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10 Geeks You Should Know

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The editors at Bachelor of Business Administration Degree Guide decided to research the topic of:

10 Geeks You Should Know

Not too long ago, geeks were undesirable people among their peers. Then, the world started embracing the geek culture. Geeks became cool and are admired for their superior intellect. Here are 10 unknown geeks who are passionate about their work.

Nate Silver, Statistician, sabermetrician (baseball statistician), and psephologist (sociologist who studies election trends)

- Graduated from University of Chicago with degree in Economics
- Established his credentials as analyst of baseball statistics
- Developed system called PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm)
- Predicts player performance, career development, and seasonal winners and losers
- Runs political website
- Publishes running forecast of current elections and hot-button issues
- Gained national attention during 2008 presidential election
- Correctly predicted results of primaries and presidential winner in 49 states
- "Racism is predictable. It's predicted by interaction or lack thereof with people unlike you, people of other races."

Max Little, Applied mathematician

- Received PhD in Applied Mathematics at University of Oxford in 2007
- Has background in statistics, signal processing, and computational engineering
- Applies mathematics to biomedicine, extreme rainfall, groundwater flow, speech science, and nonlinear signal processing
- Parkinson's Voice Initiative
- Developed cheap and simple tool that uses voice analysis software to detect Parkinson's
- Less than 30 seconds
- 98.6% accuracy
- Aims to record 10,000 voices across the world
- "See connections between subjects, not boundaries ... to see how things are related, not how they are different."

Neil Harbisson, Contemporary artist, composer, and cyborg activist

- Studied music composition at Dartington College of Arts
- Completely color blind (achromatopsia)
- Only see in shades of grey
- "The man who hears color"
- Wears prosthetic device "eyeborg" (invented by Adam Montandon) that allows him to hear spectrum
- Software transposes light frequencies of color hues into sound frequencies
- Hasn't taken it off his head since 2004
- "Sees" 360 colors
- Extended this to infrared, which human eyes cannot see
- Currently working on seeing ultraviolet
- Favorite color: aubergine
- "If we extend our senses, we will consequently extend our knowledge."

Rick Falkvinge, Political evangelist and former leader of Pirate Party

- Dropped out of Chalmers University of Technology in 1995
- Has background in technology entrepreneurship
- Travels around Europe and world to talk and write about ideas of information policy, copyright law, and internet sovereignty
- The Pirate Party
- In 2006, started political party focused on issues of file sharing, copyright, and patents
- Won two seats in European Parliament in three years
- "It's not theft. It's an infringement on a monopoly. If it was theft and it was property, we wouldn't need a copyright law, ordinary property laws would suffice."

Ben Silbermann, Internet entrepreneur and founder of Pinterest

- Graduated from Yale in 2003 with a political science major
- As a child, enjoyed collecting things, from insects to stamps
- Worked in customer support and sales at Google
- Pinterest
- A virtual pinboard which lets users organize images, recipes and other things
- Launched in March 2010 and still had less than 10,000 users after nine months
- 17.8 million registered users as of March 2012
- Fell in love with romantic notion that Internet defined his generation
- "I wanted to create a service that's a bit timeless. Helping people discover things that they didn't know they wanted."

Zach Sims, Founder of Codecademy

- Dropped out of Columbia as a junior in 2011 to launch Codecademy
- As a teenager, started own blog selling advertising and interviewing entrepreneurs
- Couldn't keep up with programming regardless of how much time he spent on learning
- Paired up with Ryan Bubinski to build a website featuring simple lessons on programming basics
- Codecademy
- Helps users learn programming languages like Python, Javascript, and Ruby while motivating them with badges and rewards
- Won the runner up for Best New Startup in 2011, second only to Pinterest
- More than 1 million users in January 2012
- "Instead of relying on humans to manually search or test for new approaches, programming has huge potential to efficiently achieve the same ends."

Allison Lami Sawyer, Founder of Rebellion Photonics

- MBA at Rice University
- Masters in Nanoscale Physics at University of Leeds
- Wanted to bring cutting-edge technology from the lab to the marketplace
- Rebellion Photonics
- Implements real-time chemical imaging technology to detect chemicals throughout the whole scope of vision of camera or microscope
- $2.4 million in projected revenue from military and industrial contracts
- "I believe that every startup is a rebellion."

Amber Case, Cyborg anthropologist and founder of Geoloqi

- Graduated from Lewis and Clark College with Sociology/Anthropology degree
- Thesis: "The Cell Phone and Its Technosocial Sites of Engagement"
- Examines way humans and technology interact and evolve together
- Geoloqi
- Platform for building location aware applications with geotriggers and realtime location capabilities
- "If you set these obnoxious, absurd goals, they end up working out."

Phil Plait, Astronomer and skeptic

- Received PhD in astronomy at University of Virginia in 1994
- Bought 10" reflecting telescope at age 13
- Worked at physics and astronomy department at Sonoma State University
- Was part of Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA
- Uses intelligence, critical thinking, and humor to dismantle pseudoscience and wild claims of paranormal
- Bad Astronomy
- Book and website dedicated to clearing up public misconceptions about astronomy and space science in movies, news, print, and on Internet
- "Am I really a bad astronomer? I don't think so! I would say I am an average one. But on these web pages, I'm discussing astronomy that is bad. Hence the name."

Erik Johansson, Photographer and retouch artist

- Studied computer engineering at Chalmers University of Technology
- At age 15, got his first digital camera
- Start playing around with photos and creating something that couldn't be captured with camera
- Creates realistic photos of impossible scenes - capturing ideas, not moments
- Draws inspiration from artists like M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, and others
- "My goal is to make pictures as realistic as possible, but at the same time impossible"