Seeing Algebraic Structure: The Rubik's Cube

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  • 1 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2 Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Few high school students associate mathematics with playfulness. In this paper, we offer a series of lessons focused on the underlying algebraic structures of the Rubik's Cube. The Rubik's Cube offers students an interesting space to enjoy the playful side of mathematics, while appreciating mathematics otherwise lost in routine experiences.


A series of lessons explore the mathematical structures underlying the Rubik's Cube to motivate students' curiosity about basic concepts of group theory.

Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12
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