Talk:Philip Emeagwali/Archive 1

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Note: the critique of the article immediately below has been responded to at the end. Please take note of it.

Every other sentence in this biography contains an intentional lie. My edits removed those "factual inaccuracies" and references to websites of fictious authors. This is a devious biographical writing (adapted from hate newsgroups postings) that is full ouright lies, superficialities, irrelevancies, inaccuracies, errors, omissions, overemphasis

on trivialites, and an obvious lack of understanding of the subject matter, such as partial differential equations, numerical approximations, message-passing, network theory, laws of physics.

As I see it, the problem is an "echo chamber" effect or groupthink or like minded people reinforcing their racial biases while refusing to do basic fact-checking. The result is that a scientific fact is differents from wiki facts.

Check your facts!

Remember the WIKI rule: "Please cite your sources so others can check your work." You cited fictitious and anonymous authors, ignoring documents from the IEEE, Association for Computing Machinery, the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, International Congress of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, The White House, seven universities (including the University of Michigan), dozens of books in Don't reintroduce these factual inaccuracies. They will be deleted!

Below are numerous examples of factual inaccuracies. There are many many more inaccuracies to be revealed later.

FALSE STATEMENT (first sentence)

He "was one of five winners of the 1989 Gordon Bell prize."


Emeagwali did not share the Gordon Bell Prize with five people. He won it alone.

You have given honorary authorship to five unknown and unnamed scientists. He was the only individual to win the Gordon Bell Prize alone while eight researchers from MIT shared the other Gordon Bell Prize. The fact is that an 8-man MIT team tied with only one-man, but you revised it to read that he shared with five people.

OK, until I can check this one I'll revise it. --Robert Merkel 06:00, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


You quoted two fictitious authors (Ezeilo and anonymous) and ignored published testimonials from leading computer scientist and ignored the President of the United States who (you'll guess) had computer scientists review the transcript of his televised speech for technical accuracy.

The NEW AFRICAN is the TIME magazine of Africa. You ignored their ranking of Emeagwali but choose to quote websites

published by anonymous authors.

I haven't been able to find a single endorsement of Emeagwali from a leading computer scientist. If you've got one, please point me to it. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


"Emeagwali heavily promotes himself as a speaker for conferences."

FACT CHECK He declines most speaking engagements and has never spoken in Africa in 31 years.

Look at his website and make your own mind up whether that's a fair characterisation. --Robert Merkel 06:00, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


A large number of websites [1] [2] named after famous inventors and other great achievers, particularly African ones, have been created to promote Emeagwali. They feature brief biographies of them (copied verbatim from sources such as Project Gutenberg public domain texts and the World Book Encyclopedia), surrounded by many links to Emeagwali's site.

The large number of links to Emeagwali's main site also boosts the prominence of it in search engines. The relevant domain name whois records list Donita Brown, Emeagwali's wife, as the technical and administrative contact.


According to Google, it is impossible for a billion low PageRank pages to boost a website that is already ranked high.

Yes, but those other sites presumably collect people searching for other scientists and African achievers, and then direct traffic to Emeagwali's own site. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


The WHOIS record does not list Donita Brown in the your "large number of websites." And his wedding page did not list Donita Brown either. Only Wiki lists Donita Brown as his wife.

This is true. I can personally vouch for the fact they used to, but in any case I have changed the article to reflect the present situation. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


According to his website, Emeagwali was born in a "remote Nigerian village" in 1954. He dropped out of school in 1967 because of the Nigerian civil war. When he turned fourteen, he was conscripted into the Biafran army. After the end of the war, He completed a high-school equivalency through self-study and came to the United States to study at university under a scholarship scheme.


You left out four graduate degrees in four different fields .... PLEASE CONTINUE to ENLIGHTEN US ... You intentionally skipped four graduate degrees ...

Thomas Edison (the greatest American inventor of the 20th century) had only sixth-grade education and is found of stating that that he would rather hire a hard worker than a college graduate. Albert Einstein (Time magazine's Person of the Century) did not even have four graduate degrees. And Isaac Newton graduated at the bottom of his class. Your revered Tim Berneers Lee is an MIT professor that never went to graduate school. You know that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and half of leading computer pioneers merely earned a high school diploma.

