It’s a toy we all know and love, whether or not we can even complete the puzzle. The Rubik’s Cube is a meticulously built toy that puzzles both children and adults alike. It makes one wonder about the mind behind the magic: Ernő Rubik.
Ernő Rubik was born on the 13th of July, in Budapest, Hungary. He is now 75 years old. Apart from inventing the Rubik’s Cube, he was also occupied as a designer and as a board executive at certain points in his life. Even presently, his endorsements go beyond his own invention, as most of his recent work involved the promotion of science in education. He is affiliated with multiple organisations that aim to raise students interests in Mathematics and Science, much like our own aim here at Excelsior CodeAcademy!
He shares his name with his father, Ernő Sr, who was a flight engineer, and Ernő Jr. always calls him his biggest inspiration. As he was growing up, Ernő Rubik studied sculpture at the Technical University in Budapest and then architecture at the Academy Of Applied Arts and Design, where he later went on to be a professor of architectural design.
In an attempt to challenge his architecture students, Ernő Rubik came up with the structure of an art piece that could be moved and twisted without falling apart. So as to display the motion of the individual cubes better, he marked each side with a differently coloured adhesive paper, and that’s how the Rubik’s Cube we all know and love was born.
He started twisting and turning the Magic Cube, and before long, he was stumped by his own invention. At 29 years old, Ernő Rubik created a piece that was so fascinating and so puzzling at the same time; he himself later likened it to “taking a long scenic walk and realising that you don’t know the way back home”. The “colour parade”, as he described it, was extremely satisfying to watch, particularly as an invention of its time, when no similar products had been seen anywhere before.
Once he got stuck, Ernő quickly figured out that he would be absolutely unable to get the cubes back in their original order by twisting them in a random sequence, and set his mind on finding a formula for solving it. Within a month, he came up with an equation that began with aligning the eight corner cubes, and the puzzle was solved.
It didn’t take Rubik long to realise that a product like this could be marketed as a toy, and before long, his patent got approved and he sold the rights of the iconic Rubik’s Cube to Ideal Toy Corporation.
The man also went on to invent other toys like Rubik’s Magic, Rubik’s Snake, Rubik’s 360 and others that never quite caught on like his very first creation.
The Rubik’s Cube is taught at our Excelsior CodeAcademy Bangalore centre, along with many other similar cubes, like 2×2, Mirror, 4×4, 5×5, Pyraminx, Fischer, Skew, and even more.
Bonus fun fact: His correct name is actually Rubik Ernő when one goes by his Hungarian native name. Ernő Rubik is the westernised order, and what he broadly goes by.