For this issue the ‘Meet the Society’ column features one of the newest societies on campus. You may have seen their posters around campus last term, offering free Rubik’s cubes to anyone who attended their first event. I myself am partial to a puzzle, having recently managed to solve my first Rubik’s cube (so proud!), so I was particularly curious to know more about the society. I put some questions to the President and Vice-president and here’s what they had to say…
How would you describe your society to a newcomer?
Lancaster University Puzzle Society (LUPS) is a society dedicated to solving any kinds of puzzles, from Rubik’s cubes to 2D-cubes, including gear cubes, dodecahedron, pyramids and many others. However the society also covers the maths behind puzzle solving (algorithm development) and all this while chilling with some pints! #wonderfulcombination
Why did you want to set the society up?
Puzzles are for everyone (even if you have never touched one!), everybody can learn the tricks in order to solve them. In our society there are members varying from physicists to law students, so we want to share our passion for puzzles by teaching how to solve them, doing competitions (speedcubing, one handed, blinded), discussing what would be the next new society puzzle and much more!
What’s the deal with all the Rubik’s cubes?
Personally I developed an interest in puzzles 4 years ago, when I decided that I needed to learn how to solve my very first Rubik’s cube. Hence I started to do research on the mathematical techniques behind the (I wanted to know why not how!) and after a few months I mastered the 2×2 and 3×3 cubes. So I carried on with this fascinating hobby (currently I own more than 20 different puzzles) until I arrived at university and met Askar Utarbayev and found out he loved cubes as well, so we decided to start a puzzle society together. And here we are sharing our passion with others!
Who would you say the society will appeal to?
For everyone who interested in puzzles! Not only cubes, every other mind teaser is more than welcome in our society.
What plans do you have for the upcoming year?
We were busy last term but we hope to do more in the Lent and Summer terms. We are planning to provide teaching sessions for people who would like to learn how to solve Rubik’s cubes. If we have enough people to participate we will run a speed solving competition. Also Alex has some interesting theory behind solving cubes that involves math algorithms so we are planning to give lectures for that.
How would someone new go about getting involved?
For now we only have Facebook page. We were planning to create our own web-site but again we were too busy last term (hopefully we will do it eventually). So if you want to join the society just send us a message on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/LUPuzzleSociety/