What four graduate degrees. As far as I can tell Emeagwali doesn't list them on his website. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


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 was thus not awarded the degree. Emeagwali filed a court challenge, claiming 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.


There were no thesis "internal examiners." The "external examiners" did not reject his thesis. Instead, they awarded it the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize. [Now that I have named the external examiners and I look forward to your priving me wrong by naming the internal examiners and renaming the external examiners.]

You are conflating two separate events. The people who award the Gordon Bell Prize and the people who examined Emeagwali's thesis are two seperate groups. As to who the examiners were, that was not revealed in the court transcripts. When you submit a thesis, the external examiners are kept secret, the only person who knows is your supervisor (I should know, I'm about to submit mine). --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


There is not no lawsuit for a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering. A complaint for a denied "Ph.D. degree in civil engineering" must be filed with a lower court. Find an original complaint and this information will be corrected. In the real world primary document takes precedence over secondary documents. The primary documents were ignored in favor of a secondary document that contradicts what was in the primary document.


We found that a dozen University of Michigan publications hailed Emeagwali as a genius whom the university officials spent three years courting. In the citiation below, the university's flagship publication called "Michigan Today" (February 1991) devoted a special issue on his work. The latter issue on Emeagwali was mailed to the university's 400,000 alumni.

Read the appeals court transcript and the linked article, they are quite unambiguous about the fact that there was a court case about Emeagwali's PhD thesis, which Emeagwali lost. I have no access to the Michigan Today article and so cannot comment other than to point out that a university promotional publication mailed out to alumni is hardly compelling compared to the complete lack of peer-reviewed technical publication and the rejection of Emeagwali's PhD thesis. --Robert Merkel 06:00, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Emeagwali, on his website, claims that the Gordon Bell prize has been called "supercomputing's Nobel Prize".

While it is a significant prize in the relatively narrow field of supercomputing, it is not in any way comparable in financial rewards, prestige, or recognition to the Nobel Prizes.


Supercomputing is not a "narrow field." Historically, the supercomputer of today is the computer of tomorrow. The supercomputer is to the computer what the heavy champion is to boxing. The latter may not be pound-for-pound the best fighter, but punch-for-punch he is the toughest.

This is meaningless. While in terms of performance today's PC's outperform the supercomputers of yesteryear on most tasks, the way supercomputers have achieved this is quite different to how modern computers outperform their earlier cousins. As the article on supercomputer points out, supercomputers use unconventional designs that usually feature a very high level of parallel processing and non-standard memory hierachies. Taking advantage of these unconventional designs to the fullest is a specialised task. It has comparatively little application in conventional computing, where, overwhelmingly, programs are designed to run on one, or at most a few, processors at one time. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


The Gordon Bell prize has $5,000 while the Turing has $25,000 while the Nobel Prize has one million dollars. The Field's Medal is called the Nobel Prize of mathematics yet it has zero financial reward.

So? --Robert Merkel 06:00, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


"In the wider field of computing, the Turing Award is regarded as by far the most prestigious award."


You are comparing apples and oranges, the Turing Award is not a supercomputing award. The Turing has a 15-year waiting period but you expect Emeagwali to do Turing prize-winning discovery while in high school and earn the Turing Award in 1989 at the ripe old age of 34. For the record, the Gordon Bell prize is supercomputing's top prize and by default the Nobel Prize of supercomputing. The IEEE Gordon Bell Prize-winning works are published in IEEE publications and publicly defended at the annual Supercomputing conference which draws 10,000 attendees. The Turing Award is a private closed-door selection process.

Um, no. The clear implication of Emeagwali's claims is that the Gordon Bell Prize is equivalent in prestige to the Nobels, which is complete rubbish. The article noted that the Bell prize was "significant". --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Emeagwali also claims to have performed the "world's fastest computation of 3.1 billion calculations per second in 1989" [3]. This is false;


Please cite your sources. The keyword is "1989." Your proof is a latter date. He explained his "world's fastest computation" at

See the 1989 listing here, and note that the winner in the "Performance" category had a higher-price performance than Emeagwali.


Some web sites state that he holds patents, for instance an article at the Lemelson-MIT inventor program [4], states that he "holds more than 30 patents". He is not listed in the USPTO patent database, which holds fully searchable records of all US patents dating back to 1976, nor in its pending application database, as of April 2004.


