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The Sweet 16
The Sweet 16

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

The Sweet 16 is set and Geek Madness is about to get intense.

Our final eight matchups wrapped up this afternoon. Every favorite advanced from the math/science side, with Charles Darwin just barely edging out Johannes Gutenberg.

On the tech side, we saw two extremely tight games. Admiral Grace Hopper nearly pulled off the miraculous upset, but No. 2 seed Tim Berners-Lee escaped embarrassment with a 34-33 win.

Hometown favorite Paul Allen also put up a fight, but 6-seed Elon Musk pulled away for a 41-36 victory.

Now comes the fun part. We’ve got a bevy of awesome Sweet 16 matchups and four of them begin tonight on the technology side. Get your votes in at our Facebook page.

No. 1 Bill Gates vs. No. 9 Charles Babbage/Ada Lovelace

We fully expect Seattle native Bill G. to advance to the Final Four, but there’s been a lot of love for the Babbage/Lovelace combo. Is two better than one?

No. 4 Vint Cerf/Bob Kahn vs. No. 5 Alan Turing

Cerf and Kahn invented the TCP/IP protocol, one of the most important components of the Internet. But c’mon, Turing is known as the father of computer science.

No. 6 Elon Musk vs. No. 14 Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds already took down No. 3-seed Steve Jobs, but can he do it again to the 41-year-old founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX?

No. 2 Tim Berners-Lee vs. No. 7 Gordon Moore

Another epic matchup. Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist well-known for inventing the World Wide Web, might be a little tired after his closer-than-anticipated first-round match — especially when you’re up against the Intel co-founder with a freakin’ law named after him.

And to recap the last eight first round matchups:


No. 2 Nikola Tesla, 65

No. 15 Alexander Graham Bell, 2

One of the bigger blowouts of the first round.

No. 3 Leonardo da Vinci, 61

No. 14 Thomas Edison, 12

“Edison wasn’t a geek so much as a capitalist,” wrote Jason.

No. 6 Marie Curie, 50

No. 11 Gregor Mendel, 7

“Women geek scientist[s] are just so much greater!” said Melz.

No. 7 Charles Darwin, 37

No. 10 Johannes Gutenberg, 32

“Darwin has been instrumental to spread ideas that are so revolutionary that he is still attacked today,” writes Cecile.


No. 2 Tim Berners-Lee, 34

No. 15 Admiral Grace Hopper, 33

“Tim Berners-Lee just created the Web,” said Jeremy. “No poll like this without him.”

No. 4 Vint Cerf/Bob Kahn, 48

No. 13 Jeff Bezos, 10

Bezos is still in the midst of improving his geek resume. We expect him to be a higher seed 20 years from now.

No. 6 Elon Musk 41

No. 11 Paul Allen, 36

“Elon knows how to take care of business even when times get tough he always pulls through,” said Michael. “Paul Allen has it easy, but Elon is solving huge problems and advancing technology.”

No. 9 Charles Babbage/Ada Lovelace, 45

No. 8 Marc Andreessen, 13

The combo was too much for the Netscape founder to overcome.

Sweet 16 polls close Sunday night, so be sure to get your votes in before then at our Facebook page.

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