MASON, Ohio -- Can you solve a Rubik’s Cube? How about solve one in 26.07 seconds?
Now do it blindfolded.
That’s exactly what Mason High School junior Sreeram Venkatarao did Saturday, when he broke the national record for solving a 3x3 Rubik’s Cube.
Venkatarao beat the previous record – 27.15 seconds held Connecticut teen Noah Arthur – by more than a second.
And Venkatarao’s 26.07 time includes the seconds he memorizes the puzzle before putting on the required blindfold.
How did he do it? Sreeram said he doesn’t have a photographic memory. While he does memorize cube puzzles, he said he also understands the mathematics behind how they work.
The Rubik's Cube – a cherished and iconic puzzle invented in 1974 by a Hungarian sculptor – cannot be solved with trial and error. Some websites explain a seven-step process to achieve victory. Most methods to solving the cube – having each of the six faces return to a single color – involve mathematics.
School officials said Venkatarao presented scientific research at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh in May that connected his passion for mathematics and computer science.
His research used image-processing techniques and computers to identify patterns that differentiate normal tissue from cancerous tissue – a time-consuming process he sped up by building a pattern-recognition algorithm.
In the player below, watch video of Venkatarao breaking the 3x3 Rubik’s Cube record at the national competition in Fort Wayne, Indiana this past weekend.