Your key phrase is "Some web sites." Now tell us what he claimed in his website [5] or in his 1057-page Gordon Bell Prize report or in his off-line interviews and writings. One could find a website out of 50,000 authorized website. [Even Bill Clinton maintains several unauthorized blogs written by conservative republican webmasters].

The MIT page was extolling the virtues of various inventors including Emeagwali.


His biography [] claimed "41 discoveries" while your secondary sources claimed "30 patents." However, you prefer to cite your secondary sources. You did not devote a sentence to any of the "41 discoveries."

Do you understand the difference between a "discovery" and an "invention?" Do you understand that it was illegal to patent discoveries in the United States of America. You have to search in countries that allow the patenting of discoveries.

Well, then, could you please provide information on these "41 discoveries", then? And, while I don't claim to be an expert on patent law, the Wikipedia article on patent indicates that Europe and Japan, at least, have similar standards as to what is patentable to the US. And, geez, given that Emeagwali seems to have participated in the creation of the linked-to article, it's a terrible shame that he didn't bother to clarify the misleading impression that "30 patents" would lead to. --Robert Merkel 06:00, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


"In subsequent years, various supercomputers have been used to perform computations far faster and more cost-effectively than Emeagwali as the inevitable result of Moore's Law and improvement in programming techniques."


Emeagwali programmed 65,536 processors to outperform supercomputers. That's not "Moore's Law." The most powerful supercomputer built by IBM also uses 65,536, not powered by Moore's Law

The point of the cited sentence that Emeagwali's achievement was not a quantum leap over others; as previously noted, it was not the fastest floating-point calculation performed in 1989, and over time, as indicated here, subsequent Gordon Bell Prize winners far exceeded Emeagwali's program's performance. Indeed, these days a high-end single CPU will go close on some applications. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)



Your primary source author "Chioma Ezeilo" claims to live in Utah. Yet extensive search of United States driving records/databases shows that it was a fictitious person. existed. Nigerian newsgroups are speculating that Chioma Ezeilo is a pen-name for a person indirectly responsible for the death of eight African villagers.

If this is so, could you use Google Groups to provide a citation? In any case, the article makes a number of substantive criticisms. Oh, and by the way, aren't driving records private - in which case, how were they searched to check the identity of the supposed Mr Ezeilo. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


This "Black Inventions Myth" website is written by an anonymous author who debunked the contributions of nearly all significant black inventors. The only true inventors, we are led to believe, are white geniuses such as like Thomas Edison "the father of the light buld."

I can't find a link back to check this. Could you provide one? In any case, the page cites sources which check out, which is more than you've cared to in most cases. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


A "White Inventions Myth" site could also debunk any major white inventor. Take for example, Thomas Edison. His patent on the light bulb was declared null and void by a United States court, three years after it was issued.

Um, your logic seems to be "Edison wrongly claimed credit for the light bulb, therefore all his purported inventions were bunk, therefore all white inventors can be debunked." It is true that inventors often invent the same device independently, and sometimes they claim credit for others work, or claim the whole credit when the work was based so a greater or lesser extent on the work of others. Edison was notorious for this, as the Thomas Edison Wikipedia article records quite extensively. Are you arguing because Edison's contribution has been misunderstood and exaggerated in the past, Emeagwali (and I presume other black inventors) should not have their claims scrutinized? --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)



You've made this a legal biography, instead of scientific biography


You searched for papers and ended up writing about a complaint that was never filed in any United States court of law.

Um, I'm no legal expert, but judges don't tend to issue decisions on cases that never go to court. See the transcript of the appeals court decision. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


A large number of websites [1] ( [2] ( named after famous inventors and other great achievers, particularly African ones, have been created to promote Emeagwali. They feature brief biographies of them (copied verbatim from sources such as Project Gutenberg public domain texts and the World Book Encyclopedia), surrounded by many links to Emeagwali's site. The large number of links to Emeagwali's main site also boosts the prominence of it in search engines. The relevant domain name WHOIS record list Donita Brown, Emeagwali's wife, as the technical and administrative contact.


Google will spend billions on these public domain texts. He was thinking ahead of google.

Irrelevant. Emeagwali is attempting to linkspam. --Robert Merkel 06:00, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


You never bothered to check WHOIS. Did you? The whois fact is that only "emeagwali" domains are owned by Donita Brown.

