Don Taylor

From Wiki
Don Taylor
Background Information
Country: Australia
Born: c. 1945 (age 74–75)
Occupation(s): Mathematics professor
Years Active: 1978-82
WCA ID: [1]
Claim to Fame: Best-selling author

Donald E. Taylor is a retired professor of mathematics at the University of Sydney in Australia, and author of a best-selling 1981 Rubik's Cube guide called Mastering Rubik's Cube.


In 1978 he was on study-leave at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Technische Hogeschool Eindhoven) in the Netherlands. A colleague had been to Hungary and came back with a Cube and gave it to Don Taylor. Taylor found a solution the same weekend he received it. He ordered 10 more cubes from Hungary and then 100, but failed to generate much interest and gave up his career as a cube importer. However his handwritten notes were photocopied and were circulated among mathematicians as the cube began to find a following among mathematicians in Western Europe.[2] This early paper bore the title: "The Group of a Coloured Cube". He was an early proponent of the Layer by layer method, and David Singmaster remarked in August 1980 that "Don Taylor does D edges, D corners, middle edges, U corners in place, U edges in place, U corners oriented, then U edges oriented".[Notes p. 40]

In 1980 he rewrote his paper as a solution guide pitched at a 12-year-old reader, but he was frustrated in his attempts to find a publisher. He turned to a friend in public relations who set up a one-book publishing house called "Book Marketing Australia". The resultant book Mastering Rubik's Cube became a best-seller in Australia selling around 700,000 copies. In 1981 it was published internationally and hit the New York Times bestseller list selling more than 3.5 million copies worldwide by November 1981.[3] It was the second-best selling Rubik's Cube book of that year (behind James G. Nourse's The Simple Solution to Rubik's Cube).

Together with Leanne Rylands, a recent graduate of Sydney University, he went on to write Cube Games, which also reached the New York Times bestseller list.


  • Taylor, Don, (1981) Mastering Rubik's Cube. Owl. ISBN 0-03-059941-5
  • Taylor, Don; Rylands, Leanne, (1981) Cube Games: 92 Puzzles & Solutions. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 0-030-61524-0
  • Taylor, Don; Rylands, Leanne, (1988) Mastering Rubik's Clock. Simon & Schuster.