, Emeagwali v. University of Michigan, October 1999 (summary article)
  8. ^ a b "Special Report 1989 Gordon Bell Prize" (PDF). IEEE. pp. 100–104,110. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Gordon Bell Prize winners 1987-1999
  10. ^ Both Gordon Bell Prize Winners Tackle Oil Industry Problems, SIAM News 23(3), 1990; excerpted on Emeagwali's Web site.
  11. ^ "Your 100 Greatest Africans of all time", New African, August 2004[dead link]
  12. ^ Bill Clinton, Remarks to a Joint Session of the Nigerian National Assembly in Abuja, August 2000(transcript)[dead link]
  13. ^ "Innovators Who Break Barriers", CNNfyi.com, February 9, 2001

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Emeagwali — Please support Wikipedia.
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104 news items

The News

The News
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 06:10:02 -0700

Talking about computation, Philip Emeagwali, Gbenga Sesan (Nigeria's first Information Technology Youth Ambassador) and Afia Udofia, proved to the world that Nigeria is not a push over in the comity of countries which God blessed with cerebral men and ...

Starr 103.5 FM

Starr 103.5 FM
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:49:43 -0800

Dr. Philip Emeagwali, who has been called the “Bill Gates of Africa,” was born in Nigeria in 1954. Like many African schoolchildren, he dropped out of school at age 14 because his father could not continue paying Emeagwali's school fees. However, his ...

Echo Pilot

Echo Pilot
Sun, 27 Sep 2015 10:03:45 -0700

Philip Emeagwali dropped out at 13. Wikimedia Commons. Called an "unsung hero of the internet," the supercomputer scientist dropped out of high-school in Nigeria due to war conditions and lack of tuition money. According to Time, he was considered a ...
Fri, 25 Sep 2015 20:00:00 -0700

Toussaint L'ouverture, from Nnamdi Azikiwe to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, from Barth Nnaji to Philip Emeagwali, it is indeed a grave insult. If Mallam Shehu paid more attention to history, he would have realized that of all African ethnic groups in the United ...


Tue, 15 Sep 2015 15:21:05 -0700

Nnamdi Azikiwe, Philip Emeagwali, Chike Obi, others are the Onitsha people. We have the best lawyers and doctors in Nigeria. Why do you want to be different? Why do you want to embarrass this great city? God! Mrs Iweka, our neighbour, will laugh at me ...

vietbao (lời tuyên bố phát cho các báo)

vietbao (lời tuyên bố phát cho các báo)
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 07:03:45 -0700

Philip Emeagwali là một kỹ sư, nhà toán học, nhà khoa học máy tính người Nigeria có chỉ số IQ là 190, ông là một trong hai người đoạt giải Gordon Bell Prize năm 1989, một giải thưởng của IEEE cho việc kết nối các siêu máy tính để giúp phát hiện các mỏ ...

TiVi Tuần San

TiVi Tuần San
Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:33:45 -0700

Philip Emeagwali là một kỹ sư, nhà toán học, nhà khoa học máy tính người Nigeria có chỉ số IQ là 190, ông là một trong hai người đoạt giải Gordon Bell Prize năm 1989, một giải thưởng của IEEE cho việc kết nối các siêu máy tính để giúp phát hiện các mỏ ...


Sun, 27 Sep 2015 19:03:45 -0700

(NDH) Vì một số lý do, Richard Branson, David Karp hay Joe Lewis đã bỏ học khi mới 15 tuổi. Nhưng với sự cố gắng không ngừng, họ đều trở nên rất thành công và nắm trong tay khối tài sản hàng tỷ đôla.

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