They were at the time I checked them. They have changed. --Robert Merkel


Self Promotion -- Alfred Nobel, Gordon Bell and others who named prizes after themselves are more self-promoting than the recipients of the awards. Gordon Bell should have named his awards after the "IEEE," instead of self-promoting his name. Naming awards after oneself more self-promotion than receiving them.

Irrelevant. --Robert Merkel 06:00, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


The Nigerian press .... BLAH BLAH ...


The Nigerian Press were repeating what IEEE, American and White House told them. Emeagwali has never been to Nigeria in 31 years.

Besides the American press promotes the Wright Brothers while the Brazilian press promotes Santos who achieved the first flight.

The American press promotes Thomas Edison as the father of the light bulb while the British press promotes Joseph Swan as the inventor of the light bulb, even though the US court ruled in favor of Joseph Swan. Alan Turing is promoted by the Gay press as a martyr who committed suicide to avoid trial for child molestation. Do you know why the Gay press promotes Isaac Newton [Hint: he died a bachelor] And so on.

As an indication of the esteem in which Turing is held by the computer science community, the Turing Award was named after Turing in 1966. The gay rights movement was still very much undergound in the United States at that stage, apparently, so I very much doubt that the ACM chose to name the award after Turing on the basis that it was politically savvy to name the award after a gay man.
Oh, and as for Newton, if you think his fame is due to his supposed homosexuality you're completely off your rocker. Newton was widely known as one of the world's greatest scientists (or "natural philosopher" as they used to be called) continuously since the publication of the Principia Mathematica.


You must check your facts! You have to understand the subject matter and his contributions write a biography that provides both scientific content and context. I will provide additional factual information, including illustrations at a latter date.

I will check this point by point when I get back from holidays. I know some of the statements made by our anonymous commentor are factually incorrect (you can read the court case, and articles about it, in the references). I note that the substantive points (Emeagwali didn't invent the internet and nobody in the CS community has heard of the bloke) have gone unchallenged in your critique. To the anonymous commentor (could you please sign your comments, even with a nom de plume) seeing you're obviously such an expert on Mr. Emeagwali, do you have any information on this unjustly ignored genius's current research activities? --Robert Merkel 08:40, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I have done a more extensive fact-checking of the claims made above, and my responses are scattered throughout the text. Most of the claims were either wrong, misleading, or irrelevant, and a lot of the rest is uncheckable. One final note - the commentor criticises supposedly anonymous sources, but isn't prepared to put his name to them. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I am a different person from the poster above who would like to comment on some information out there about emeagwali that is false.

Some people say that Emeagwali computation of 3.1 billion calculations was not the fastest in the year 1989. They should note that there seems to be some confusion regarding when he did this computation. Some articles say that it was 1988 and others 1989. Emeagwali said he first did it in 1988.

This interview says 1988, [6], so does this one,[7] and this one.[8]

Other interviews say 1989. [9]

Another thing, it is said that Emeagwali was given the Price-performance award by the judges who did not want to award the prize to the team that had just won the Peak performance award.

That is wrong. Emeagwali won the peak-performance award partly due to the fact that his paper solved what was considereed one of the 20 national grand challenges in science and engineering i.e. petroleum reservoir simulation. Also, do note that Emeagwali states that his program ran 4 times faster i.e. 12.3 Billion calculations per second when he utilized assembly code. [10]

