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An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part One)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2016/01/01


An interview with Marco Ripà. He discusses: geographic, cultural, and linguistic familial background; influence on personal development; pivotal moments; loneliness and associated fear in youth, and its frequency in gifted youth; physique sculpting and personal combat training; B.Econ.Sc., magna cum laude; autodidactic proclivities; expertise and knowledge and its benefit for personal and professional life; contents of the big IQ projects; inspiration for mathematics competitions, papers in number theory, and the creation of integer sequences for OEIS; title, contents, and interest in the discrete mathematics book; academic papers on currency speculation, market failures, social justice, and sub-prime mortgage crisis; common intelligences with lower than expected occurrence and flourishing; a society that provides for the gifted and talented; summarization of the research subjects completed by him; entrance into the high-IQ and ultra-high-IQ world; and the inter-relationship development up to the present between the high-IQ, and ultra-high-IQ, community and himself.

Keywords: gifted youth, high-IQ, IQ, Marco Ripà, mathematics, research, society, ultra-high-IQ.

An Interview with Marco Ripà, B.Econ.Sc. (Part One)[1],[2],[3],[4]

*Please see the footnotes throughout the interview, and bibliography and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. In terms of geography, culture, and language, where does your family background reside?

I was born in Rome (Italy), 31 years ago, and I still live here. My parents’ IQ is average and my family belongs to the Catholic middle class (let’s say, none of them talks a second language or knows how to create a P.D.F. file – sad but true), despite this I became agnostic at the age of 17 and I started to read foreigner thinkers such as Nietzsche, Voltaire, Goethe, Rousseau and so on…

2. How did this influence personal development?

I think that this environment has not influenced my cultural development in a positive way, even if I opened my mind and started to think deeper about myself when I discovered the World Wide Web and Google.

3. What about influences and pivotal moments in major cross-sections of early life including kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, high school, and undergraduate studies (college/university)?

Well, when I was a child I was afraid of school (I was in a kindergarten just for one year or so). The loneliness was triggering the fear but, sometimes, the fear of being rejected by others was driving the loneliness itself… I started feeling better during my high school years, practicing karate (wado-ryu style at agonistic level) and starting to lift some weights. From my very personal point of view, it could be good to change something in your lifestyle in order to make a change in the way you relate with others and to make them feel good with you, starting to listen more their words rather than just talking.

4. You noted the fear brought on by loneliness in youth. Does this happen with frequency among the gifted?

I think so. Obviously, it is not a general rule, but I think that it can be a very common condition, especially if you have some Asperger traits too.

5. You mentioned weightlifting and karate, “wado-ryu style.” What does physique sculpting and personal combat training provide for you?

I started practicing karate during my second High School year. My initial thought was that it would be helpful to gain some respect in my classroom, to avoid myself from getting bullied. Keep training, I gained many injuries and I started to realize what is the real meaning of this discipline, looking at it not just as a sport. Later I started to train myself also at the gym, hoping to become stronger and I gradually reduced my commitment in karate, looking for something more flexible to practice during my college years. At the end of the journey I can say that I have gained many injuries and a lot of respect for the sports, their practitioners and their common values.

6. You earned a B.Econ.Sc., magna cum laude.[5] What expertise and knowledge comes with this qualification?

I consider myself a self-taught man with a wide range of interests (including Psychometrics, Statistics, Divergent Thinking and Mathematics) but, at the time, my thought was that a degree in Economics would have been better than a degree in Physics, so I left the “Physics and Astrophysics” course and I spent a few years studying Keynes, Friedman, Wicksell, Hayek and their ideas about the trade-off between equity and efficiency. I did not appreciate Economic theories very much, because I prefer more abstractive and rigorous subjects, so I finally left university when the sub-prime mortgage crisis reached my country.

7. “Psychometrics, Statistics, Divergent Thinking and Mathematics” provide a solid foundation for research into intelligence. Intelligence research observes and examines the gifted and talented. Gifted and talented individuals might tend towards autodidactic education. Your own autobiography given before describes this. As a general rule about and for the gifted and talented, do autodidactic proclivities seem true about them to you?

I read being a self-taught person as a natural response to an inner discomfort, when you cannot find enough challenge in the school or if it cannot put you in the right perspective. I do not know if a general rule exists, but I think that any unrecognized gifted individual can easily develop many interests in the world wide web era. Speaking about talented people, it is probably true that if they can taste their passion (at least) one time, they can usually find the way to follow it.8

8. How did this expertise and knowledge benefit personal and professional life?

To be honest with you, I have to say that I did not use very much what I learned in the Economics field. When I left the College/University (here in Italy they are basically the same thing) I participated in a few projects within the private sector, unfortunately my colleagues did not keep their word about them… so, during the last few years, I have worked alone on some projects involving abstract conceptualization, 3D modeling, giftedness and proficiency analysis. By the way, I am currently working, as a member of two different teams, on two big projects relating to IQ.

9. With respect to those two different teams purposed to the study of IQ in big projects, what remain the contents of those projects?

Well, the aim of the first project is to establish a not yet existing link between the high IQ world and the job world, for an interesting exchange never realized, where very selected “brains” are offered for companies searching for special abilities: this is “BrainsJob”, indeed. The second project is the implementation of my spatial dynamic IQ tests (ENSDT): the original idea was explained in my ebook “” in 2012.

