50 Smartest Colleges in America

Did you hear about Lumosity (that site dedicated to brain training in a game design) posting data about the top fifty smartest colleges in America?  Better yet, did you realize that their findings had only a little to do with prestigious universities – although there are some listed. These are the universities with the proclaimed smartest alumni, based on the 72,388 college students that played the games involving these five cognitive areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention, and problem solving.

Lumosity's chart. (photo by cambodia4kidsorg)

Lumosity’s chart. (photo by cambodia4kidsorg)

Here is that list, but I’m also going to quote it here:

1. Washington University in St Louis

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3. Princeton University

4. Northwestern University

5. Carnegie Mellon University

6. University of Chicago

7. Rice University

8. Harvard University

9. Yale University

10. Dartmouth College

11. Tufts University

12. Stanford University

13. Georgetown University

13. University of Notre Dame

15. University of Virginia

16. Duke University

17. Bucknell University

17. Vanderbilt University

19. College of William and Mary

19. Boston College

21. Bowdoin College

22. Johns Hopkins University

23. Cornell University

23. University of California-San Diego

23. Georgia Institute of Technology

26. Columbia University

27. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

28. Boston University

29. Wheaton College

30. Case Western Reserve University

31. Trinity College

31. University of California-Berkeley

31. University of Southern California

34. University of Pennsylvania

34. Brown University

36. Washington and Lee University

36. Colorado School of Mines

38. Lafayette College

38. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

40. University of the Pacific

41. The College of New Jersey

41. Colgate University

43. University of Richmond

44. Brandeis University

44. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

46. Bethel University

47. Villanova University

47. The University of Texas at Austin

49. Oberlin College

49. Lehigh University

As you can see, some of them are tied for certain places. So this isn’t exactly a “Top 50″ list, and at the same time, it is.

The accuracy of the list is reinforced by Lumosity’s data scientist, Daniel Sternberg, PhD, when he says:

“College rankings typically rely on standardized test scores and GPA — what’s unique about our college rankings is that we are able to measure a sample of a student population’s core cognitive abilities, which are important underlying factors that allow you to function in your everyday life,”

However, you should keep in mind that there are many colleges that were misrepresented – all because their students were probably too busy studying for their Thermodynamic Engineering course than playing games online.

Nonetheless, the list is still incredibly interesting. Apparently the guys at Lumosity create this statistic every year, considering Elite Daily states that:

Harvard University and Stanford University fell significantly this year, to eighth and 12th after finishing second and third last year, respectively.

Venture Beat gave more information on how Lumosity came to this conclusion:

Lumosity had 30 million users at this time last year. The company said the growth of its user base means this year’s analysis is more accurate, because it was able to narrow eligibility requirements while maintaining a large sample. In order to be included in the analysis, a user must  have played at least one game in each cognitive area and be between ages 17 and 24. The users were mapped to universities based on either the IP address associated with their most recent login or based on the domain of the reported email address.

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