Geek Madness Final Four, clockwise from top left: Alan Turing, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and Linus Torvalds.

Editor’s Note: Geek Madness is our quest to find the greatest geek of all time

The Final Four teams of the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament will battle Saturday afternoon. But more importantly, four of the world’s most epic geeks will face off in Geek Madness beginning today.

Over the past few weeks, our voters have dwindled a group of 32 of the greatest geeks down to just four: Alan Turing, Linus Torvalds, Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla.


Over on the technology bracket, No. 5-seed Turing and No. 14-seed Torvalds will duke it out for the tech crown. Meanwhile on the science side, two of the most influential scientists ever in Einstein and Tesla will face off.

All four remaining geeks have triumphed over some tough opponents — Turing just trounced the hometown favorite and No. 1-seed Bill Gates, while Tesla squeaked out a victory over the legendary Leonardo da Vinci. See the Elite Eight recaps below.

Final Four voting kicks off right here on the site today, so let your voice be heard. We’ll count up the votes Sunday and the Geek Madness Championship will commence next Monday.


Elite Eight recaps:


No. 5 Alan Turing 89,

No. 1 Bill Gates 43 

Down goes the hometown favorite. Bill G. He’d been rolling right along thus far in Geek Madness, but the father of computer science took him down.

No. 14 Linus Torvalds, 141

No. 2 Tim Berners-Lee, 40 

Torvalds is by and large our Geek Madness Cinderella. He upended Steve Jobs in the first round, defeated Elon Musk and now just obliterated the man who created the World Wide Web.


No. 1 Albert Einstein, 72

No. 5 Isaac Newton, 53

Einstein had his closet match yet against Newton, but Mr. E = mc2   pulled away to advance to the Final Four.

No. 2 Nicola Tesla, 72

No. 3 Leonardo da Vinci, 59

Another fantastic match to round out the bracket. Though da Vinci was arguably one of the most-talented people to graze the earth, it’s Tesla who moved on to set up the showdown between himself and Einstein.

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  • voleheart

    the #unashamedteslafanboy is very happy

  • other019

    there is no von Neuman :(

  • Sarmed Rahman

    I don’t know whether this is the right place to vote, but I vote for Torvalds

  • TuringFan

    Why on the world Torvalds is above Turing? He is great and all, but Turing is a demigod.

    • Antti Vikman

      I’m rather sure that most who vote Torvalds would not think he have had a greater impact to world than Turing, but Turing as well as Einstein were more traditional scientists, rather than geeks like Torvalds and Tesla.

      • voleheart

        Tesla wasn’t simply a geek. He was a dedicated scientist who was forced to dig ditches for $2 an hour so he could work on things like: Alternating Current, hydroelectric power, remote control equipment, oscilator, tesla coil, X-rays, the radio, neon, etc. he singlehandedly changed society.

    • rhoitman

      ya its the most hardest choice of all!

  • Jmaximus Spartacus

    Tesla was a great inventor but the fact he openly called for the mentally retarded and criminals to be euthanized should disqualify him.

    • Rv

      Shut up! He wasn’t retarded. He actually had the guts and specialty to make it to the top. You pervert!

  • abhinav narain

    How can Einstein be voted above Newton. Rediculous

    • rhoitman

      newton is well respected but most of his life is unknown! he was the member of royal socitey of science and his works are also though as the complilation and resources he had!

      Where as Albert Einstein is the True genius! nothing fall on him and was the clear at the patent office! Who could actually predict by how much the starts will shift!

  • Arab

    Dr. Ali Moustafa Mosharafa

    • akilles

      Interesting, can you elaborate on this?

  • Necsuss

    Of course, Nikola Tesla. The best, my heroe.

    • Abhishek

      Developing new technologies ( what Tesla did) is not geekier than working in pure science and complex mathematics (Einstein).

  • P

    This is a funny poll. Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Von Neuman must be here before Linus… Dont get me wrong people who designed unix must be here.

    • Klendathu

      You raise a good point. Too many good people left off. There needs to be a second season.

      • physics

        great man…even i didn’t know abt it

  • evil0sheep

    Dude what? How is Turing vs Torvalds even a question. I mean yeah Torvalds is kindof the father of linux in a sense but Turing is the father of computation. The guy single handedly defined algorithms and general purpose computers. Wtf?

    • Nicholas D. West

      Yeah, and Torvalds singlehandedly created an operating system that’s used by Google, the White House, and your phone, so there’s that.

  • xfreax

    1. When did this poll start? Why wasn’t there a public announcement?
    2. You have missed many other good geek candidates in this poll.
    3. Directly jumping to semi-finals and expecting a winner is bad.

    Based on the above points, I’d call this poll a “rigged” one. Sorry Geekwire!

  • Rick

    No Marconi, no Volta, no Galvani, no Ampere…. this is bullshit

    • voleheart

      marconi? you mean the guy that stole patents from Tesla that was proven in the US patent court?

      • Klendathu

        Marconi was seeded No. 9, but lost in the first round.

    • Oiva Piirakainen

      what do you mean, no Marconi? Please look at the results: Galileo got more votes than Marconi.

  • hottea

    Linus is god!

  • TheMongoGuy

    All I see I a battle between pure scientists VS pure geeks
    Are all scientists geeks though?Are all geeks scientists? got confused here XD
    I think the qualities of the greatest geek should be available somewhere. Voting without them listed somewhere becomes subjective and any result should be considred as invalid

  • hughetorrance

    good to see Tesla get a mention… the immutable truth is that the real heroes rarely ever get a mention… let these heroes who gave us a free internet at their expense have their strength renewed.

  • me

    in my view Leonardo is the winner

    • onother


  • Isaac

    Go Linus!!! Power of the penguin to you!

  • Klendathu

    Aw, My favorite would have been Edwin Armstrong. He wasn’t even on the list. We owe our radios to him. Once again, Armstrong got screwed.

  • Michael Goatee Andersson

    Nikola Tesla of course, without him we wouldn’t have AC-electricity and much of the wireless technology today are based on his work. He is truly the inventor of the modern world.

  • Edson Novaes
  • mxw

    Turing is a demigod, basically helped win WW2 and created modern computing…matchup doesn’t really matchup. Torvalds is a boss but remember, Linus took Minix (mini Unix)… which was created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and expanded it and made it open. The final four should be – Turing vs Tesla and Einstein vs Oppenheimer… IMO

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