David Singmaster

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David Singmaster
David Singmaster 2006.jpg
March 2006
Born 1939 (age 76–77)
United States
Occupation Retired professor of mathematics
Known for Mathematics of puzzles

David Breyer Singmaster (born 1939, USA[1]) is a retired professor of mathematics at London South Bank University, England, UK. A self-described metagrobologist, he is most famous for his cube notation (i.e., which letters denote which faces on the Rubik's Cube), his solution to the Rubik's Cube[2][3] and his huge personal collection of mechanical puzzles and books of brain teasers. He is also interested in the history of computers.

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. Paul Erdős suspected that the conjecture is true, but thought it would probably be very difficult to prove. The empirical evidence is consistent with the proposition that the smallest upper bound is 8.

Rubik's Cubes[edit]

Singmaster's association with Rubik's Cubes dates from 1978, when he saw a Cube (at that time a rarity) at a mathematical conference in Helsinki.[4] He devised his notation for recording moves (now known as the Singmaster notation) in December 1978.[5] He has said that it took him "two weeks, on and off" to initially solve the Cube.[6] His book Notes on Rubik's "Magic Cube", first published in 1979, provides a mathematical analysis of the cube, allowing a solution to be constructed using basic group theory.[7] By September 1981, at the height of the Rubik's Cube craze, the book had already reached its fifth edition, and included the results of his correspondence with other "cubologists", and included details on monotwists, U-flips, Cayley graphs, and wreath products.[7]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hot-Selling Hungarian Horror - TIME
  2. ^ David Singmaster (1980-08-06). "A Step by Step Solution of Rubik's "Magic Cube"". Jeffrey W Baumann & LinkedResources. Archived from the original on 2006-03-04. 
  3. ^ Ryan Heise. "Beginner's Rubik's Cube Solution". Archived from the original on 2015-09-26. The general layer-by-layer approach described above is credited to mathematician David Singmaster and was first published in his 1980 book "Notes on Rubik's Magic Cube" 
  4. ^ "25th Anniversay of Erno Rubik's Magic Cube. First introduced to the Western World by Pentangle Puzzles in 1978.". The Puzzle Museum. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Singmaster, David (23 December 1982). "Moral and Mathematical Lesson from a Rubik Cube". New Scientist. p. 787. 
  6. ^ Jensen, Gregory (24 August 1981). "Now meet Rubik's snake --'Bigger than Rubik's cube!'". United Press International. 
  7. ^ a b "Review - Restore your cube". New Scientist. 24 September 1981. p. 802. 
  8. ^ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Problems-Metagrobologists-Collection-Mathematical-Mathematics/dp/9814663638

External links[edit]