Human progress depends on the intelligent mind. In order to understand the world around us, we depend on geniuses to crack the mysteries behind gravity, physics, and medicine. Although the likes of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are no longer with us, a new generation of brilliant minds are proving that there is no limit to what we can achieve. They drink Starbucks and binge on Netflix, but their brains are wired differently. Who are some of the smartest people alive today? Check out this list.
1. A child who taught children
For most of us, turning 2 means mastering the art of potty training, but Australian-born Terence Tao teaches five-year-olds math and spelling lessons. How could he do this when the average 2-year-old child can’t form a coherent sentence? You can thank Big Bird and the Cookie Monster! Sesame Street’s number one fan would read calculus books for hours on end, not because he had a tiger mom, but because he was legit into that sort of thing. At the age of 10 he became the youngest International Mathematical Olympiad gold medalist. He started college at age 14, and at age 24 became UCLA’s youngest full-time professor. The man with an IQ of 225 is also a recipient of the Fields Medal, which is every researcher’s dream.
2. Normal as geniuses go
Most children can count to 10 at best, but even before he entered preschool, Chris Hirata took numerical calculations to absurd levels that even full-grown adults often struggle with. For example, when going to the grocery store with his family, he enjoys totaling up the bill by factoring in weight, quality, discounts, and sales tax as they shop. Not surprisingly, he excelled in algebra in 1st grade and passed college-level courses in middle school. In high school he was already working at NASA on projects related to the colonization of Mars. Eventually he completed his Ph.D. He has been winning all sorts of academic prizes since Princeton. So he must be a little different, right? Actually, he is a regular married and father, so no!
3. Russian Chess Guide
There is no doubt that Garry Kasparov is one of the greatest chess players of all time. In 1985, at the age of 22, he defeated then-champion Anatoly Karbo to become the undisputed world chess champion, a title he held for a record 8 years. To put things into perspective, a regular champion rarely holds the title for more than a year or two. At some point he got bored of playing against humans and instead circled around IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer in 1996, winning 4 out of 6 matches. In a rematch the following year, our AI managers finally got the best of him. But not being used to losing makes one a not-so-graceful loser. He had all kinds of conspiracy theories to explain it. Although she is a misogynist (more on that in a moment), she is also an outspoken critic of the Russian government and a champion of democratic rights.
4. Russian Chess Wizards Winner
Judith Polker and her sisters had a very unconventional upbringing, at least as far as education went. Homeschooled by their father, he incorporated chess as a central foundation of their learning. Memorize when the Magna Carta was signed. All this paid off for Bolger, who at the age of 15 became the youngest Grandmaster at the time. For more than 2 decades, she was the best female player in the world and at the age of 24 she took Garry Kasparov to school. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t take kindly to being beaten by a woman and proceeds to say sexist things that we see no need to repeat. Although retired, he coaches the men’s national chess team in his native Hungary. He was also awarded the Order of Saint Stephen, Hungary’s highest civilian honor, for his achievements.
5. Geniuses think she’s a genius
Although Sabrina Gonzalez Bastersky has yet to win any Nobel Prizes or Fields Medals, at 28 years old she has plenty of time to decorate her accolades. A proud product of the Chicago Public Schools system, she’s been called the “next Einstein,” and she may not be comfortable with it, but when you’ve achieved perfect GPAs at MIT and Harvard, respectively, who else would you compare her to? ? The late Stephen Hawking cited his work in one of his papers. She is not a genius when it comes to physics. At age 10, he rebuilt an engine in an airplane and even made a solo flight to Canada when he was 14. He also has steady job offers from the likes of Jeff Bezos.
6. This savant is a savant
A scholar is defined as someone who has extensive knowledge in some specialized field, be it music, science or literature. So it would be reasonable to assume that Marilyn Voss Savant, who held the Guinness World Record for the highest IQ (228) until they retired in that respect, came up with her name as some kind of gimmick. But believe it or not it was her mother’s maiden name. What does she do with all that brain power? She hosts the “Ask Marilyn” advice column Parade magazine, naturally. For more than three decades he has been tackling deep philosophical questions and solving challenging puzzles for readers. He is most famous for his answer to the Monty Hall problem – a seemingly impossible, but demonstrably true – that made many Dopey readers believe themselves smarter than the smartest person on the planet.
7. OCP: The Original Child Prodigy
Think Mozart 270 years ago – although child prodigies have been around for some time – these phenomena weren’t widely celebrated until the 1960s when little Kim Ung-yong focused on his understanding of calculus at the age of three. Oh, and he was already speaking four languages by age 5. When he was 8 years old, the South Korean with an IQ of 210 was hired by NASA, where he worked for a decade before returning home. But unlike many geniuses, he chose a lowly life. He did not graduate from a prestigious Ivy League school, but instead chose an ordinary provincial college, where he earned a Ph.D in civil engineering. Today he teaches at a university in Cheongju, South Korea that you may not have heard of. He has always maintained that having a high IQ is not the key to happiness and it is more important to focus on the things you love.
8. Smart without looking the part
Christopher Michael Langen stands out from the rest because despite having an IQ higher than 210, he never showed much interest in academic pursuits. He was the quintessential blue-collar, having worked as a cowboy, construction worker, rancher, ranger and bar bouncer. A lot of this has to do with his upbringing; He never received any support or encouragement from his parents, so academics were never considered a priority. However, he insists that he is a happy man despite his lack of wealth. He is busy writing books about the nature of reality and runs a mega foundation that helps people who are bullied for being smarter than everyone else.