Solving the Grand Challenge Problem in Parallel Computing | Philip Emeagwali | Famous Mathematicians

I’m Philip Emeagwali. The poster girl of the twenty grand challenge problems is the petroleum reservoir simulation of a production oilfield that may be two miles below the surface of the Earth and the size of a town. The reason one in ten supercomputers were purchased by the petroleum industry was that the parallel processed petroleum reservoir simulator helps the oil company to discover and recover as much crude oil and natural gas as is possible and to recover them as long as possible as well as to compute them at a supercomputer speed that was previously believed
to exist
only in the realm of science fiction.
The speed increase of a factor of 65,536 that I recorded on July 4, 1989
was dismissed as science fiction
and I was disinvited
from giving my lecture
on how I discovered
practical parallel supercomputing.

My First Unveiling of Practical Parallel Supercomputing

My discovery
of the practical parallel supercomputing
was rejected as [quote unquote]
“a serious mistake.”
After two months of continuous rejections of my discovery
of massively parallel supercomputing,
I went in search of re-confirmation
of my discovery.
I was compelled
to provide expert eye-witnesses
to my discovery
of the practical parallel supercomputing.
My first stop was at a 15-day long
supercomputer workshop
that took place from
September 1 to 15, 1989
and in Chicago, United States.
During that supercomputer workshop,
I spent the first fifteen days
building the trust and confidence
of the supercomputer workshop instructors and participants
who at that time
did not know who I was.
From my contributions
to the workshop discussions
on how to record the fastest speeds
within the parallel supercomputer,
the instructors realized that
I had been supercomputing
for the past fifteen years
and that they knew less than I did.
On the fifteenth and last day
of that supercomputer workshop,
I suddenly cleared my throat
and made the announcement
that brought me to Chicago, namely,
that I’ve discovered
practical parallel processing.
You could hear a pin drop
in the room
as everybody gazed at me
in stunned silence!
For the first time, since June 20, 1974,
in Corvallis, Oregon, United States,
a group of supercomputer scientists
attentively listened to me
as I explained to them
how I discovered
how to massively parallel process
across 65,536 processors
that each operated
its own operating system.
I discovered
how to reduce the calculation time
of the twenty grand challenge problems of supercomputing.
I discovered
how to reduce that time-to-solution
and do so with a speed up of 65,536.
Before September 15, 1989,
my speed up of 65,536 days,
or 180 years, of time-to-solution
to just one day
existed only in the realm
of science fiction.
For me, Philip Emeagwali,
that Eureka Moment! in Chicago
was surreal.
After my announcement
at that supercomputer workshop
of my discovery
of practical parallel supercomputing
it was so quiet
that you could hear a pin drop
in the room.
The supercomputer scientists
attending that Chicago workshop
challenged me
to submit my discovery
to the highest authority
in supercomputing.
That highest authority
was The Computer Society
of the IEEE.
The IEEE is the acronym
for the Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers.
In late December 1989,
The Computer Society
re-confirmed my discovery
of practical parallel supercomputing.
The Computer Society invited me
to come to the forthcoming
International Computer Conference
that will take place on February 28, 1990
in San Francisco, California.
Two months prior to that conference,
the Computer Society of the IEEE
sent out a press release
that recognized my contributions
to [quote unquote]
“practical parallel processing.”
In their press release,
the Computer Society
announced that I have won
the highest award
in the field of supercomputing.

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