Top Computer Expert Visits


The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, March 23, 2001.

THE Jamaican Medical Foundation has invited renowned mathematician, marine engineer and computer scientist, Dr. Phillip Emeagwali, to address their Fund-raising Banquet at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, on March 24, 2001.

Most, if not, all professionals in the information technology field will immediately recognize this icon , who helped to revolutionise the use of the computer and is the first to develop a personal web site on the Internet. Today, he is referred to as the "Bill Gates of Africa".

The pioneer in massively parallel computing, Dr. Emeagwali created what is called The Connection Machine in 1989. This parallel connection of 65,000 computers formed the fastest computer on earth, which performed 3.1 billion calculations per second.

Dr. Emeagwali has been highly accredited for his breakthrough technology that is now one of the bases upon which search engines for web sites are run.

Chairman of the Jamaica Medical Foundation, Oliver Jones said, "We hope that bringing Dr. Emeagwali to Jamaica will take us a step closer to bridging the gap between information technology and the health care sector in terms of the wealth of knowledge and advice that he will no doubt share with us."

Dr. Emeagwali, whose visit is sponsored by Digicel, finds supercomputing fascinating and challenging and is particularly focused on utilising the technology to alleviate societal problems such as predicting the spread of AIDS. Currently, he is working towards designing a supercomputer to tackle twenty national computational grand challenges, as identified by the US President's Office of science and Technology Policy.

United States President, Bill Clinton, on a trip to Nigeria, called Emeagwali, "one of the great minds of the Information Age". He is the only individual to have won the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize, which is usually awarded to teams.

His parallel computers have been used to explain how sperms swim, how polluted ground water flows, how volcanic eruptions happen and how to recover larger and safer quantities of petroleum.

Dr. Emeagwali's computations have also been instrumental in meteorologist's ability to forecast long-term global warming patterns.

PHOTO CAPTION (The Gleaner,, Friday March 23, 2001, Page 27):

Dr. Philip Emeagwali (right) and wife, (second left) are welcomed by the Tourist Board at the Norman Manley International Airport. There to meet them are chairman of the Jamaica Medical Foundation (JMF), Oliver Jones (left) and Digicel's marketing manager, Harry Smith. Dr. Emeagwali will be the keynote speaker at the JMF's Gala Fund-raising Banquet tomorrow at the Hilton Hotel.

Jamaica Tourist Board "Welcome to Jamaica" reception at the Norman Manley International Airport. From left are: Oliver Jones (chairman, Jamaica Medical Foundation), Harry Smith (marketing manager, Digicel Corporation) and Philip Emeagwali. (March 15, 2001.)

Jamaica Tourist Board "Welcome to Jamaica" reception at the Norman Manley International Airport. From left are: Oliver Jones (chairman, Jamaica Medical Foundation), Harry Smith (marketing manager, Digicel Corporation) and Philip Emeagwali and Dale Emeagwali. (March 15, 2001.)

On our drive from Mandeville to Northern Caribbean University, we stopped at Ingleside. March 22, 2001.

We were mobbed for autographs after a school presentation in Montego Bay (March 21, 2001)

Exchangin ideas with teachers at St. Elizabeth Technical High School. These students are Elizabeth are intelligent, hardworking and focused. Education in Jamaica is similar to those in Nigeria and United Kingdom. Jamaican youths take the CXC (Caribbean Examination Council), which is similar to the GCE (General Certificate of Education) and WAEC (West African Examination Council). A few days later, I was featured in a segment of Jamaican School Challenge Quiz. This is an annual competition among senior high school students. (Otis Simpson, Racquel Tomlinson, Kevin Howell OR Keith Wellington, Pearline Cooper, Otis Simpson, Racquel Tomlinson, Kevin Howell) (March 21, 2001)

On a glorious sunset champagne cruise aboard the honeymoon yacht of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco, the 147-foot M/Y Zein. This yacht was a gift from Aristotle Onassis. One of the crew members spread the word that a "celebrity author is onboard" and the passengers kept pestering me to reveal my identity. (Near Grand Lido Resort, Negril, Jamaica. April 2, 2001)

I threw away my books to quietly contemplate baffling questions such as "is a Pina Colada better with light or dark rum?" At night, I danced to the throbbing beat of reggae. (Piano bar, Grand Lido Negril. April 4, 2001)

A walk along Negril's legendary 7-mile beach. Nearby are secluded beaches for those who choose to go au naturel. Decadence is alive and thriving in Negril, where vacationers know how to take the pleasure principle to new extremes. Some vacationers in Negril did things they would never tell their mother about. Things I've only heard in whispered tones. Things like playing volleyball. Naked. (Grand Lido Resort, Negril, Jamaica. April 4, 2001.)

Emeagwali at Grand Lido, Negril, Jamaica. (April 4, 2001)

Governor-General Sir Howard Cooke (right) examines a Global System for Mobiles (GSM) cellular phone shown to him by Digicel marketing director, Mr. Harry Smith, (first left) while computer scientist/mathematician, Dr. Philip Emeagwali and Digicel finance manager Carol Pryce look on with interest during their courtesy call on the Governor-General at King's House recently.

We are still waiting for photos from our courtesy calls on the the Minister of Education Burchell Whiteman, Leader of the Opposition Edward Seaga and the Governor-General Sir Howard Cooke.

We will also post videos from the airport welcome, two TV interviews and the Banquet, and audios from three radio interviews.

  1. Photos from Gil Kong in Montego Bay. Presentation to the schools was arranged by National Training Institute (H.E.A.R.T.) and staged at the St. John's Methodist Church Hall.
  2. Minister of Education
  3. Mr. Edward Seaga
  4. Audio tape done by Kayode
  5. Two videos from the TV station (Profiel by Ian Boyne & "Smile Jamaica")
  6. Two and half hour radio interview on "My Place"
  7. Banquet video
  8. Tommy James's scanned photos

Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor

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Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor