### COLL 134 - RUBIK'S CUBE THEORY

**Long Title: **RUBIK'S CUBE/TWISTY PUZZLE AND SPEEDSOLVING THEORY (LOVETT)

**Department: **College Courses

**Grade Mode: **Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

**Language of Instruction:** Taught in English

**Course Type: **Lecture

**Credit Hours: **1

**Restrictions: **Must be enrolled in one of the following Level(s):

Undergraduate Professional

Visiting Undergraduate

Undergraduate

**Description: **There are many ways to solve the Rubik’s Cube, often cited as the world’s most popular toy and the archetype of twisty puzzles, which vary greatly in difficulty and complexity. Unfortunately, when learning these methods, many beginners prioritize brute-force algorithm memorization over an intuitive understanding of twisty puzzle behavior and why these algorithms accomplish what they claim to do. Although advanced solution methods indeed are heavily reliant on algorithm memorization, learning introductory solution methods in this way will lead to rapid decay of their mastery. Thus, how does an intuitive understanding of twisty puzzles affect the long-term learning and application of their solution methods? In this course, students will learn the mathematical basis of twisty puzzle behavior, predominant methods of solving the Rubik’s Cube (3x3) and Rubik’s Revenge (4x4), and ways of constructing solves and critiquing their efficiency. Students should expect to spend time each week practicing solves of the 3x3 and 4x4, commentating on the choices they make to solve increasingly large portions of these puzzles. Students will also regularly analyze solution methods for the 3x3 and 4x4, through both physical manipulation and computer simulation of twisty puzzles.