Big Thinkers

A few incredible individuals are responsible for some of the biggest innovations. Learn about those who changed the world by thinking outside the box.


The set of pioneering real-life scientists beat out other fan proposals including "Voltron," "Star Wars" and "Spaceballs" characters.

Neil deGrasse Tyson once said, "No one is dumb who is curious." Curious to see what else you'll find besides that great quote on HowStuffWorks' Instagram account?

These techno-wizards shaped our world with their inventions and ideas. Get to know some of our favorite tech masterminds, from Babbage, Turing and Lovelace to their modern equivalents.

If this were trivia night, your team could probably summon this answer without breaking a sweat. But in true polymath style, Engelbart's signature invention is only part of his computer genius. Meet him.

Although the MacArthur Foundation never intended to promote them that way, the financial awards it doles out have come to be known as "genius" grants. How are the recipients chosen?

Human beings seem to love building machines that can beat us at our own game -- sometimes literally. How can chess computers vanquish human chess masters -- and which machine was the first to do so?

Sure, Nobel Prize winners get money, a medal and bragging rights, but the rest of us often benefit from their accomplishments, too. Meet 10 of these game-changing people.

The concept of virtual reality is nothing new, but we bet you didn't know that a quirky, math-loving, dreadlocked dude is famous for coining the term. Meet Jaron Lanier.

Technology has paved the way for all sorts of changes in our world. These are five of the people behind some of the greatest technological changes to benefit humankind.

"Father of the Internet" is a term you might have heard, but does the Internet have a founding mother, too? Meet the engineer behind the moniker -- and find out what she thinks of the title.