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Interview with Lucas Garron

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June 23, 2009 : Interview with Speedsolving.com member Lucas Garron : Currently (at the time of this interview) holds 11 national records (Germany). He is also ranked 16th in the world for 3x3x3 Blindfolded (1 minute 14.83 seconds).

Location:
Stanford University, California (I was born in Germany and lived there for 10 years, then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.)



Occupation:
Student (rising sophomore), Leland Stanford Junior University

What is your favorite event, why?
My favorite event is "Speed Blindfolded," where you are allowed to look at the cube (and plan) as long as you want, then do the blindfold, and time execution only. Memorization takes concentration and visualization, and the execution stage is much more thrilling than in normal BLD. (I find it rather unfortunate that multi BLD became official in 2006 and speed BLD did not. They had both been held at the same number of competitions, and been attempted by the about same number of competitors, but -as I see it- speed BLD was arbitrarily stifled. I hope that some day enough competitors/the WCA see the intellectual value in speed BLD, and more people attempt it.)

What made you become interested in solving puzzles?
I've always liked solving things, but my interest in twistypuzzles began quite simply: In October 2005, I found some papers on the cube by Tom Davis. I brought my cube to school, and one of my friends knew how to solve it. Soon after, we heard about Caltech Winter 2006 at the Exploratorium, went, and entered. I've rarely missed a competition since then. :) Although I got interested in the cube more through the "sport" aspect, I was intrigued by the opportunity for mathematical understanding, and that has held my interest a lot.

What, in your opinion, is your biggest "cubing" accomplishment?
I have a bunch of NRs and other titles, but I know that I'll never have a WR and someday I'll be quite slow by cubing standards. So, I actually value things I can do for other cubers as "accomplishments." I try to share everything I develop for myself, on my website and forums. I've created a few moderately successful cube ideas, including algs (like r U2 x r U2 r U2 r' U2 l U2 r' U2 r U2 r' U2 r') and methods (like MGLS).

Perhaps my "biggest" accomplishment was running my first competition, SF09, which had 150 competitors (only Worlds '07 had more). I can't take credit for the whole effort, but I'm happy I got to organize such a cool event for so many new and experienced cubers.

So, I don't have a single "accomplishment." But I'm proud of the things I've done for other cubers like me. I'm always happy to see somebody doing or using something and thinking "I helped with that."

What are your other hobbies?
I used to do a lot of origami: folding and some theory. Unfortunately, I haven't folded much in the last two years, since cubing has taken over. But I'd like to resume it a bit some day. I also like to program and play around on the computer: Mathematica, POV-Ray, web tools, etc.

What is/are your pet peeve(s)?
I am relatively tolerant of other people, but I don't like people who don't behave themselves in the way that matter. So, things like insincerity, intolerance, carelessness, and inappropriate (and, on this forum, recklessly lazy) behavior. In particular, I don't tolerate bad language (swearing, etc.) at all; it's not necessary.

What will the future of cubing be like and how would you like cubing to progress?
In the future, I think cubing will get more serious, and avenues of "development" will have formed, with more tools and systems dedicated to cubing. People will have a better idea of what they're trying to do, and how to improve. I also expect cubing to grow bigger, to the point where there will be regional competitions in the US (perhaps even high-school-specific ones) and Nationals and Worlds will become fully invitational. As the cubing community progresses, I would like cubing to remain friendly, where the top cubers will still encourage and help each other at competitions. I hope the experts still share their tricks and methods with each other and beginners. (Also, I hope that there will be better tutorials and introductions in place, so that there are places for serious cube discussions without the interference of "noobs" who haven't had the chance to learn enough yet.)

So far, what has been your most enjoyable cubing experience?
As mentioned before, I'm happy whenever I see people benefiting from my work. I also like teaching people how to solve a cube; I've had the chance to teach a lot of people I care for, and it's always nice to see them "empowered" by a formerly formidable skill.

As for my single favorite event, I'm split between SF09 and the Stanford FroShow, but SF09 was probably grander. It was a really fantastic day, leading up to my unexpected 10.00.
 
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