Whether 1988 or 1989, he won the prize in 1989. I imagine that Emeagwali was working on his program throughout that period and making improvements along the way. I don't know exactly when the computation made by the performance winners was made either. It seems a fairly minor point, but by all means make the correction. I do note that he entered again in 1990 and didn't win, so by that stage I guess somebody else was crunching more numbers.
As to the details of his win I can't find a copy of the report that announced the winners, which is the definitive source as to why he received it. It must be in the IEEE archives somewhere, and if somebody can locate it and get me a copy I'd be most appreciative. From what I read about the 1990 awards, it seemed that it was very much focussed on raw FLOPS numbers, not what the end result of those FLOPs were (which seems a bit like bragging about your BogoMips count to me, but I haven't played with a supercomputer yet (putting in a grant app to use one though)...).--Robert Merkel 12:12, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Somebody has kindly sent me the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize article; it contains some more details about the actual problem Emeagwali solved (he used a Connection Machine to movements of oil in an oilfield more precisely than earlier methods). The relevant section on the award itself is as follows:
We awarded the price-performance prize to Philip Emeagwali of the Civil Engineering Department and Scientific Computing Program at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He also used a CM-2 to solve an oil-reservoir-modeling problem. His model ran at a price/performance of slightly less than 400 Mflops per $1 million. While the Mobile/TMC team achieved almost 500 Mflops per $1 million, we decided to award only one prize per entry.
That description pretty much matches what the article says now.
The article itself goes into more detail about the actual problem Emeagwali solved, which probably should be added to the article if somebody has the time or interest (I'm happy to pass on a copy of the article if somebody wants it). --Robert Merkel 03:42, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I am Ochiwar and I find very disturbing the fact that several of Emeagwalis educational qualifications are being skipped in this article. The first anonymous writer had already raised this point and your reply was; What four graduate degrees. As far as I can tell Emeagwali doesn't list them on his website. --Robert Merkel 05:55, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC) Is that so? Well even a cursory search provided me with several links on his website which list his various post graduate degrees. See for example There we find the following information among others: 1977 Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Oregon State University 1981 Masters' degree in environmental engineering at George Washington University. 1986 Masters' degree in mathematics at University of Maryland Post-masters'degree in ocean, coastal and marine engineering at George Washington University Employed as a civil engineer at the United States Bureau of Reclamation in Wyoming .

I'll make the changes, then (or you can yourself, if you want - the Wikipedia editing process is open). One minor clarification - the first one is not a "post graduate degree", but the others seem to be - though a "Post-master's degree" is rather vague.
A point to consider, though; having university degrees, even multiple ones, does not make one notable. Some evidence of notable achievements would be a far more interesting addition to the article than the details of his university education. --Robert Merkel 13:34, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Sorry - it seems that a post-masters degree is a coursework degree program for people who have completed a masters degree. Such degrees are not awarded in Australia. My bad, I'll add that one too. --Robert Merkel 13:44, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Thank you Sir. Also the following line from the article is factually incorrect "Some web sites state that he holds patents, for instance an article at the Lemelson-MIT inventor program [3], states that he "holds more than 30 patents". Fact is that this claim is not contained in the Lemelson-MIT article. See

As to Emeagwalis achievements, I think a good number of them are listed in the Lemelson-MIT article. But Dr. Scott Williams, Professor of Mathematics State University of New York at Buffalo gives more information in his article " Computer Scientists of the african Diaspora" at According to DR. Scott , these achievements include; 1. Philip Emeagwali's greatest achievement, that warranted him the most praise, was The Connection Machine. The Connection Machine utilizes 65,000 computers linked in parallel to form the fastest computer on Earth. This computer can perform 3.1 billion calculations per second. This is faster than the theoretical top speed of the Cray Supercomputer. Though he did not "invent" The Connection Machine, his work on it won Philip Emeagwali the Gordon Bell Prize of 1989. The parallel computer was twice as fast as the previous year's computer. The Connection Machine was a great advancement over previous designs built by IBM's design teams of Thomas J. Watson, Jr. and Fred Brook. 2.Philip Emeagwali designed the program and formula for the fastest computer on earth, the Connection Machine. He designed the system of parallel computers that are used by all search engines, for example Yahoo or The parallel computer idea was also worked on by individuals such as Burton Smith and Daniel Hillis. 3.The Connection Machine with a program developed by Philip Emeagwali solved a 350 year old packing problem that was considered to be one of the great unsolved mathematics problems. The Connection Machine and Mr. Emeagwali also designed equations to explain how sperm swim, how polluted groundwater flows, how the Earth's interior moves and causes volcanic eruptions, finally how to recover petroleum safer and in larger quantities. 4.Finally Philip Emeagwali designed the Hyperball computer which is able to forecast long-term global warming patterns.

I would preffer if you can do the editing yourself if you feel it makes sense. You know best how the structure and gramar should be.

Dr.Scott seems not to be aware of the State of Michigan court of appeals opinion concerning Emeagwali and his Ph.d, but I have sent him a mail to notify him on that point.

