Emeagwali Voted History’s

35th Greatest African              

Philip Emeagwali A Father of the Internet[MSOffice1] 


LONDON - Philip Emeagwali was voted the 35th greatest African of all time in a survey for New African magazine, it was announced on August 26, 2004. Emeagwali also ranked as the greatest African scientist ever.

The technology category was topped by Imhotep, the multi-genius that designed Egypt's first pyramid. The science category was topped by Emeagwali famed for helping give birth to the supercomputer, the technology that gave rise to the Internet. Philip Emeagwali[MSOffice2] 

Emeagwali's discovery of a formula that enables supercomputers powered by 65,000 electronic brains called "processors" to perform the world’s fastest calculations inspired the reinvention of supercomputers - from the size and shape of a loveseat to a thousand-fold faster machine that occupies the space of four tennis courts, costs 400 million dollars a piece, powered by 65,000 processors and that can perform a billion billion calculations per second.

Emeagwali reformulated Newton’s Second Law of Motion as 18 equations and algorithms; then as 24 million algebraic equations; and finally he programmed and executed those equations on 65,000 processors at a speed of 3.1 billion calculations per second.

Emeagwali's 65,000 processors, 24 million equations and 3.1 billion calculations were three world records that garnered international headlines.

The list was topped by South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah.


The London-based magazine said responses flooded in after the survey was launched last December to nominate the top 100 most influential Africans or people of African descent.

Heroes of independence movements in
Africa and African-American figures in the United States figure prominently on the list.

Patrice Lumumba,
Congo's first post-colonial prime minister, ranks sixth, followed by US civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Pele, the legendary Brazilian soccer star, comes in 17th, followed by Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley, numbering among those called "Diasporans" by New African.

Radical civil rights leader Malcolm X, at ninth, is a rank above United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, from
Ghana, who comes just ahead of US boxer Muhammad Ali.
35 miles from Washington, DC
Few women made the cut. The highest-ranked female, at 12th, is Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of the South African president. Others include the dynamic duo of tennis, American sisters Venus and Serena Williams (together ranked 73rd), and ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti at number 81.
The magazine noted that most of the top 100 are from
Africa's post-colonial period.

“Have people forgotten Africa's history? Must this worry us, as a people?” it asked.

The list appears in the August-September issue of New African, which has a circulation of roughly 30, 000 across dozens of countries. It said this is the first such survey it has carried out in a decade. -- South African Press Association & Agence France-Presse, Sapa-AFP (with contributions from other sources).

Chronology of Emeagwali’s Life


1921. James Nnaemeka Emeagwali (father of Philip) born in May in Onitsha, Nigeria.


1938. Agatha Emeagwali, née  Balonwu, (mother of Philip) born on August 7 in Onitsha.


1954 Chukwurah Emeagwali born on August 23 in Akure, Nigeria.


1955 Baptized as “Philip” [MSOffice4] 


1960 Enrolls in 1st grade in January. Nigeria gains independence from Britain on October 1.

1962 Philip (far right) in family photo taken on December 24 in Uromi, Nigeria.


1966 Nigerian military overthrows elected government. Civil uprising with 30,000 dead.


1967 Nigerian-Biafran war begins in May. One million died in 30-month war.


1968  Emeagwali family fled Onitsha for the fourth and final time[MSOffice5] .


1969  Emeagwali conscripted into the Biafran army in August, sent to Oguta war front.


1970  Biafran army defeated in January. Emeagwali is discharged from the Biafran army.


1973  Emeagwali wins a mathematics scholarship to study in the U.S.[MSOffice6] 


1981  Marries Dale Brown on August 15 in Baltimore, Maryland. Continues scientific research at National Weather Service.


1983  Obtains U.S. permanent residency “Green Card” visas for his 35 closest relatives.


1987  Programs 65,536 electronic brains, called processors to perform the world’s fastest calculation.


1989  Wins the Gordon Bell Prize alone, the equivalent in the supercomputer industry of the Nobel Prize.


2000 Bill Clinton extols Emeagwali as “one of the great minds of the Information Age.”


2004  New African magazine poll ranks Emeagwali as history’s greatest scientist of African descent.    [MSOffice7] 


Is Emeagwali the Next Imhotep?

The science and technology categories of “100 Greatest Africans” were topped by Emeagwali (left below) and Imhotep (right below), respectively.


Imhotep was deified nearly 5,000 years ago and worshipped by early Christians as one with Christ. Imhotep has been called the “father of medicine,” the world's first recorded scientist, and patron ofancient scribes. James Henry Breasted wrote that Imhotep “was the patron spirit of the later scribes, to whom they regularly poured out a libation from the water-jug of their writing outfit before beginning their work.”
How the Poll Was Conducted

Below are explanations excerpted from 2003 issues of New African  magazine:

New African will be running over the next few months a survey in which you, our readers, are asked to nominate who you think are the greatest Africans – past or present, continental or Diasporan, male or female.

