Colloquium-September 18, 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015 (3:00 p.m. in Yost 306)

Title: Determining the Maximum Number of Moves Needed to Solve Rubik’s Cube

Speaker: Morley Davidson (Associate Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Kent State University)

Abstract: Determining the maximum number of moves required to solve an arbitrary scrambling of Rubik’s Cube is a problem that goes back to the puzzle’s origins circa 1980. In the last few years the problem was finished off for the two most popular ways of counting moves, the “half-turn” and “quarter-turn” metrics, with the help of supercomputers at Google and the Ohio Supercomputer Center, respectively. In this talk we discuss the mathematics behind these computations and examine some related problems which still await solution.

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