OK, as far as the patent claim is concerned it was quietly removed from that article in 2004 - see The Wayback Machine's older version of the article. Claims associating Emeagwali with patents are still floating around the internet - see [11] for instance.
As to Emeagwali's use of the Connection Machine, he had nothing to do with the design of the machine. He was one of a considerable number of people who used it for a number of different purposes - including, notably, the *other* winners of the 1989 Gordon Bell award . The report that describes the awards (which I am happy to send you if you'd like) describes the process. According to the report, Emeagwali's method for modelling oil flows was innovative in that rather than using some approximations that were commonly used in that modelling up until that time, he used the power of the CM-2 to get a more accurate solution. He also figured out some techniques to allow the calculations to take best advantage of the CM-2's architecture. These appear to be highly specific to the problem being solved; they were not some fundamental breakthrough that was applicable to a wide range of techniques.
As to how influential this has been, it doesn't appear to have been very influential at all. He hasn't published anything in any peer-reviewed journals that I can find; he didn't set up a company to provide this service to oil companies, and so on. And the committee of experts in the field who examined this work for the purposes of awarding him a PhD didn't seem to think it was worthy of that degree.
Um, actually, I'm not anonymous, you can have a look at my user page.
Please do note that this is not correct. Emeagwalis petroluem reservation solution was highly influential in the petroleum industry. Even one of your main sources regarding Emeagwalis "fraudulent" claims states so. According to the following book i.e. History of the Internet pg. 138,
A. The stated problem:
During the late 1980s, the U.S. government listed “petroleum reservoir simulation” among the twenty “grand challenges” to scientists in America. Back then, supercomputer simulations were locating oil reserves with only 10 percent accuracy.
B. Emeagwali’s Solution Statement as Reported:
Harnessing the power of parallel computing, Emeagwali was able to effectively simulate petroleum reserves—and change oil exploration history.[12]

That's a complete misrepresentation of the view of the author of that article. Let's reproduce the full section you selectively quoted:
My question was, recognized where and by whom? In all of my research, no one but Philip Emeagwali himself has referred to Philip Emeagwali as “a father of the Internet.” He implies, on his website, that this reference is made in the book, History of the Internet: A Chronology, 1843 to the Present by Christos J. P. Moschovitis, Hilary Poole, Tami Schuyler, Theresa M. Senft. There is significant indication that Emeagwali himself supplied the information found on page 138 of that book, which was published in 2001. For one thing, the relevant section of the book is written with the same vague verbiage that characterizes, and space that should have been used to delineate what Emeagwali considers to be the crux of his contribution is devoted to worthless information about place of birth and claims about “changing history.” I took the liberty of searching in that very book, and nowhere in its text is Philip Emeagwali referred to as “a father of the Internet.” Below is how the book characterizes what Philip Emeagwali accomplished in response to the stated problem:
A. The stated problem:
During the late 1980s, the U.S. government listed “petroleum reservoir simulation” among the twenty “grand challenges” to scientists in America. Back then, supercomputer simulations were locating oil reserves with only 10 percent accuracy.
B. Emeagwali’s Solution Statement as Reported:
Harnessing the power of parallel computing, Emeagwali was able to effectively simulate petroleum reserves—and change oil exploration history.

Note that the statement of the problem and the existing solution were given with clarity and specificity. We are told that "supercomputer simulations were locating oil reserves with only 10 percent accuracy." There is no doubt that Emeagwali’s oil reservoir simulation demonstrated an improvement on the values that existed in the early eighties. Otherwise, he would not have been awarded one of the Gordon Bell prizes in 1989, But, instead of stating his solution with the same level of clarity contained in the problem statement, and instead of giving the values for the improvement he achieved, we are given the vague “Harnessing the power of parallel computing …. to effectively simulate petroleum reserves—and change oil exploration history.” There appears to be a blinding obsession on the part of Emeagwali to be recognized as making history, as the greatest mind of out time, as a “super brain.”
So your quoted section provides no evidence that Emeagwali's development influenced future research or industrial methods. Surely, if he's been influential, it's not going to be that hard to find direct evidence of his influence? --Robert Merkel 07:03, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Here is also another quote by one of the judges i.e. Alan Karp,
In the bimonthly news journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, mathematician Alan Karp wrote: "I have checked with several reservoir engineers who feel that his calculation is of real importance and very fast. His explicit method not only generates lots of megaflops, but solves problems faster than implicit methods. Emeagwali is the first to have applied a pseudo-time approach in reservoir modeling.” (SIAM News, May 1990)[13]
OK, that's one quote from back in 1990 from a non-expert in the area for a newsletter (which is not a journal) promoting the Gordon Bell Prize announcement, which is unfortunately not online.
You do realize that Alan Karp was one of the judges that awarded Emeagwali the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize. So I wouldn't refer to him as a non-expert.
To clarify, he is not an expert on oilfield modelling, as his Wikipedia article clearly shows. His main claim to fame is his contributions to object-oriented programming and the graphical user interface. --Robert Merkel 04:31, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Who the hell is Alan Kay? We are talking about Alan H. Karp here. I don't believe that the two are the same. Alan Karp is a mathematician, though I do believe he also works at HP.
Apologies, my mistake. You're right, Alan Karp does work at HP. His publication record doesn't give any indication of expertise in oilfield simulation either. --Robert Merkel 23:57, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Surely if he was "influential" it should be easy to turn up dozens of quotes from academic and industry-specific publications.

