Rubik's Cube/Problem Solving Strategies
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[[User:Ray Calvin Baker|Ray Calvin Baker]] 19:24, 18 August 2011 (UTC) | HOW TO FIND YOUR VERY OWN PERSONAL WAYS TO SOLVE RUBIK'S CUBE | | (Preliminary April 20, 2007 version) | | by Mr. Ray Calvin Baker | | FREE public Domain Educational material | | | | Chapter One - - - - - - - - - - Problem Solving Strategies | | | | These are some generally useful ideas for solving all kinds of problems. I will try to show | | you some of the ways I applied them to finding ways to unscramble Rubik's Cube. | | | | OBSERVE! Any detail could provide an important clue. (But sometimes the most obvious | | feature of a puzzle can be deceptive. Look again and keep looking.) | | | | EVALUATE! Some details may be more important than others. Some details may be irrelevant. | | Keep evaluating what you have learned by observation, and keep trying to concentrate on the | | important details. Remenber also that what is important may depend on what you are trying | | to accomplish. | | | | TRY THINGS! If you are stuck, do something -- anything. But be prepared to observe and | | evaluate what happens. | | | | TAKE NOTES! Write down your observations and thoughts. Make diagrams and pictures. I spent | | several hours working with pencil and paper and my computer for every few minutes of | | playing with the Cube. And here's why: after I make several moves with the Cube, I may | | forget what I did, and the result is a scrambled Cube. If I write down the moves, I can | | know exactly what I did. If the results were useful, I have a record which I can read and | | use again. Even if the results were not what I had hoped for, I may be able to undo the | | mistake step by step, then try again. | | | | DRAW PICTURES and DIAGRAMS! They may help you to visualize what happens as you do things to | | your Cube. I intend to use pictures and diagrams throughout this entire writing. | | | | PLAN and PREDICT! With a good plan firmly in mind, you will not be afraid to risk any | | apparent progress. Even if your predictions do not always work out as you expect, you will | | learn from the attempts. Keep trying! | | | | DIVIDE! Break up a big problem into smaller parts if you can see a way to do that. | | | | SIMPLIFY THE PROBLEM. Sometimes, you can gain insight or experience by solving a simpler | | problem. This may also help you divide the big problem into several smaller problems. | | | | DON'T BE AFRAID TO START OVER! Several times, I thought I had found a clever move; but it | | didn't work when I tried it on the Cube. I had to start over on that part of the puzzle. | | | | TAKE A BREAK! After working and studying hard for a while, you have saturated your mind | | with all that you know about a problem. If you are not making any progress, sometimes it | | helps simply to take a break. Rest, or try doing something else. I sometimes have dreamed | | in my sleep about the answer to a problem. I had to check out whether the dream was | | correct, but often a flash of insight is just what you need to solve a problem. | | | | CHANGE YOUR POINT OF VIEW. Consider how others might view the problem. Seek and consider | | other view points. Try to think about what things would be like if you actually did solve | | the problem. Change your perspective, in any ways that you can. Be flexible! Too many | | people have already said, "It can't be done!" (and been wrong!) for you to take that | | statement seriously. | | | | PERSEVERE! KEEP TRYING! Remember "NED" -- Never give up! Encourage others! Do your best! | | | | At a private Christian school, you have another option -- "If any of you lacks wisdom, | | let him ask God, who gives graciously, and will not scold you." | | | *---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*