Speedcubing: History, Theory, and Practice
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Topics Covered in Class
Week 1 (September 22)What is Speedcubing? - Videos, websites, stories about cubing.
Week 2 (September 29)The Origins of Speedcubing - Erno Rubik, Early 80's, etc. (Slideshow)
Lesson: Finger Tricks
Lesson: Beginner's Layer-by-Layer Solution (Solution Handout)
Week 3 (October 6)The beginning of modern cubing: speedcubing.com
The WCA governing body and its regulations.
Explanation: The Fridrich Method
Lesson: F2L (Blank F2L Sheet)
Week 4 (October 13)Discussion/Review of excerpts from the regulations.
World Championships: Story and Videos
Lesson: Continuing F2L (F2L Sheet)
Week 5 (October 20)Project Assignment
Lecture: Counting the number of permutations of a Rubik's Cube (using permutation and orientation)
Guest: Lars Petrus, explaining the history and details of the Petrus method.
Week 6 (October 27)Guest: Professor Bump, giving an introduction to group theory and the cube: the definition of a group, permutations, cycles, parity, commutators, conjugates, cosets.
Various short topics
4LLL: T-Perm and Y-Perm.
Homework:Since we talked about a lot of the ideas in class, I'd like you to take a look at 3 famous pages: commutators, as well as the 3OP blindsolving method and the new, popular M2 method:
Homework:Work on your project.
Recommended: Especially if your project involves learning something to get faster, you should look at timers and programs, executable and web-based.
I highly recommend CCT, qqTimer, and Ryan Heise's simulator.
Guest: Shelley Chang, talking about Cross on Left and Blindfolded Cubing
Impromptu Guest: Mark Eichenlaub, talking about permutations
Course Material (Handouts, etc.)
- Syllabus Draft (Will be heavily modified ad-hoc, but most of the material covered will be the same.)
- Week 2 Slideshow
- Rubik's Cube Beginner Solution
- Blank F2L Sheet
- Project Assignment
- PDF of Rokicki's Slides
- October 20: Lars Petrus, inventor of the Petrus method.
- October 27: Daniel Bump, Professor of Mathematics at Stanford, expert on group theory.
- November 3: Tom Rokicki, expert in computational cubing, set the current record for the upper bound on God's number.
- November 17: Shelley Chang, well-known Caltech cuber, and a top female competitor.