Not only that, but it is said that Emeagwali did set up a consultation company and he did do consultation work for several oil companies. His consultation company was a forerunner to his new company Emeagwali Research.
If he was really influential in this way he'd be a) rich as hell, and b) it would be easy to find evidence of its work. --
With regards the other problems he claims to have solved - he hasn't published anything in a peer-reviewed journal (or, in detail, anywhere else) so who knows what he's done?
As far as the "hyperball computer" is concerned, it doesn't physically exist, and as far as I can tell nobody designing a supercomputer has ever noted it as an inspiration. Lots of people are doing global warming modelling calculations. Yahoo's and Google's computing architectures (which include large numbers of very loosely couple stock PC's) have nothing in common with this kind of design anyway. --Robert Merkel 01:03, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
The hyperball computer was not a physical invention but a computer network design. This has been stated several times in many of his interviews.
And this computer network design has been implemented where?
I again go back to my main point; if Emeagwali was one of the world's top scientists, as his website claims, it would be trivial to dig up a long list of easily verifiable and concrete achievements supporting that, and people would be falling over themselves to get his name in their journals and their conferences. No such list of achievements exists. He won one academic prize, failed his PhD, sued the university, lost, appealed, lost, and has never actually published in a journal or conference since. And he's certainly no father of the internet. --Robert Merkel 07:03, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

What's relevant?

  • That the numerous websites supporting him as a speaker are run by him is relevant. This is supported by the whois info.
  • Supercomputing is a narrow field compared to chemistry, medicine, literature, etc.
  • Emeagwali never claims he invented supercomputing, so we can take out all the info showing that he didn't invent it.
  • the IEEE and ACM are the standard publishing routes for computing scientists. This is a legit way to measure someone's influence on the field.
  • New supercomputers are cheaper as well as faster

Jim Apple 05:35, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

The reason why I put the stuff in about the supercomputer is that he does claim to be the inventor of the supercomputer (the link is from the front page of his website). --Robert Merkel 05:43, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
That article you link has the magazine calling him the inventor. There is no uote of him calling himself that. Jim Apple 18:55, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Again, from his home page:
"A supercomputer is one of the fastest computers in the world. The best-known supercomputer manufacturer was Cray Research Inc., a company that believed that all supercomputers should have fewer than four processing nodes. On November 29, 1989, the president of Cray told 'The New York Times:' 'We can't find any real progress in harnessing the power of thousands of processors.' A few days later, Emeagwali announced that he had harnessed the power of 65,536 processors to exceed the power of a Cray supercomputer. He won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize for his breakthrough and it inspired the reinvention of supercomputers to utilize thousands of processors." -- Compiled by Dr. Donita Brown
At the very least, many media reports, linked from Emeagwali's home page, are claiming that he made a breakthrough that revolutionised the world of supercomputing by enabling the use of massively parallel processors. That is false. Therefore, it is relevant material for the article. It's actually closer to the mark than any claim about inventing the internet, because he was at least doing *some* research that involved supercomputers. Donita Brown is his wife, by the way.--Robert Merkel 01:42, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
If you want to put some text up showing that high node count supercomputers were already being used well, then that would condradict his statement. This claim, though, still isn't about having invented supercomputers. Jim Apple 13:54, 8 October 2005 (UTC)