League tables are the most popular reference when it comes to how suitable a college may be for your offspring, but data scientists at Lumosity have created their own version which asks what colleges have the smartest students.
Instead of relying on metrics including funding, facilities and grants, the team's league table (.pdf) is based on a series of "cognitive training games." Having picked out the emails of 60,000 students at 411 colleges and universities, a game which tested speed, attention, memory, flexibility and problem-solving has resulted in a "smart" score being attributed to each university and college that was part of the research.
In order to try and control age, gender and demographics, student scores were only used when attributable to the "norm," for example, the team only used the results of students within the 17 to 25 year-old population, which reflects the average age of study.
Although there are biases within the research, including the fact that students who were more likely to play the game than others contributed to the data, the game was the only cognitive ability indicator and only 50 players were required from each school to make up the sample, the results are pretty interesting.
The top ten schools were (in order) the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Yale University, Washington University in St Louis, Dartmouth College, Wellesley College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Duke University.
The ten worst performing academic institutions in the top 50 were Bowdoin College, Trinity University, Butler University, St. Olaf College, University of Virginia-Main Campus, Colgate University, Rice University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ohio Northern University and The College of New Jersey.
View the full results.
Update: 17.12 GMT: Clarification on the ten worst performing colleges and universities. These are the "worst" within the top 50.
Image credit: Flickr
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