Message #3326

Subject: Re: Research Project
Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2016 09:33:38 -0700

Hi Jeremy,
That’s an awesome topic.

I’m not sure whether puzzles make people smarter or if that’s placebo, but at least they get you to think. To get good at cubing, you have to practice and that naturally helps improve memory and dexterity skills, especially if you’re doing blindfold cubing and/or speedcubing.

I’d guess that 4D puzzles are there for "fun" (with quotes just in case my definition of fun is not that of the social norm). I think it’s natural for them to exist considering how we can mathematically describe cubes of any dimension, so of course we can slice them into cubies and make upper-dimensional Rubik’s Cubes.

I don’t know if these puzzles are important to math, but math can definitely be used on these puzzles. For example, there’s group theory, which can be used to form commutators and explain how they work, afaik.
Some more examples of math being used on cubes can be found on Jaap’s puzzle page. However, Rubik’s Cubes can encourage people to get into math or learn more math, and I’m definitely part of this category, so maybe you can say that puzzles are important for math education.

Hf with the project,


—In, <shahan.jeremy@…> wrote :

Hi I am Jeremy and I am a high schooler and I have a research project for one of my classes and my topic is mathematics and puzzles. I thought that this would be a great place to gather information on my topic. I have a few questions I am researching.

How do puzzles make people smarter or do they make people smarter?
What is the purpose of 4D puzzles?
Are these types of puzzles important to mathematics?

Even if you don’t answer these questions specifically any comments, thoughts or insights about my topic are greatly appreciated.

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