Cam's Blog

March 3, 2010

Rubik’s cube

Filed under: Math, Random — cfranc @ 8:52 pm

Last Sunday I cracked and decided to buy a 3 \times 3 Rubik’s cube. Tonight I turned the tables on Mr. Rubik and cracked his cube. It was a really satisfying puzzle, and not too hard to figure out once I started writing down nice permutations. My and I suppose every strategy revolves around finding useful permutations with lots of fixed points. Then these can be used to slowly add order to the cube. My favorite moment came while in the gym: I randomly thought up a permutation that I felt would be useful, and upon getting home I discovered that it was indeed just the sort of odd permutation that I needed!

I’ll definitely use Rubik’s group as an example the first time I teach group theory. I’m very much a fan of it now.

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