Geek Madness Day 2: Torvalds trounces Jobs in huge first round upset

GeekMadnessDay2realEditor’s Note: Geek Madness is our quest to find the greatest geek of all time

While Harvard was busy upsetting New Mexico yesterday at the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, we had an equally big upset of our own at Geek Madness.

Late Apple legend Steve Jobs was the favorite as a 3-seed, but it was underdog Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux kernel, who capitalized on a second-half run to pull out the narrow 44-34 victory.

Here are the results from Thursday’s three other matchups. Torvalds had the only upset — No. 1 seed Bill Gates, No. 5 seed Alan Turing and No. 7 seed Gordon Moore all came away victorious. Voting is taking place at our Facebook page.

No. 1 Bill Gates 54, No. 16 Steve Wozniak 27

While many praised Woz for his overall geekiness, the hometown favorite couldn’t be taken down.

No. 5 Alan Turing 63, No. 12 Sergey Brin/Larry Page 10

“The fundamental ideas behind computing derive in large part from Alan’s work,” writes one reader. “A millennium from now, Turing will be remembered. Page and Brin, for all their brilliance, are ultimately just businessmen.”

No. 7 Gordon Moore 51, No. 10 Zuckerberg 12

“No brainer,” commented one reader. “Zuck is a tool. Moore is a scientist for cryin’ out loud.”

Now that half of the technology side is completed, we’re ready to get a little math and science in. Today, the first four first-round matchups on the other side of the bracket will begin:

No. 1 Albert Einstein vs. No. 16 Ben Franklin

No 16-seed has ever won upset the 1-seed at the NCAA tournament, so we’re not expecting much here from Franklin. It is Einstein, after all. But hey — Franklin did invent the lighting rod and bifocals.

No. 8 Galileo vs. No. 9 Guglielmo Marconi

An epic showdown, no doubt. Galileo struts in as the “Father of Modern Science,” while Marconi is a Nobel Prize winner who invented the radio.

No. 5 Isaac Newton vs. No. 12 Stephen Hawking

Another intense match. Newton, who developed the principals of modern physics, is clearly the favorite. But Hawking’s groundbreaking work in the science field shouldn’t be taken lightly.

No. 4 Archimedes vs. No. 13 George Washington Carver

This figures to one of the more entertaining first round games between two very different, but highly influential men. Archimedes, born in 287 BC, is considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. Carver, though, was a noble agricultural chemist and Time magazine called him the “Black Leonardo.”

We’ve also 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 to one of our readers for pointing this out.

Voting for these four matchups will run through Sunday, so head on over to our Facebook page to help us pick the Greatest Geek!

  • voleheart

    can’t wait to vote for my man Tesla!

  • http://www.facebook.com/vikki.pitts Vikki Pitts

    Really enjoying Geek Madness (far more than the college face-offs). However, I have to ask … where is Sheldon Cooper’s name? .. best Geek ever and has done so much to further the cause of Geekdom!

  • Davis

    No Dennis C. Ritchie?

  • Mike_Acker

    yep, i’m voting for Ritchie and Tesla and Torvalds this morning

  • John

    I’d vote but it requires me to use Facebook. Doesn’t the fact that people without Facebook accounts can’t vote invalidate the whole competition about geeks?