Is one of these legends the Greatest Geek of All Time?

UPDATE: Day 10 of Geek Madness

UPDATE: Day 9 of Geek Madness

UPDATE: Day 8 of Geek Madness

UPDATE: Day 7 of Geek Madness

UPDATE: Day 6 of Geek Madness

UPDATE: Day 5 of Geek Madness

UPDATE: Day 4 of Geek Madness

UPDATE: Day 3 of Geek Madness

UPDATE: Day 2 of Geek Madness


Today marks the beginning of the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Hundreds of thousands around the country have meticulously filled out their 64-team brackets in hopes of perfectly predicting every game and winning a money-filled office pool in the process.

But sports fans can’t have all the fun this month, right? Here at GeekWire, we wanted to engage in a little madness ourselves.

We came up with one simple, but complex question: Who is the Greatest Geek of All Time?

There are many choices. Albert Einstein? Bill Gates? Nikola Tesla? Tim Berners-Lee? Marie Curie?

We want your help to get an answer. And since it’s March, there are few better times to introduce something we like to call Geek Madness (click to enlarge):


It was extremely difficult narrowing it down to just 32 geeks. There have been so many ridiculously influential people that invented and created some of the world’s most amazing products, services and ideas.

But you need to draw the line somewhere and we decided to separate the bracket into two groups: Technology and Science.

We’ll be conducting the voting process via our Facebook page. Today we’re starting with the top-half of the technology bracket:

1. Bill Gates vs. 16. Steve Wozniak — Ah, the classic PC vs. Mac duel. Will Woz pull off the huge upset over hometown favorite Bill G.?

3. Steve Jobs vs. 14. Linus TorvaldsOn paper, Jobs has the advantage here. But Torvalds created Linux. That’s not too shabby.

5. Alan Turing vs. 12. Sergey Brin/Larry Page — This should be a great matchup. Many consider Turing to be the father of computer science, but Brin and Page invented Google.

7. Gordon Moore vs. 10. Mark Zuckerberg — In what should be the most hotly-contested Thursday game, it’s Intel vs. Facebook. Moore co-founded Intel and has a freakin’ law named after him. Zuck, on the other hand, might be today’s most influential geek out there.

We’ll start the voting for the second-half of the technology bracket tomorrow, then count up the votes Sunday night.

Let the Madness begin. Head over to our Facebook page now to vote for your favorite geeks.

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  • http://twitter.com/theprint Rasmus Rasmussen

    No Gary Gygax? No Tolkien, Bradbury or Asimov? No Joss Whedon? Being a geek is not just about tech and science. Just saying.

    • johnhcook

      Hey Ras. All great suggestions. The selection committee certainly had a challenging time, limiting the field to 32 folks. Perhaps we need to do another bracket some time with science fiction writers, movies and games. That would be fun!!

    • Carl

      Seconded. Where’s Neil deGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye?

  • Scientist

    Albert E. wasn’t a geek. Most of the greatest physicists are on an entirely different level than engineers in general and especially more so than software engineers.

  • eknirb

    Oh Cmon. Gates or Woz, not even close.

  • Guest

    Why isn’t Alex Algard on this list? He’s brillant and local

  • Hakon Verespej

    This is a great idea. Fun.

  • Ryan Parrish

    What about Leibniz?

  • Guest500

    John Von Neumann is missing?! Please. Philo Farnsworth is also not there?

    • johnhcook

      Both were on our short list, but didn’t quite make the cut. Maybe next time a full bracket of 64!

  • Semi-Geek

    Fun idea! Will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

    Not sure if it’s intentional, but the arrangement of the geek bracket seeds is pretty non-standard. Seems a bit premature to have a potential #1 Gates vs. #3 Jobs faceoff in round 2 while a supposedly lesser geek in the #6-#11 range will be guaranteed to get to round 3. For comparison, check out the standard arrangement of the seeds in the NCAA bracket: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/tournament/bracket

    • Taylor Soper

      Thank you for pointing this out, Semi-Geek. We will be making a few alterations to the bracket.

  • WaitForIt

    Dafuq? This is not a good list, you’re trying to compare people that are in totally unrelated fields. Inventors vs. Physicists vs. Mathematicians vs. Computer Scientists…

    You should have first qualified what you consider a geek and then came up with the list instead of just naming smart people.

    I will tell you now, this will not end well. Nobody will be happy.

  • Mike_Acker

    absolute no-brainer: Torvalds !!

  • Sucka MC

    Paul Erdos – Greatest geek of all and doesn’t make the list?

  • http://twitter.com/lisalish lisalish

    hey! your blank bracket and updated bracket don’t match. some of the line ups are changed which totally effects the outcomes. can you fix?

    • Taylor Soper

      Hi Lisa,

      We’ve re-arranged the bracket to allow for better sequencing. In our first rendition, a 1-seed could have faced a 3-seed in the second round, which is a bit unconventional. Now, the winner from the 8-seed vs. 9-seed will face the 1-seed in the second round.

      Thanks for reading GeekWire! Let me know if you have more questions.

      • http://twitter.com/lisalish lisalish

        ah, i’m caught up! my coworkers and i filled out the original blank bracket but then it didn’t match with the results. i took a bracket with results and edited it so that they were removed and redistributed. it might be worth removing the old bracket, but it is super fun regardless. I just voted!

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