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FermatABC
- Posts: **79** Junior Member

So I google the smartest people in the world. The smartest people on this planet are no doubt the ones with the most creativity, logic, pattern recognition--those who would score the highest on IQ tests. Five names appear.

1. Andrew Wiles, solved Fermat's last theorem (unsolved for 300 years)

2. Edward Witten, mathematical physicist

3. Albert Einstein, physicist

4. Terence Tao, mathematical field medalist

5. John Nash, Nobel prize winning economist

My surprising "wikipedia" conclusion--all came from Princeton. Princeton mathematicians, physicists, and economists have undoubtedly helped history moved forward and can be rightly acknowledged as the world's greatest minds ever set foot on this planet. In fact, Princeton is the institution with the most Field Medalists--the Nobel Prize for mathematics.

But I'm just a high school senior now, and I want the best education possible. And it gets me thinking. Harvard has the prestige, but it also has 22,000 students enrolled. That's a lot of people getting a Harvard degree. Princeton, on the contrary, is still able to win so many fields medals, still able to house so many MacArthur fellows with a mere 6,500 (undergrad+grad) students. During WWII, Princeton mathematicians broke the Japanese Codes, helped save U.S. from destruction. To me, a Princeton degree just seems so much more rare and special.

And then you have the world's greatest geniuses who studied in Princeton. And then it's the #1 university, but I'll neglect USNEWs since it's still very subjective. When it comes down to taking the best of the best from Princeton against the best of the best from Harvard, Princeton, with its ultimate geniuses, will prevail. Even though it only has less than 1/3 of the students at Harvard.

My conclusion: Princeton is pretty damn powerful and sweet. I think if it comes down to it, I'll have to go with Princeton. A once in a life time opportunity to mingle with the greatest minds this world has ever witnessed.

After all, it wouldn't be hard getting one out of those 22,000 seats at Harvard for grad school.

1. Andrew Wiles, solved Fermat's last theorem (unsolved for 300 years)

2. Edward Witten, mathematical physicist

3. Albert Einstein, physicist

4. Terence Tao, mathematical field medalist

5. John Nash, Nobel prize winning economist

My surprising "wikipedia" conclusion--all came from Princeton. Princeton mathematicians, physicists, and economists have undoubtedly helped history moved forward and can be rightly acknowledged as the world's greatest minds ever set foot on this planet. In fact, Princeton is the institution with the most Field Medalists--the Nobel Prize for mathematics.

But I'm just a high school senior now, and I want the best education possible. And it gets me thinking. Harvard has the prestige, but it also has 22,000 students enrolled. That's a lot of people getting a Harvard degree. Princeton, on the contrary, is still able to win so many fields medals, still able to house so many MacArthur fellows with a mere 6,500 (undergrad+grad) students. During WWII, Princeton mathematicians broke the Japanese Codes, helped save U.S. from destruction. To me, a Princeton degree just seems so much more rare and special.

And then you have the world's greatest geniuses who studied in Princeton. And then it's the #1 university, but I'll neglect USNEWs since it's still very subjective. When it comes down to taking the best of the best from Princeton against the best of the best from Harvard, Princeton, with its ultimate geniuses, will prevail. Even though it only has less than 1/3 of the students at Harvard.

My conclusion: Princeton is pretty damn powerful and sweet. I think if it comes down to it, I'll have to go with Princeton. A once in a life time opportunity to mingle with the greatest minds this world has ever witnessed.

After all, it wouldn't be hard getting one out of those 22,000 seats at Harvard for grad school.

Post edited by FermatABC on

This discussion has been closed.

## Replies to: Genius vs. Prestige?

1,547Senior MemberIf you want to post something about how splendiforously stupendous Princeton is, well, that's done on the Princeton board.

And that's spelled P-R-I-N-C-E-T-O-N . . . .

11,386Senior Member12,374Senior Member698Member116Junior Member703Member17,471Senior MemberI know Mollie knows that you are doing some world-class conclusion-jumping here, but I'll point that out for anyone else who is reading the thread. As Stephen Hawking says, "People who boast about their I.Q. are losers."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/12/magazine/12QUESTIONS.html

782MemberUntil then, the question is moot and fantasy.

1,865Senior Member426MemberCLASSIC!

698Member"geniuses" at "genius" institutions only show their pride over other colleges in a peaceful, creative, and funny manner. when have you ever heard of a MIT student log onto a Caltech forum and post his opinions of how much better MIT is? what about in the harvard-yale rivalry? MIT-harvard rivalry (unless you want to count the t-shirts with "Harvard University... because not everyone can get into MIT" i saw in COOP)?

as i also notice, you registered CC on october, 2007 and have only posted 1 thread and 1 post. is posting an argumentative piece of "theory" the only reason you are here?

696Memberhttp://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=188584

24,853Senior Member? I have administered IQ tests and aren't familiar with any in which creativity is measured.

703Member691MemberSo even if you assumed that the affiliations of 5 random brilliant people (there's absolutely no reason to call them "the smartest people in the world" - one of them is dead, why does he count? All of them are randomly selected) had any relevance to what university is best, note that none of them were Princeton undergrads, so it provides absolutely no evidence that being an undergrad at Princeton has any special correlation with genius.

Incidentally, the list of where the 5 actually did their undergrad degree is Oxford, Brandeis, ETH Zurich, Flinders University, and Carnegie Mellon.