David Breyer Singmaster (born 1939, USA) is a retired professor of
1 Career 2 Rubik's Cubes 3 Puzzles 4 Singmaster's conjecture 5 Media appearances 6 Personal life 7 Publications
7.1 Books 7.2 Reference works 7.3 Newsletters 7.4 Articles
8 See also 9 References 10 External links
The power of conjugation ... was the last point I understood; I remember lying awake thinking about it, seeing that I could move any four edges into the working locations and realising that this completed the general method for restoring the cube to its original state.
–David Singmaster, Moral and Mathematical Lessons from a Rubik Cube, New Scientist, 1982
Singmaster's association with Rubik's Cubes dates from August 1978, when he saw a Cube (at that time a rarity) at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Helsinki. Some other mathematicians at the conference, including John Conway and Roger Penrose, already had one. Singmaster quickly acquired a Cube (in exchange for a copy of an M. C. Escher book) and was able to solve it by early September 1978. He has said that it took him "two weeks, on and off" to find a general solution for the Cube. He devised his notation for recording moves (now known as the Singmaster notation) in December 1978. In June 1979 he wrote one of the first articles about the Cube in The Observer newspaper. In October 1979 he self-published his Notes on the "Magic Cube". The booklet contained his mathematical analysis of Rubik's Cube, allowing a solution to be constructed using basic group theory. In August 1980 he published an expanded 5th edition of the book retitled as Notes on Rubik's "Magic Cube". It included the results of his correspondence with other "cubologists", and included details on monotwists, U-flips, Cayley graphs, and wreath products. The book contained his own "step by step solution" for the Cube, and it is accepted that he was a pioneer of the general Layer by Layer approach for solving the Cube. If you managed to solve the Cube using his method then Singmaster suggested that you should:
Scream HOORAY!! Buy a round of drinks. Send me a cheque. Tell the orderlies that they can let you out now. Etc. etc.
The book also contained a catalogue of pretty patterns including his
"cube in a cube in a cube" pattern which he had discovered himself
"and was very pleased with". In 1981, at the height of the Rubik's
Cube craze, the book was republished by Penguin Books, with a US
edition by Enslow Publishers. There were also Dutch and Spanish
translations. He estimates that he sold around 50 to 60 000
copies of his book. Much of the mathematical content of the book
was later reworked by Alexander H. Frey in collaboration with
Singmaster to create their Handbook of Cubik Math published in 1982.
Singmaster has been described as "one of the most enthusiastic and
prolific promoters of the Cube". In September 1981 he was said to
be devoting "almost 100%" of his time to promoting, reporting,
marketing and analysing the Cube. He soon began publishing a
quarterly newsletter called the Cubic Circular which was published
between 1981 and 1985.
Singmaster has one of the world's largest collections of books on
recreational mathematics, which he reported in 1996 contained over
4700 works. He also collects books on cartoons, humour, and
language. He has a huge collection of mechanical puzzles, which he
stated in 2003 contained "perhaps 3000 puzzles, of which about 400 are
Rubik Cubes and variants".
From around 1980 to 1982 he ran his own puzzle company, David
Singmaster Ltd, which stocked "over 100 puzzles and books".
However the venture lost him "a fair amount of money" and led to
prolonged tax negotiations. He referred to this period of his life
as "a massive overdose of cubism".
Singmaster is both a puzzle historian and a composer of puzzles, and
he describes himself as a "metagrobologist". Many of his puzzles have
appeared in publications such as BBC Focus, Games & Puzzles, the
Los Angeles Times, and the Weekend Telegraph. He published a
collection of his puzzles in his 2016 book Problems for
Metagrobologists. From around 2006 Singmaster was a director at
the New York-based Conjuring Arts Research Center, retiring from the
position (becoming Director Emeritus) in 2013. He was instrumental
in the re-discovery of one of the world's oldest books on puzzles and
magic illusions when he came across a reference to the work in a
19th-century manuscript. The recovered text, De viribus quantitatis
(English: On The Powers Of Numbers) was penned by Luca Pacioli, a
Franciscan monk who lived around 1500.
Main article: Singmaster's conjecture
In combinatorial number theory,
Singmaster's conjecture states that
there is a finite upper bound on the number of times a number other
than 1 can appear in Pascal's triangle.
Notes on Rubik's "Magic Cube", David Singmaster. Enslow Publishers,
1981. ISBN 0-89490-043-9
Handbook of Cubik Math,
Chronology of Recreational
Cubic Circular magazine published 1981-5 by David Singmaster
(available online at Jaap's
Moral and Mathematical Lessons from a Rubik Cube by David Singmaster,
New Scientist, 23/30 December 1982
The Unreasonable Utility of Recreational
How to solve the Rubik's Cube
^ a b "
v t e
Ernő Rubik Uwe Mèffert Tony Fisher Panagiotis Verdes Oskar van Deventer
Overview 2×2×2 (Pocket Cube) 3×3×3 (Rubik's Cube) 4×4×4 (Rubik's Revenge) 5×5×5 (Professor's Cube) 6×6×6 (V-Cube 6) 7×7×7 (V-Cube 7) 8×8×8 (V-Cube 8)
Helicopter Cube Skewb Square 1 Sudoku Cube Nine-Colour Cube Void Cube
Virtual variations (>3D)
MagicCube4D MagicCube5D MagicCube7D Magic 120-cell
Missing Link Rubik's 360 Rubik's Clock Rubik's Magic
Rubik's Revolution Rubik's Snake Rubik's Triamid Rubik's Cheese
Erik Akkersdijk Yu Nakajima Bob Burton, Jr. Jessica Fridrich Chris Hardwick Rowe Hessler Leyan Lo Shotaro Makisumi Toby Mao Tyson Mao Frank Morris Lars Petrus Gilles Roux David Singmaster Ron van Bruchem Eric Limeback Anthony Michael Brooks Mats Valk Feliks Zemdegs Collin Burns Lucas Etter
Layer by Layer CFOP Method Roux Method Corners First Optimal
World Cube Association
WorldCat Identities VIAF: 111131286 LCCN: n80157141 ISNI: 0000 0000 8303 0053 GND: 1106839536 MGP: 32