Dr Philip Emeagwali (Nigéria, 1954) : L’ordinateur le plus rapide au monde (1989)/Dr. Philip Emeagwali (1954) Inventor of the World's Fastest Computer (1989)

Publié le par Munsa Nzinga Kandombe

 

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Philip Emeagwali est né à Akure au Nigeria. Suite à des problèmes financiers familiaux, il quitte l’école à 14 ans mais son père lui donne des cours à domicile. Chaque jour, le jeune nigérian fait des exercices intellectuels tel que 100 problèmes mathématiques à résoudre en 1 heure. Son père l’entraîne jusqu’à ce qu’“il en sache plus que lui même”. 

Philip Emeagwali reçoit une bourse de l’université d’Etat de l’Oregon aux USA et obtient un Bachelor en mathématiques à 17 ans. Il obtient par la suite un phD en sciences informatiques et deux masters.

En étudiant les abeilles, le Dr Emeagwali s’inspire de la façon dont elles construisent et travaillent dans leur ruche pour mettre sur pied l’ordinateur le plus rapide au monde. En 1989, il utilise 65 000 processeurs afin de l’inventer, celui-ci peut mener jusqu'à 3,1 milliards de calculs par seconde, permettant un accès beaucoup plus facile à internet.

L’inventeur nigérian est également connu pour avoir amélioré la productivité des champs pétroliers. Il a reçu le prix Gordon Bell, qui correspond au prix Nobel d’informatique. 

Son système informatique est aujourd’hui utilisé pour les prévisions météorologiques et pour prévoir et étudier les effets du réchauffement climatique.

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Dr. Philip Emeagwali (1954) Inventor of the World's Fastest Computer (1989)


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 father continued teaching him at home, and everyday Emeagwali performed mental exercises such as solving 100 math problems in one hour. His father taught him until Philip "knew more than he did."

Growing up in a country torn by civil war, Emeagwali lived in a building crumbled by rocket shells. He believed his intellect was a way out of the line of fire. So he studied hard and eventually received a scholarship to Oregon State University when he was 17 where he obtained a BS in mathematics. He also earned three other degrees – a Ph.D. in Scientific computing from the University of Michigan and two Masters degrees from George Washington University.

The noted black inventor received acclaim based, at least in part, on his study of nature, specifically bees. Emeagwali saw an inherent efficiency in the way bees construct and work with honeycomb and determined computers that emulate this process could be the most efficient and powerful. In 1989, emulating the bees' honeycomb construction, Emeagwali used 65,000 processors to invent the world's fastest computer, which performs computations at 3.1 billion calculations per second.

Dr. Philip Emeagwali's resume is loaded with many other such feats, including ways of making oil fields more productive – which has resulted in the United States saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year. As one of the most famous African-American inventors of the 20th century, Dr. Emeagwali also has won the Gordon Bell Prize – the Nobel Prize for computation. His computers are currently being used to forecast the weather and to predict the likelihood and effects of future global warming.

Publié dans Sciences-Technologies

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