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Ian Scheffler

Creativity Strategist and Author of Cracking the Cube


Ian Scheffler

Cracking the Cube

Acclaimed Creativity Strategist and Author

Ian Scheffler is one of the world's foremost authorities on Rubik’s Cube. The author of Cracking The Cube: Going Slow to Go Fast and Other Unexpected Turns in the World of Competitive Rubik’s Cube Solving, Ian has discovered how the Cube can teach us important lessons on problem-solving, focus, teamwork, and success under pressure. On stage, he shows audiences his flair with the Cube—and gets everyone involved in learning the skills you need to solve the colourful Cube and any challenge your team may face.

Ian Scheffler is a competitive Rubik’s Cube solver. His best average, of 18.47 seconds over five solves, places him among the top 20 percent of “Cubers” worldwide. He’s competed in two world championships, and on three continents. His book Cracking The Cube: Going Slow to Go Fast and Other Unexpected Turns in the World of Competitive Rubik’s Cube Solving, was recommended by Scientific American, hailed as “compelling” by the New York Post, highlighted in The New Yorker, and covered on NPR’s Marketplace, Good Morning America, and CBC’s The Current, among many other outlets.

Ian learned to solve the Cube in high school, thanks to Toby Mao, the former world record holder, who was hired to teach Will Smith for the hit film The Pursuit of Happyness. (They happened to sit next to one another at the Center for Talented Youth, a summer program run by Johns Hopkins University that counts Mark Zuckerberg and Lady Gaga as alums.)

Ian has interviewed virtually every major figure in the Cube’s rise, fall, and rebirth, from Erno Rubik, the puzzle’s reclusive Hungarian inventor, to Feliks Zemdegs, the Australian teenager who’s been called the “Usain Bolt” of solving Rubik’s Cube and who currently holds the world record for one solve, at 4.73 seconds. In short, Ian has plumbed the depths of the world’s most famous puzzle, from understanding how it’s made, to how it got out from behind the Iron Curtain, to how it can teach skills that apply to everyday life, from honing your focus to breaking down problems to staying calm under pressure.

Ian has also written for The New Yorker, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, on topics as varied as climate change and the writer Jack Kerouac.


Cracking the Cube

Have you ever tried to solve Rubik’s Cube? Have you succeeded? In this talk, Ian Scheffler delves into the mysteries of the world’s most popular (and frustrating) puzzle. There’s no one secret to cracking it—there are many, from the mathematical arcana of group theory to the meditative cast of mind typified by what psychologists call “flow.” With all the flair of a stage magician, Ian takes volunteers through some of the steps of solving Rubik’s Cube, showing how anyone can learn problem-solving techniques en route to solving the puzzle.

Cracking the Cube (Interactive)

In this talk, Ian Scheffler will get up close and personal with Rubik’s Cube—and so will you! In addition to receiving a custom Cube, you’ll participate in activities that range from learning algorithms, the building blocks of solving not just Rubik’s Cube but problems of many kinds, to a finale that will task your problem-solving skills to the max. Think you can’t find your way around Rubik’s Cube? By the end of this talk, you’ll have some very colorful proof that you can!

Contact us to learn how Ian can craft a message for your audience.

Scheffler provides the first comprehensive on the global phenomenon of speedcubing.
— Erno Rubik, inventor of Rubik's Cube