In a web project launched last January at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), designers, engineers and scientists worked together to quantify fame by pulling data from Wikipedia and plugging it through two separate measures in order to come up with a score.
The team gathered data on 11,340 biographies that appeared in more than 25 language editions of the Internet encyclopedia as of May 2013. They then matched each biography to a country location using their birthdays and birthplaces.
The first measure, known as "L," is calculated by looking at the number of Wikipedia language editions available about a given person.
The second step, known as "Historical Popularity Index" (HPI), uses the "L" number in a process explained as follows:
"(It) combines information on the number of languages L, with the effective number of languages L*, the age of the historical character A, the number of PageViews in Non-English Wikipedias since 2008, and the coefficient of variation in PageViews in all languages between 2008 and 2013 CV."
Lavigne came in first with an HPI of 27.480, followed by Jim Carrey with 27.018, and Justin Bieber with 26.860. Canadian diva Celine Dion scored a 26.543 and Pamela Anderson achieved 26.435.
Check out the Canadians that Pantheon ranked as the most popular:
25) Lucy Maud Montgomery
Author, "Anne of Green Gables"
24) Shania Twain
Singer, "Man! I Feel Like a Woman"
23) Elisha Cuthbert
Actress, "The Girl Next Door," "24"
22) Donald Sutherland
Actor, "The Hunger Games," "Don't Look Now"
21) Dan Aykroyd
Actor, "Saturday Night Live," "Coneheads"
20) Rachel McAdams
Actress, "The Notebook," "Mean Girls"
19) Glenn Gould
18) Ryan Reynolds
Actor, "The Green Lantern," "The Proposal"
17) Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher behind the phrase, "The medium is the message."
16) Alanis Morissette
Musician behind songs such as "Ironic" and "You Oughta Know."
15) Saul Bellow
Nobel Prize-winning author of "Humboldt's Gift" and "Mr. Sammler's Planet."
14) James Cameron
Director of "Avatar," "Titanic" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."
13) Hayden Christensen
Actor, "Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones" and "Shattered Glass."
12) Chris Benoit
11) Neil Young
Musician behind songs such as "Long May You Run," "Harvest Moon" and "Rockin' in the Free World."
10) Nelly Furtado
Singer behind tracks such as "Promiscuous" and "Give It to Me."
9) Frank Gehry
Architect Frank Gehry designed the Experience Music Project in Seattle, which is pictured here.
8) Bryan Adams
Musician behind songs such as "Summer of '69" and "Run To You."
7) Michael J. Fox
Actor in films such as the "Back to the Future" trilogy and TV series "Spin City."
6) Leonard Cohen
Singer-songwriter behind "Tower of Song" and "Everybody Knows."
5) Pamela Anderson
Actress on the TV series "Baywatch" and "Home Improvement" and films such as "Barb Wire" and "Borat."
4) Céline Dion
Singer behind such songs as "My Heart Will Go On" and "Love Can Move Mountains."
3) Justin Bieber
Singer behind "Baby" and this incredible deposition.
2) Jim Carrey
Actor and comedian who starred in the "Ace Ventura" movies and "Dumb and Dumber."
1) Avril Lavigne
Singer behind "Complicated" and "Girlfriend." Also, "ChAvril" fame.
CORRECTION: Pantheon has clarified that small differences in ranking are not statistically meaningful and should not be employed to draw conclusions about the popularity of people with similar scores. Researchers said that even though Avril Lavigne ranks first, the website is not claiming she is the most famous Canadian. Pantheon said her score is "statistically indistinguishable" from Leonard Cohen's, who was sixth-highest on the list.
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