Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Marilyn vos Savant

Marilyn vos Savant (pronounced /ˌvɒs səˈvɑːnt/; born August 11, 1946) is an American magazine  columnist, author, lecturer, and playwright who rose to fame through her listing in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Highest IQ". Since 1986 she has written "Ask Marilyn", a Sunday column in Parade magazine in which she solves puzzles and answers questions from readers on a variety of subjects.
Contents [hide]    
* 1 Biography    
* 2 Rise to fame and IQ score   
* 3 "Ask Marilyn"    
* 4 Controversy regarding Fermat's last theorem   
* 5 Famous columns           o 5.1 The Monty Hall problem           o 5.2 "Two boys" problem    
* 6 Publications   
* 7 References  
  * 8 External links  [edit]
       Biography  Vos Savant was born Marilyn Mach in St. Louis, Missouri to Joseph Mach and Marina vos Savant, who had immigrated to the United States from Germany and Italy respectively. Vos Savant believes that both men and women should keep their premarital surnames for life, with sons taking their fathers' surnames and daughters their mothers'.[1] The word "savant", meaning a person of learning, appears twice in her family: her maternal grandmother's maiden name was Savant, while her maternal grandfather's surname was vos Savant. Vos Savant is of German and Italian ancestry,[2] and is a descendant of physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach.[3]  As a teenager, vos Savant used to spend her time working in her father's general store and enjoyed writing and reading. She sometimes wrote articles and subsequently published them under a pseudonym in the local newspaper, stating that she did not want to misuse her name for work that she perceived to be imperfect. When she was sixteen years old, vos Savant married a university student, but the marriage ended in a divorce when she was in her twenties. Her second marriage ended when she was 35.  Vos Savant studied philosophy at the Washington University in St. Louis despite her parents' desire for a more useful subject. After two years, she dropped out to help with a family investment business, seeking financial freedom to pursue a career in writing.  Vos Savant moved to New York City in the 1980s. Before her weekly column in Parade, vos Savant wrote the Omni I.Q. Quiz Contest for Omni, which contains "I.Q. quizzes" and expositions on intelligence and intelligence testing.  Vos Savant lives in New York City with her husband Robert Jarvik, one of the developers of the Jarvik artificial heart. Vos Savant is Chief Financial Officer of Jarvik Heart, Inc., and is involved in cardiovascular disease research and prevention. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Economic Education and on the advisory boards of the National Association for Gifted Children and the National Women's History Museum, which in 1998 gave her a "Women Making History" Award, citing "her contribution to changing stereotypes about women."[4] She was named by Toastmasters International as one of the "Five Outstanding Speakers of 1999," and in 2003 received an honorary Doctor of Letters from The College of New Jersey.

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