Alumni Weekend Mathematics

Saturday, June 5, 2021 9:00 am - 10:00 am EDT (GMT -04:00)


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Rubik’s Cube: The math behind the best-selling puzzle toy of all time!

Join us at 9 AM (ET) on Saturday, June 5, for a special family-fun event that will put a Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics’ twist on the world’s best-selling puzzle toy! Use the following link to join the event:

Learn about the mathematics behind the Rubik’s Cube with alumnus Erik Demaine (MMath '96, PhD '02). Improve your cubing skills with top Canadian cubers Kevin Matthews (BMath '16) and Bill Wang (BMath '21). Find out about the history of the University of Waterloo Rubik’s Club and how you can become a member.


9:00 AM - The Math of the Rubik’s Cube

An exploration of the mathematical relationship between the number of squares in a cube and the maximum number of moves necessary to solve it resulting in an efficient algorithm for solving a cube that is in its worst-case state.

Host: Professor Mark Giesbrecht, Dean, Faculty of Mathematics

Presenter: Erik Demaine (MMath '96, PhD '02), Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

9:20 AM - Cubing at the University of Waterloo

9:35 AM - Breakout Rooms

BREAKOUT ROOM 1 - Introduction to Cubing for Beginners

Algorithms and methods for people who have never solved a Rubik's Cube.

Host: Sarah Strong (BMath '15)

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BREAKOUT ROOM 2 - Step up your Game – Tips and Tricks for Intermediate Speedcubers

Intermediate methods for cubers who have mastered a basic method.

Host: Michael Shao (BCS '14)

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BREAKOUT ROOM 3 - You’ve Got Game – Secrets to Advanced Speedcubing

Advanced methods to solve cubes with extremely low move counts and times.

Hosts: Bill Wang (BMath '21), Kevin Matthews (BMath '16)

9:57 AM - Closing Remarks

See what else is happening across campus during Alumni Weekend!

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