All of us have come across the term IQ in schools and colleges and in almost every sphere of life. The toppers in our classes were generally termed as “geeks”, “nerds”, “people with high IQ levels” etc. So what exactly is this IQ? Intelligent quotient? We did not ask for the full form. IQ is nothing but the marks that a person scores after appearing for one of the many standard tests to measure intelligence level of individuals. The general score of 95% population from these tests ranges between 70 and 130. There are a lot of factors that come into play when a person’s IQ is in question. Factors like mortality, morbidity, parental social status, biological parents’ IQ play an important role in determining a person’s IQ. There are a wide variety of methods used in determining a person’s IQ level, like visual tests, verbal tests, abstract reasoning problems, while some tests are based on arithmetic, reading, vocabulary and general knowledge. All said and done, let us now focus on the smartest people in the world whose IQ levels have created records time and again.
Here are 12 people who have the highest IQs and brightest minds in the world.
1. William James Sidis (IQ Level- 250-300)
Sidis had exceptional mathematical abilities. At 6, he went to a grammar school and in 7 months he had graduated. He attended Harvard at the age of 11 and mastered over 40 languages. He was threatened by some fellow students in Harvard so his parents assigned him on a teaching job in Texas. But soon he left the job and started concentrating on a political career.
2. Terence Tao (IQ Level- 225-230)
Another child prodigy yet again. This genius taught arithmetic to a 5 year old when he himself was all of 2. He attended mathematics courses of the university level when he was just 9 years old. At 14, Terence Tao attended the Research Science Institute. At 16, he received both his Bachelors and Masters degree and by 20 had received his Doctorate as well. He remains the youngest winner till date of all the three medals in Olympiads. By 24, he was the youngest ever professor at UCLA.
3. Christopher Hirata (IQ Level- 225)
Born in 1982, Christopher Hirata had recorded an IQ of 225. He is an outstanding example of child prodigy who had already completed his college level courses by the time he was 12. By the time he turned 16, he was working on a project with the NASA. He was the first one to win a gold medal in international Science Olympiad at the age of 13. He began attending classes for his PhD in astrophysics when he was just 18.
4. Kim Ung-Yong (IQ Level- 210)
Kim Ung-Yong could speak fluently when he was just six months old and was a guest student in Physics at Hanyang University at the age of 3. He wrote poetry and two short stories by the time he was four years old. Do we need to say more? He left NASA at the age of 16 and though he was offered enrollment at Korea’s most prestigious university, he rejected the offer and instead decided to pursue PhD in civil engineering. Right now, he serves as a faculty in the Chungbuk National University.
5. Christopher Michael Langan (IQ Level- 195)
This man has been described as the “smartest man in America”. Langan began talking when he was all of six months and he taught himself to read when he was just three and was skipped ahead at school many times. This genius scored a perfect score in SAT even thought he slept his way through the exam. He dropped out of the Montana University stating that he could teach his professors more than they could teach him. Now this statement requires serious self confidence. Hats off to this man!
6. Philip Emeagwali (IQ Level- 190)
This man is an engineer, mathematician and geologist who used the Connection Machine supercomputer to analyze petroleum fields. Though he left school at the age of 13 to be a part of the Nigerian-Biafran war but that did not deter him from completing school through self study and earning his degree in Mathematics. His achievements do not end here. He earned three Master’s degree in Mathematics, Environmental and Marine Engineering from various universities. This Nigerian writer also appeared for his PhD at the University of Michigan but he was denied his degree on grounds of racial discrimination and he sued the University for the same. Nevertheless, he will always be a hero to his countrymen and to the rest of the world!
7. Garry Kasparov (IQ Level – 190)
8. Judit Polgar (IQ Level- 170)
She is the greatest female chess player according to many. Judit Polgar also became the youngest Grandmaster at the age of 15 and still holds that record. She is the only woman in FIDE’s Top 100 list, where she ranks number 63 on the list. This genius had defeated a reigning world number one player and ten other world champions in different tournaments. She created history in 2002 when she defeated the world number 1 Garry Kasparov in a match and that match went on to become a remarkable event in her career.
9. Albert Einstein (IQ Level 160-190)
Now this man surely needs no introduction. He is the one behind most of the chapters in Physics. He was the one to develop the theory of relativity. He is a Nobel laureate who is best known for the discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. He also extended his views and laws to the gravitational fields. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey. His brilliance and achievements were so immense that even today we relate brilliance and “Einstein” together.
10. Stephen Hawking (IQ Level- 160)
Despite of being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) which has paralyzed him completely, his brain had recorded an IQ of 154, which took the world by surprise. He has made major and remarkable contributions in the field of general relativity. This versatile paralyzed man showed the world that physical conditions have got nothing to do with fulfilling dreams. He is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the Cambridge. After being diagnosed with the disease, he declined to accept a Doctorate. Surprisingly enough, Hawking survived more years than he was expected to!
11. Paul Allen (IQ Level- 160)
This business magnate is best known as the co founder of Microsoft alongside Bill Gates. The deal between Microsoft and IBM was Pau Allen’s sheer brilliance and smartness that made IBM believe that the just founded five year old Microsoft actually had a Disk Operating System that worked on Intel chips, even though it didn’t. That deal created history and Paul went on to become the 53rd Richest Man in the World. He scored a perfect 1600 in the SAT, even ahead of Bill Gates. He was also awarded the highest honor of the Washington State University. A man of his stature truly deserves this!
12. Sharon Stone (IQ level- 154)
This sexy seductress actually is alleged to have an IQ of 154. She has been nominated for several prestigious awards and even received many awards. Who thought the bold and confident actress in Basic Instinct could actually have an IQ that would put many men to shame? She was always an academically bright student and entered second standard at the age of five. She accepted a scholarship to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania when she was just 15years old. She accepted the scholarship and went there to study creative writing and fine arts.