When we think of great college towns, Boston, New York and Philadelphia come to mind. But Los Angeles, barely even on the map when those cities' schools were turning out world leaders, might just be king.

See also: USC, UCLA Tied in Academic Ranking.

The latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2013-2014 puts Pasadena's Caltech at the very top. Again:

The science and engineering school beat out number two Harvard and number three Oxford. UCLA made number 12 on the list.

It was the third year in a row that Caltech ranked supreme.

See also: 10 Hottest Professors Teaching in L.A.

In a statement, the school explained how Times Higher Education compiles its list:

Thirteen performance indicators representing research (worth 30 percent of a school's overall ranking score), teaching (30 percent), citations (30 percent), international outlook (which includes the total numbers of international students and faculty and the ratio of scholarly papers with international collaborators, 7.5 percent), and industry income (a measure of innovation, 2.5 percent) make up the data. The data were collected, analyzed, and verified by Thomson Reuters.

Credit: Times Higher Education

Credit: Times Higher Education

UCLA noted in a statement, meanwhile, that it climbed one spot compared to last year's number 13 spot. And it's the second-ranked public university on the list next to sibling UC Berkeley, which came in at number 8.

See also: USC Is a Top 5 Party School.

USC made number 70, by the way.

Los Angeles: Swimming pools. Movie stars. Nerds. Who knew?

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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