Message #3446

Subject: Greetings
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2016 06:52:33 -0700

Greetings fellow humans, cats, sentient machines, and other life forms of the internet.

I got invited here for solving the 3^4 cube, but since then I also solved the 5^4. I’m having some difficulties with the 4^4 because of one parity issue not covered in Alex’s post, but I might keep trying for a little while before giving up and going for the 3^5.

Even though my name in the 3^4 Hall of Fame is listed just one place below the Mathologer, I didn’t see his video before I solved it.
I first found MC4D some 10 years ago, when I couldn’t solve even a regular 3^3, and thought that I’ll never be able to do that. Then I got into 3D cubing (I remember my friend showing me a 3^3 and asking "Can you solve this?", to which I replied "Not yet.". Then I spend a day memorising F2L/PLL algorithms, after which my answer changed to "Sure.".), and eventually solved things like 12^3 and a Petaminx (dodecahedron with 4 layers on each face). Then I revisited the 3^4, and found that it’s not really that non-understandable, and tried to come up with a solution. I was able to place all 2c pieces except for the last 6 on one cell. Then I found Roice’s solution, and eventually got all the way to the solved state, which made me quite happy.
I then tried the 4^4. There I was able to build the 2x2x2 blocks of 1c pieces insides of each cell while making sure the colour scheme is correct, I also built the 2x2 blocks of 2c pieces at the cell faces, and I also managed to match all 3c pieces, at which point the puzzle was reduced to a "simple" 3^4 with possible parity mismatches. I then tried to place all 2c blocks in their proper position, but ended up with 2 blocks swapped, one of them in an improper orientation. To my understanding, this configuration is not possible on a 3^4 because the commutators acting on 2c pieces are 3-cycles, not 2-cycles; and because there is no orientation parity for a single 2c piece. I tried to fiddle with this, until eventually I was able to match all faces with the cell centers. Placing the 3c blocks was easy. Only when I tried to place the first 4c piece I realised that during my fiddling with the face parity, I accidentally swapped middles of two cells, breaking the colour scheme. I left the 4^4 with frustration (I just wasted 868 twists), and decided to go for the 5^4 which, although more tedious, has the middle pieces to guide me as to what orientation all other pieces are supposed to be, preventing bad parity situations.
I then used the same method as for the 4^4, and after a month of occasional twisting got to the solved state, which made me even more happy than the 3^4.
Now I’m deciding whether I should try the 120cell, which to my understanding is not really more difficult, but very tedious; or whether I should go a dimension higher to the 3^5.
I might try finding the parity algorithms using a 5^4 with middle pieces as my references, but if I can’t get that working soon, I’ll move on.
But that’s enough about my cubing/tesseracting. Here’s something about me:

I’m a human, currently studying last year of Computer Systems Engineering in Tasmania, Australia. After I’m done with my Bc, I’m thinking of doing Masters or even PhD with some sort of machine learning thing.
My hobbies include electronics, low level programming (AVR ASM FTW!), playing with my Raspberry Pi Zero based quadcopter autopilot, playing Kerbal Space Program, stargazing and a bit of astrophotography, reading about physics, making music in LSDJ on my Gameboy, and explaining science to my buddies while stoned à la Carl Sagan.
I always wanted be a spaceman, exploring distant lands, but due to some eye conditions I’ll probably stay on my home planet and only watch the distant lands through a telescope, or possibly contribute to some programs that will fly other spacepeople there.

There are some more things that I considered writing, but given that this is turning into a quite large wall of text, I’ll refrain. If you have any questions, I can elaborate, but until then, be good.