Top 10 Most Intelligent People in the World – 2018 List

Everyone is intelligent, but the fact remains that some people are just more intelligent than others. These exceptional individuals often go on to do some really exceptional things, and they serve an integral role in everyday society. In this article, I’m going to be talking a little bit about the top ten most intelligent people in the world. These are the world’s best and brightest, and they all have unique backgrounds and unique ways of sharing their intelligence with everyone else. Without further ado, let’s see if we can’t dive head first into this list of the most intelligent people in the world.

#10 – Evangelos Katsioulis

The first person on our list is Evangelos Katsioulis, who was born in Ioannia, Greece. He was born in 1976, and he primarily works as a doctor and as a psychiatrist. He is a highly well-known practitioner, having graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Medicine in 2000. As a doctor, he has worked as a general doctor and he has also worked in more technical fields like neurology. He is perhaps best known for his scores on IQ tests, where he has apparently holds several highest all-time scores. Due to his obvious experience in these tests, Katsioulis works with various IQ-related societies, such as the Evangeliq Society, AAAA.GR, and the World Intelligence Network. He actually serves as the founder of the World Intelligence Network, which is an international organization.

#9 – Magnus Carlsen

Next, let’s talk about Magnus Carlsen. Magnus is only 26 years old, but this native Norewegian is without a doubt one of the greatest chess players to ever play the game. Even when Carlsen was just a child, he proved that he was smarter than most other people. He was doing activities like puzzles at a much higher level than almost any other person of his age. When he was still very young, he began to read chess strategy guide books, and he would participate in his first tournament when he was just eight years old. Magnus earned the title of chess grandmaster in 2004, when he was just 13 years old. (Believe it or not, this actually only makes him the third youngest grandmaster of all time.) Currently, he holds the title of World Chess Champion. Carlsen also owns a company, Play Magnus AS, which he has used to develop different applications.

#8 – Shahriar Afshar

The next genius on this list is Shahriar Afshar, who was born in Takab, Iran in 1971. He is best known for his works in physics and in engineering in general. Afshar is the namesake for the Afshar Experiment, which is an optical experiment regarding the principle of complementarity, which is an idea in quantum mechanics. In 2009, Shahriar attracted some attention from the press (not all positive) where he stated that he didn’t think that the Large Hadron Collider would end up finding the Higgs boson. Afshar is currently working as the founder and president of IMMERZ Inc., a tech company that is currently working on the KOR_FX Immersive Haptic Feedback Gaming Vest, which is something that you wear while you game to actually feel the action. Clearly, Shahriar is a multi-talented guy.

#7 – Akshay Venkatesh

Akshay Venkatesh was born in India in 1981, but he was primarily raised in Australia. Growing up in Australia, Venkatesh took classes for gifted students, and he showed an extreme aptitude for mathematics. When he was just twelve years old, he had medaled at both the International Mathematics Olympiad and at the International Physics Olympiad, which is something that an Australian had never done before. He graduated from the University of Western Australia at a remarkably young age, and he began to study for his PhD at Princeton University. Over the years, various prestigious American institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, and Stanford University have all sought out Venkatesh’s expertise as a member of their faculty. For the last few years, Akshay has been a professor at Stanford University.

#6 – Saul Kripke

Next is Saul Kripke, and he’s the oldest genius on our list thus far. Kripke was born in Bay Shore, New York in 1940, and he is a very well known philosopher and logician. Like many of the people in this article, Saul was a child prodigy. He was reading Shakespeare by the time he was nine, and he had a theorem published when he was just 18 years old. Unsurprisingly, a bright guy like this was able to attend Harvard University during his undergraduate career. He was such an impressive student that, as a sophomore, he was able to teach graduate-level courses at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In philosophy, he is well known for developing Kripke semantics, which is something that he began publishing essays about when he was just a teenager. The Saul Kripke Center at the City University of New York is dedicated to him and his work.

#5 – Ruth Lawrence

Ruth Lawrence is the first and only woman on this list of the top ten most intelligent people in the world. She was born in Brighton, England in 1971, and she quickly showed an incredible aptitude for mathematics. When she was just five years old, her father (a computer consultant) quit his job so that he could homeschool Lawrence and give her the unique academic attention that her mind deserved. By the age of nine, she became the youngest person of all time to gain an O-level in mathematics. In 1983, at the age of twelve, she began to attend St. Hugh’s College, which is a constituent college of the prestigious University of Oxford. More recently, she has worked with American universities such as Harvard University and the University of Michigan in their mathematics departments.

#4 – Grigori Perelman

Add another mathematician to our list of the top ten most intelligent people in the world! Grigori Perelman is a highly respected mathematician, born in the Soviet Union in 1966. Perelman’s mother was actually a mathematician, which may have contributed to her son’s future career bath. In 1982, he won a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad as a member of the Soviet Union’s team, with their team attaining a perfect school. He would end up graduating from Leningrad State University. In 1994, Girgori attracted a great deal of attention by proving the soul theorem, a complicated mathematical theorem that is related to Riemannian geometry. Less than ten years later, he proved Thurston’s geometrization conjecture.

#3 – Christopher Hirata

Next, let’s discuss Christopher Hirata, who was born in 1982 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Hirata is a very notable child prodigy, having entered the California Institute of Technology when he was fourteen. (Just a year earlier, he had become the youngest American to win a gold medal in the International Physics Olympiad.) By the time he was sixteen, he was working with NASA in order to help them with their mission to colonize Mars. When Hirata was just eighteen years old, he published “The Physics of Relationships” which discussed human chemical thermodynamics. When he was 22 years old, he had earned a PhD in astrophysics from the prestigious Princeton University. Perhaps most notable about Christopher Hirata is his IQ, which has been verified to sit at about 225. This is obviously a remarkably high score on the test.

#2 – Kim Ung-yong

Kim Ung-yong is the next genius on our list, and he used to hold the Guiness Book of World Records record for Highest IQ before the category was retired in 1990. At the time, he had a score of about 210. Ung-yong was born in Gangwon, South Korea, in 1962, and he was able to read in multiple languages by the time he was two years old. In 1967, he began to attend Grant High School. It may seem odd that a five year old would be attending high school, but understand that Kim was capable of solving differential equations and other forms of calculus problems during this time. He would receive a PhD in civil engineering from Chungbuk National University later in his academic career. In 2014, he began to work as an associate professor at Shinhan University.

#1 – Terence Tao

Finally, it’s time to talk about Terence Tao, who is considered one of the smartest men in the entire world. He was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1975, and both of his parents are well known scholars. Terence showed strength in mathematics when he was young, achieving extraordinary scores on the SAT math section when he was nine years old. When he was sixteen, he obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Flinders University. At the age of 21, he received his PhD from Princeton University. Today, he is a full professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and he is the youngest person to ever be one. He has won many awards over the years, including the Fields Medal, the Salem Prize, the Polya Prize, and the Nemmers Prize in Mathematics for his contributions to the field over the years.

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Jake Briscoe
Jake is passionate about everything tech, film, and gaming related. If he's not writing you can probably catch him at a local sporting event or coffee shop.


  1. Everyone get this wrong! You do realise Terence Tao, Christopher Hirata, and Kim Ung-Yong actually have IQ’s well under 200. The highest iq ever measured is either Richard Rosner or Evangelos Katsioulis. You have confused 2 (or more) different test standards and methodologies.