The last time we published such a poll was in 1990 ... This time we have broadened the choice, to include personalities from all walks of life – Politics, Sport, Media, Music, Entertainment, Science and Technology ...

Fill out the form below with your nominations with a brief justification as to why you think your choice should be among the top 100 Greatest Africans of all time.

We will publish the winning top 100 over the course of next year.

Other Polls Conducted

Philip Emeagwali African People’s Intercontinental Awards Man of the Year

Emeagwali & Nobel laureate Maathai are co-winners of African of the Year.





Top 100 Hot List 2006


Every year, internet users vote for the 100 hottest Africans without even being aware of it. Each search for a celebrity is recorded by Yahoo and it counts as one vote. We took a snapshot from Yahoo to see who made the list of the top 100 most searched-for African heroes, for 2006. It is also a list of the most talked about, those that captured your attention and imagination the most.


Put differently: Which celebrity of African descent will receive the most invitations for an evening of conversation or a meet-and-greet? If Internet users were the only voters, Michael Jackson would run away with the gong, getting twelve times more searches than the venerable Nelson Mandela.


Martin Luther King and Bob Marley were runner-ups. Nelson Mandela was #10, Kofi Annan was #19, Philip Emeagwali was #32, and Olusegun Obasanjo was #52.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.




An interesting information that emerged is that an American celebrity is 100 times more likely to be searched than an African one. The reason is that while all Americans can look up someone on the Internet only one percent of Africans can do so.


Except for Bob Marley and Nelson Mandela, all the top ten searches were for African-Americans. Kofi Annan and Haile Selassie barely squeezed into the top 20.


We used the list of 100 greatest Africans from a New African magazine poll and entered them into a yahoo marketing tool to obtain search entries entered during 30-day period. These rankings reflect search entries compiled between April 5-10, 2006.


A celebrity’s buzz score is the number of times he or she was searched in a 30-day period.


African American Inventors black scientists inventionshttp://emeagwali.com/photos/archive/random/photos-october-2005/Philip-Emeagwali-Ladew-Topiary-Gardens-Monkton-Maryland-October-29-2005-988-450.jpg






A-List Celebrities or ‘Pin Ups’

Rank    Buzz Index  Celebrity

1             540006                michael jackson

2             338582        martin luther king jr

3             329681         bob marley

4             289358        rosa parks

5             198281          maya angelou

6             162155          malcolm x

7             124717         muhammad ali

8               80191         bill cosby

9               75655        serena williams

10             45223                nelson mandela

11             28226          marcus garvey

12             27003                eddie murphy

13             26056                jesse owens

14             20440         venus williams

15             17508          thierry henry

16             14583          hannibal

17             14532          pele

18             10208          louis farrakhan

19               6570                kofi annan

20               6198                haile selassie

21               6013          w.e.b du bois

22               5084        shaka zulu

23               4943        zinedine zidane

24               4844        imhotep

25               4127                queen of sheba

B-List Celebrities (or Superstars)

