Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The legend of Dr. Phil Emeagwali and the creation of the internet...

Dr. Phil Emeagwali was born on August 23rd, 1954 in Nigeria, Africa. He was the oldest of nine children and his father, who worked as a nurse's aide, earned a modest salary. Because of this, a young Dr. Phil was forced to leave school at the age of fourteen.

Even though Phil wasn't attending a formal school, his father saw his talent for mathematics. His father nurtured his abilities with spontaneous tests that forced Phil to come up with answers quickly, developing his abilities to think on his feet. Eventually, his father tasked him with answering a hundred math questions an hour; which to his father's delight, Phil succeeded at.

The young Dr. Phil journeyed to the public library, which became his alternate school. He spent his days consumed in books not only appropriate for his age, but collegiate-level tomes on subjects ranging from math, chemistry, physics and english. After this, he applied to take the 'General Certificate of Education' exam, which was a high school equivalency test given through the University of London. He passed it easily.

He applied to colleges in europe and the u.s., and at 17, received a scholarship from america's Oregan State University. He began his studies there in 1974 and received a Bachelor's Degree in mathematics in 1977. He then moved to washington d.c., and received a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering from George Washington University in 1981. He attained a second Master's Degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1986. During the same time, he attained yet another Master's Degree from George Washington University in Ocean, Coastal and Marine Engineering; and this he did while working as a civil engineer in Maryland and Wyoming. In 1987, Dr. Phil was accepted into the University of Michigan's Civil Engineering Doctoral program and received a doctoral fellowship.

Now, in the governmental and academic worlds, there were 20 'Grand Challenges' that confronted the areas of science and engineering. One of these was 'petroleum reservoir stimulation'. Oil companies faced the problem of locating oil reservoirs, without displacing the pockets of petroleum into unreachable areas by drilling too deeply or too often. The main means of locating these reservoirs was using 'supercomputers' which cost upwards of 30 million dollars. Dr. Phil having grown up in Nigeria, which boasts some of the world's biggest oil reserves, decided to take up this challenge in his doctoral dissertation.

Dr. Phil's exposure to nature in his native Nigeria, helped him see the problem from a different perspective. He remembered an old African proverb which stated, 'a large number of chickens, coordinated in strength and efficiency, could do a better job than a small number of oxen'. With this mind-set, instead of using one of the oil industry's conventional 'supercomputers', which housed 8 microprocessors, he'd find one that housed 64,000. The grand quandary was how to gain access to this many computers and how to connect them. His answer would lead him to a massive computer called the 'connection machine'.

This monstrous computer was made by a company called, 'Thinking Machines'. Problem was, it was so gargantuan, that no one thought it was able to be programmed. Dr. Phil found this machine at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. He got approval to use it and went about the task of setting the parameters for his experiment. Dr. Phil was delighted when the computer, with his new programming, began processing 3.1 billion calculations a second. To top that off, the program was not only able to locate oil reservoirs, it was able to tell how much oil was in the reservoir, the oil's flow of speed and the direction the oil was traveling in. Furthermore, this technology provided the template for connecting computers around the world to provide a scalable network through which to provide and share information. Sound familiar? In other words, DR. PHIL'S PROGRAM, MARKED THE FIRST CREATION OF WHAT YOU'RE USING RIGHT NOW TO READ THIS POST...WHICH IS THE WORLD WIDE WEB, A.K.A., THE INTERNET!!


If this weren't enough, along with his phenomenal achievement, Dr. Phil succeeded in building the world's fastest computer. And, in 1989 he won the Gordon-Bell Prize, which is like the Nobel Prize in computation, for this feat.

Dr. Phil has also lent his genius to weather forecasting in regards to greenhouse gases and global warming. His basing computer methods on nature, like the working swarms of chickens and bees in honeycombs, still gives him the revolutionary insight that has every meteorologist heeding his methods. Dr. Phil gave his nature-based technologies the name of 'hyperball' computing. And this will undoubtedly continue to create innovations for generations to come.

Now, I remember one day, I was in a subway looking at a billboard that told the tale of a Black man being responsible for the creation of the 'ice cream scooper'. I don't know if this is true or not, but white supremacists put that crap billboard up to keep the Black Diaspora mired in shame thinking this was the only kind of thing our feeble minds could come up with creating.

What that sign was designed to do, was reinforce the reasons why I should hate Black people; based on the fact that we're less intelligent than whites, who I and everyone of my peers, was taught created everything worth creating. And seconds after, this billboard was suppose to make me hate myself for being Black. That's the game of white supremacy.

So, if you're a Black man or woman reading this, anytime you're made to feel like the only thing your people contributed to this world was slavery and Martin Luther King, remember Dr. Phil Emeagwali; and be inspired to know that the only thing whitey created was the patent office...everything else they stole from us.


Ma'at Hotep!

MontUHURU Mimia


Family...just wanted to let you know, I have a job conference I need to attend that requires me to travel. So if over the course of the next weeks, my posts are less consistent, this is why.

Also, in keeping with the theme of great Black inventors, if you'd like to know about brotha Henry T. Sampson and his invention of the 'Gamma Electric Cell', you can read about it here.

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