The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, March 21, 2001.
GUESTS MINGLED as they waited for the arrival of the Super-Computer Pioneer Designer, Dr. Philip Emeagwali and his wife Dale at the US Charge d'Affaires, ad interim, Richard Smyth's Jacks Hill residence.
On Dr. Emeagwali's arrival guests went forward to welcome him to the island for the first time on invitation from the Jamaica Medical Foundation, of which his host Lloyd Vermont is a trustee.
The Nigerian national was introduced to Nigerian High Commissioner, Florentina Ukonga at the function.
Dr. Emeagwali told The Gleaner that in 1989 he received the Gordon Bell Prize (which is like the Nobel Prize for computing) for his pioneering efforts in using 65,000 processors to perform the world's fastest computation of 3.1 billion calculations per second.
Super computers existed before then, but none as fast and as powerful as the one he created.
He explained to The Gleaner that with the cost of each computer ranging from US$30 to US$120 million, only a small number was available and were used for large operations. Dr. Emeagwali said he used one as an X-ray to work out the quantity of oil underground.
By using the super computer an exploration team can get at least one percent more oil, which could cover the cost of the computer, hence the benefits to the petroleum industry, he explained.
Knowledge and technology will play an important role in a country's advancement, he said.
"The building of a nation will be determined by intellectual capacity... there should be investment in national education for Jamaicans," he continued.
During Dr. Emeagwali's two-week stay in Jamaica, he is scheduled to meet Philip Paulwell, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Technology and discuss the matter of information technology with students, parents, teachers and government workers.
Among those present at the reception were: Dr. Errol Morrison, Dr. John Minty, Wyvolyn Gager, Oliver Jones, Frank Rosheuvel, Peju Wilson and Cheryl McDonald-Sloley.
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