10. You earned an honor prize in high school and second place in the high school mathematics competition around the same time. In addition to these accomplishments, you authored papers on number theory and created some integer sequences for OEIS. What inspired taking part in these for you?

As previously mentioned, since I was a child I liked discrete mathematics very much. Thus, after the undergraduate degree I started to write a novel involving cryptography and a book about hyperoperations. This book focused on the p-adic convergence of tetration contains many integer sequences and a few of them were not listed on the OEIS, thus I decided to submit them. To date I have contributed to the OEIS with more than 40 new sequences.
I have published also a few papers on peer-reviewed journals (such as “Notes on Number Theory and Discrete Mathematics” and “Matematicamente”) relating to prime numbers and a couple of papers about the classic Nine Dots Puzzle extended to any k-dimensional space (k>2), the latest paper will be published soon on the same journal.

11. Regarding the title of the book based on discrete mathematics and personal interest in it, what was the title of the book and its contents?

“La strana coda della serie n^n^…^n” is a book that I have published in 2011 and it is focused on hyperoperators and their p-adic convergence properties. In particular, I presented some new results about tetration (or hyper-4).
To easy understand what tetration is, you can take a look at the following relations,

addition : multiplication = multiplication : exponentiation = exponentiation : tetration .

12. You authored academic papers on currency speculation, market failures, social justice, and sub-prime mortgage crisis. Why these topics?

I wrote them in Italian. The first one was relating to my essay “International organizations facing the current crisis” and then I shared my thoughts about social justice: I think that it is very important in order to reduce the gap in education due to economic factors or constraints. Some constraints of a subjective nature, ethics, morals and various prejudices may still persist: intelligence is not focused in specific areas or specific regions of the planet. This implies that, anywhere, in different social, religious, economic and environmental situation, we may find the presence of intelligences that, under the right conditions, might be able to put to use their gift. Thus, contexts in which the dynamics of social, religious, environmental but also economic and infrastructure aspects do not allow personal development, could drive us to miss the great chance to give these humans like us the opportunity to develop their talents. And this could be done with the intelligence as well with artistic talents. Moreover, social issues (religious, environmental, and so on…) can affect the development of the personality of “gifted” children and “gifted” adults.

13. With respect to the underutilization of gifts and talents of the gifted and talented, what common intelligences seem to have lower than expected occurrence and flourishing?

Very hard to say, and I am not a big fan of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Could I argue for a quite common lack of “relational skills” or so? This would be the main key, in my opinion.

14. What society appears to provide for the gifted and talented?

If we assume that we live in a modern country where liberalism and laissez-faire capitalism belong to the mainstream, and where the idea of the self-made man (such as Jobs, Gates, and so on) is often embodied by gifted and/or talented people, we could imagine a good scenario, even if it cannot be the best of all. Gifted and talented individuals sometime need to be understood, supported and feeling themselves to be appreciated by others, unconditionally.

15. What summarizes each of these research subjects completed by you?

Mathematics is my first love and I need to deal with her occasionally, while the hope to support gifted children is my main goal and now I am very happy about what me and my associate, Roberto Enea, are doing in this field: we are implementing the first dynamic spatial IQ test in the world with a unique norm and immune from the risk of cheating! It would be a dream that become reality one day, to have this new generation of tests to be, administrated to measure cognitive abilities with a clinical approach.

16. You have deep involvement in the high-IQ world. For examples, you founded the sPIqr Society, co-founded the World IQ Foundation (WIQF), constructed the X-Test, presented at the 12th Asia-Pacific Conference on Giftedness in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai (2012), and hold memberships in about thirty high-IQ societies.[6],[7],[8] In addition, you have an interesting proposal for a new computer-based intelligence test for the high-range.[9] How did this entrance into the high-IQ and ultra-high-IQ world begin for you?

Good question, thanks for letting me tell this story. I discovered IQ tests in early 2009, searching for something to relax my brain after my last exam. I found the M-FACE/L test and I took it. A few months later I took the 916 test by Laurent Dubois scoring well in either cases… I put the blame on Google.

17. How did this inter-relationship develop up to the present between the high-IQ, and ultra-high-IQ, community and yourself?

When I discovered my giftedness I started to learn more about this topic and I sadly understood that in my country the word “gifted” is almost unknown and there is not any support in our schools (no acceleration, no curriculum compacting nor curricular enrichment). Thus, I decided to found the sPIqr Society after I joined some well-known high-IQ groups. Now I have many pen friends all over the world and I can see our society from a lot of different perspectives.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, sPIqr Society; Co-Founder & Co-President, World IQ Foundation (WIQF).

[2] Individual Publication Date: January 1, 2016 at; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2016 at

[3] B.Econ.Sc. (magna cum laude), University of Roma Tre.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Marco Ripà.

[5] Please see LinkedIn. (2015). Marco Ripà. Retrieved from

[6] Please see sPIQr Society. (2015). sPIQr Society. Retrieved from

[7] Please see World IQ Foundation. (n.d.). Organizers. Retrieved from

[8] Please see World Intelligence Network. (n.d.). SPIQR. Retrieved from

[9] “High-range” defined as “at or above 3 standard deviations or 3 sigma from the norm.”


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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