Tyson Mao is a Taiwanese-American speedcuber from Hillsborough, California. He is a co-founder and board member of the WCA. He is best known today as the organizer of major US competitions, including all US Nationals. Although no longer competitive, Tyson set the 3x3 blindfolded world record of 1:58.32 in 2005, the first official time under 2 minutes.
He is the brother of Toby Mao, also a well-known speedcuber.
Organizer and competitor
Tyson founded the Caltech Cube Club at the California Institute of Technology and began organizing competitions in early 2004, the first official competition in the world after World Championship 2003. Together with the founding of the WCA, he is thus responsible in large part for the abundance of local competitions since 2004. As a competitor as well, he was a key member of the hayday of the Caltech Cube Club, especially its dominance in blindfold cubing through 2005.
In addition to the Caltech competitions, Tyson has been the main organizer for all US Nationals (2004, 2006-2010).
Tyson has organized or co-organized the following competitions (in chronological order):
- Caltech Winter 2004
- Caltech Spring 2004
- US Nationals 2004
- Caltech Fall 2004
- Kennedy Middle School Fall 2004
- Caltech Winter 2005
- Caltech Spring 2005
- Horace Mann Spring 2005
- Caltech Dallas Summer 2005
- Northern California Fall Open 2005
- Caltech Fall 2005
- Caltech Winter 2006
- Caltech Spring 2006
- San Diego 2006
- US Nationals 2006
- Caltech Fall 2006
- UC Berkeley Fall 2006
- Caltech Winter 2007
- EPGY California Open 2008
- Discovery Science Center 2008
- US Nationals and Open 2008
- San Francisco Open 2009
- US Nationals 2009
- US Nationals 2010
- US Nationals 2011
- US Nationals 2012
He has in addition delegated for the following competitions:
- Rubik's World Championship 2005
- Chattahoochee Spring 2006
- Caltech Spring 2007
- US Open 2007
- Caltech Summer 2007
- Caltech Fall 2007
- Drexel Fall 2008
- Stanford Spring 2010
In 2006, Tyson competed in the second season of the reality TV show Beauty and the Geek. As a result of this notability, Tyson has also made guest TV appearances and providing cubing footage for commercials (e.g. ).
Perception within the community
Tyson has gained the nickname of "Uncle Tyson" among the cubing community for his founding works on U.S. cubing competitions. The cubing story blog Story Time with Uncle Tyson, featuring an inaugural story by Tyson, was named after him.
- WCA's official scrambling orientation (white on top, green in front) was decided by Tyson.
- Tyson is responsible for starting the Mystery Puzzles in US competitions.
- Tyson briefly hosted the Sunday Contest, before it was taken over by Jon Morris.
- Tyson brought the Caltech tradition of Negative Time Tommy's Run with the Negative Time Solving Contest.
Tyson was the first cuber to officially achieve the following milestone:
- 3x3 blindfolded: sub-2 (1:58.32)