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'The ability to learn makes us human' - Rubiks Cube Essay

weezer878 1 / -  
Oct 12, 2008   #1
My professor sent me an email saying this: Good start but mechanically boring. Need an interesting intro that answers those why, what who etc questions, links to the body of the manual and a conclusion. Lets have some clear heads.


The ability to learn makes us human, and it is a part of our instinct. A puzzle is a problem which challenges this ability. The word puzzle is defined as, a toy, problem, or other contrivance designed to amuse by presenting difficulties to be solved by ingenuity or patient effort. A person has puzzles, which he or she may not recognize, in their everyday routine. Completing a homework assignment or figuring out a time schedule, are quick examples of how puzzles intertwine in our daily lives. Though puzzles seem to challenge our intellect, there are always alternate solutions to this problem. The Rubik's cube is a prime example of a puzzle, which has challenged the human mind. The Rubik's cube is a simple geometric puzzle. What makes the Rubik's cube so interesting, the fact that it is a problem presented in a simple cube form, with basic colors, and basic movements. Though it is presented in such a simple form, the Rubik's cube takes a lot of concentration and dexterity to solve. The cube is a puzzle that requires learning different patterns and order, which can only be recognized by individuals who know when an inductive reasoning problem is presented to them. Many people have taken the challenge of restoring the cubes natural pattern, and have been frustrated due to spending hours and hours on twisting and turning, leaving the cube still unsolved. In order to resolve this confusion, people have either thrown the cube aside, and saying that it is impossible, or have just taken off the stickers and replacing them, just so that they feel some gratification, knowing that they don't have to deal with it anymore. It seems that the Rubik's cube has defeated anyone who challenges it.

Though it may seem that the Rubik's cube is noted as "impossible", mathematicians have came up with a system of solutions. These solutions range between the beginners to advanced level. The best way to explain the solution is thinking that each move is just a bunch of logarithms, which are a set of steps and sequences. But before asking for the solution, one should ask themselves, "how does the Rubik's cube work?". Many think that the Rubik's cube is a puzzle that consists of 54 individual stickers or 27 little cubes, which is not the case. In fact, the Rubik's cube is actually 20 pieces, 8 corners and 12 edges, which can be arranged around 6 unmovable pieces. One should also realize that center pieces of the cube remain in the same spot no matter how much it is twisted or turned. Most people make mistakes by thinking they are moving one color, when in fact, they are moving two to three colors at a time. I have seen people think they have accomplished one side or one face, when in fact they have the same color on one side, but pieces are not in the right position. This misleads people and can confuse them even more, thinking that they are closer when in fact the colors are still mixed up. Instead of looking at the cube as individual colors, it should be looked at in layers. I am going to instruct the easiest, beginner level, way to solve the cube.

The basic strategy in solving the cube is to solve it in layers. Try and visualize the cube as a 3x3 building, you have to complete each level before moving on. There's the foundation, the first level, second level, third level, and roof or top. There are three types of cubes on the Rubik's cube, one with one color, one with two colors, and one with three colors, which are known as the center, the edges, and the corners. Knowing these names is necessary in following the different moves and patterns. When having the cube directly facing you, the side facing you is known as the front face. The side facing away from you is the back. The sides are noted as the left and right face, and the face on the top and bottom are simply noted as the top and bottom faces. Play around with the cube and get to know what faces your moving and which way they are moving, clockwise or counterclockwise. Once you are used to this, we can finally begin the algorithms or steps to solve the cube.

The first step is to get all the corner pieces of the face to face the same direction. First, pick a color to start with, preferably white. Find one of the white corner pieces (white, blue, and red), and have it on the same face as the middle piece. Turn the entire cube so that the original corner is at the upper left hand part of the cube. Find another corner piece with the same two colors, white and blue, and maneuver this to the bottom right hand corner of the cube. Once this is done, do the same to the other two corners. If done correctly, you should have an "X" on the face, which is all the middle and all the corner pieces in place.

The next step is to place the edges and to finish the top layer of the cube. To do this, turn the bottom and middle layers until one of the edges are lined up with the color spot it is going to be in. If the edge is on the bottom layer, do the following move: bottom clockwise, top middle down, bottom counter clockwise, top middle up. If the white edge is on the side, have the edge on the side it wants to go to and do and do the following move: middle clockwise, right side down, middle counter clockwise, right side up. Keep doing this until the first layer is completed.

The third step is to align the center piece to the first layer colors, and to place the middle layer edges. Have the solid face facing the bottom. You should have a pattern of three solid colors on the bottom and one in the middle, for each color. Find a top edge with the same color as the middle and line them up, so that you should have an upside down "T".

Once you have that, do the following steps: Top clockwise, right clockwise, top counter clockwise, right side counter clockwise, top counter clockwise, face counter clockwise, top clockwise, face clockwise. Keep following this step until the middle layer is complete. Once this is done, 2/3 of the cube is complete.

The next step is to form a cross. To do this choose any face, and do the following move: face clockwise, top clockwise, right clockwise, top counter clockwise, right counter clockwise, face counter clockwise. Once you perform that move, have the two of the edges at the 9:00 and 12:00 position. Once they are in that position, repeat the step above. Now you should have a cross.

The next step is to get the top face all one color. To do this, have the cross on the top face, and do the following move: right side up, top clockwise, right side down, top clockwise, right side up, top clockwise, top clockwise, right side down. If you have the top face one color, you can move onto the next step. If you do not have the top face one color, you should have a cross and one of the corner pieces on the top face. Place the corner piece, so that it is on the bottom left of the cross, and repeat the step above.

The objective of the next step is to get all the top corners in their correct positions. On the top layer, find two pieces with the same color on the same side. Face these two pieces away from you, so that they are on the backside. Once this is done, do the following move: right side down, face clockwise, right side down, backside clockwise twice, right side up, face counter clockwise, right side down, backside clockwise twice, right side clockwise twice. Now that the top corners are in their correct positions, we can move onto the final step.

The final step is to put the top edges in the correct places. Position the corners so they match with their corresponding colors. Pick any face, and if you have one face that is completely solid, face that side away from you. Look at the edges color and decide if it wants to go to the left or the right. If it wants to go to the right, do the following move: turn the front face twice, top counter clockwise, left side down, right side down, face twice, left side up, right side up, top counter clockwise, front face twice. Congratulations! You just completed one of the most mindboggling puzzles of mankind!

EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Oct 12, 2008   #2
Good evening.

As the requirements to the assignment were not included in the posting, I will focus on grammar and mechanics here.

In your introduction, it seems that you quote something for your definition. If this is so, make sure the actual quote is enclosed in quotation marks. If not, rework your statement so that it does not mislead your readers into thinking there should be a direct quotation.

Avoid contractions in formal academic writing; they are inappropriate, and many instructors will count down for them. Also, avoid the use of the pronoun "you" as it is also inappropriate in formal academic writing; try using "I" or "one" instead.

There are some spots where things are capitalized that shouldn't be: make sure you are only capitalizing proper nouns and the words at the beginning of sentences.

In regards to your instructor's comments, perhaps you should rethink who your audience is; are they people that know the cube well? Are they beginners that have no experience with it? Once you have them clear in your mind try rewriting the introduction again. Also, in your conclusion try to remember it should reiterate and restate the main points of what you talked about in your paper and leave your reader with a sense of closure and satisfaction.

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