Rank    Buzz Index  Celebrity

26           3530             chinua achebe

27           3452             queen nefertiti

28           3310             desmond tutu

29           3280             toussaint louverture

30           3045             mansa musa

31           2952             akhenaten

32           2634             philip emeagwali

33           2573             robert mugabe

34           2571             youssou ndour

35           2129             salif keita

36           1950             fela kuti

37           1922             kwame nkrumah

38           1662             jomo kenyatta

39           1626             john henrik clarke

40           1566             anwar sadat

41           1512              winnie mandela

42           1487             miriam makeba

43           1433             wole soyinka

44           1151              gamal abdel nasser

45           1102              brenda fassie

46           1094             bunny wailer

47           1068             patrice lumumba

48             945             hugh masekela

49             945             thabo mbeki

50             768             steve biko


C-List Celebrities

Rank    Buzz Index  Celebrity

51            619               cheikh anta diop

52            561              olusegun obasanjo

53            548              oliver mtukudzi

54            545              jay jay okocha

55            483              george weah

56           477               julius nyerere

57           469               queen nzinga

58           406               walter rodney

59           397               leopold senghor

60           388               manu dibango

61           343               ken saro wiwa

62           329               museveni yoweri

63           291               amilcar cabral

64           256               thomas sankara

65           250               azikiwe nnamdi

66           246               peter abrahams

67           246               yaa asantewaa

68           189               f w de klerk

69           185               oliver tambo

70           178               franz fanon

71           166                walter sisulu

72           163               ali mazrui

73           159               samora machel

74           153               kenneth kaunda

75           153               zumbi

D-List Celebrities

Rank    Buzz Index  Celebrity

76           150               marc vivien foe

77           142               abdelaziz bouteflika

78           139               obafemi awolowo

79           135               roger milla

80           126               milton obote

81           119          cardinal arinze

82           113                abedi pele

83           111          hamilton naki

84           104               maria mutola

85           103               joshua nkomo

86           102               abdoulaye wade

87            97                      houphouet boigny

88            91                eduardo mondlane

89            86                      tom mboya

90            83                      helen suzman

91            69                dedan kimathi

92            68               sam nujoma

93            68                      sir seretse khama

94            68                      george padmore

95            61                muammar qadafi

96            55                      john chilembwe

97            54                      hendrik witbooi

98            47                      janani luwum

99            44                      tubman william

100          40                ahmed sekou toure

E-List Non-Celebrities

Rank    Buzz Index  Celebrity

101          37          ahmed baba

102          30         mko abiola

103          25          joaquim chissano

104            0         hosea kutako

105            0         tafewa balewa

106            0         alpha oumar konare

107            0         felix konotey-ahulu

108            0         victor anomah ngu


Top Twenty African Celebrities

 1               45223          nelson mandela

 2               14583          hannibal

 3                 6570         kofi annan

 4                 6198         haile selassie

 5                 5084         shaka zulu

 6                 4943          zinedine zidane

 7                 4844          imhotep

 8                 4127          queen of sheba

 9                 3530         chinua achebe

10                3452         queen nefertiti

11                3310           desmond tutu

12                3045           mansa musa

13                2952          akhenaten

14                2634          philip emeagwali

15                2573           robert mugabe

16                2571          youssou ndour

17                2129            salif keita

18                1950          fela kuti

19                1922          kwame nkrumah

20                1662          jomo kenyatta


Top Ten Nigerian Celebrities

     Rank    Buzz Index  Celebrity

1       26           3530      chinua achebe

2       32           2634     philip emeagwali

3       36           1950      fela kuti

4       43           1433      wole soyinka

5       52            561       olusegun obasanjo

6       54            545       jay jay okocha

7       61            343        ken saro wiwa

8       65            250       azikiwe nnamdi     

9       78            139        obafemi awolowo

10      81           119          cardinal arinze

We used the most common spellings and each individual had related associated searches that were excluded. For example, the word “emeagwali” has the following related searches:


Search  Terms

2634     philip emeagwali

  483      dale emeagwali

  353     emeagwali

  306     phillip emeagwali

  185      dr philip emeagwali

  138      philip emeagwali biography

    69     dale emeagwali biography

    38     bio dr emeagwali philip

    38     who is philip emeagwali

    35     dr.philip emeagwali

    32     bio emeagwali philip

    32     picture of philip emeagwali

    29     dr phillip emeagwali

    28     philip emeagwali pic

    26     biography of dr philip emeagwali

    26     emeagwali information philip

    26     invention of philip emeagwali

Emeagwali is Most Searched-For Scientist[MSOffice8] 


2634     philip emeagwali 

2605       david suzuki

2531      tim berners lee

2121      alan turing

1890      richard feynman

1682      john von neumann

  947     stephen jay gould

  773     linus torvalds

  615      jack kilby

  387     seymour cray

  495     vinton cerf

  483     dale emeagwali

  428     srinivasa ramanujan 

  402     andrew wiles

  311      christian barnard

  240     abdus salam

  169       steven chu

  124       chike obi

    60      sir chandrasekhara venkata raman

     0       subramanyan chandrasekhar

     0       dan tsui

Philip Emeagwali

 [MSOffice1]Emeagwali (third from bottom right) ranked 35th and the greatest African scientist ever.

 [MSOffice2]Philip Emeagwali also ranked greatest African scientist ever.

 [MSOffice3]The theorized internet-supercomputer network invented by Emeagwali.


The above hyperball network was invented by Emeagwali. Although it was originally inspired and designed as an international network of computers for forecasting the weather for the whole Earth it is, in many ways, similar to what we now call the Internet. In its early years, the Internet was a planar network covering parts of the United States. It has now converged to a hyperball "world wide" network covering the entire Earth. In the 1990s, the vector supercomputer was reinvented as a hypercube supercomputer. In a few decades, the computer will "disappear" into the Internet and, in essence, converge to a hyperball-shaped computing and communicating device. Then we will say that the supercomputer is the network, or that the hyperball network is the computer, or that the hyperball network is the Internet.

 [MSOffice4]by pioneer missionary William Obelagu at Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Onitsha, in November.

 [MSOffice5]Lived in refugee camps for two additional years.


 [MSOffice6]and arrives in Oregon (U.S.) on March 24.


 [MSOffice7]Dale, Philip & Ijeoma Emeagwali live outside Washington, DC

 [MSOffice8]Buzz Score for 20 Famous               Contemporary Scientists