LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 27, 2019) — University of Kentucky freshman Lucas Etter still remembers the first time he solved a Rubik's cube — it was exactly 10 years ago to this day.
"I first found a Rubik's cube in my grandparents' basement when I was 8, and my first time completing it was Sept. 27, 2009. So, I have been solving the cube for over half my life."
From the moment he picked up the cube, Etter was intrigued. He started watching tutorials on YouTube about how to solve it. After a few weeks of serious dedication, he finally solved it. He then began studying algorithms, and within five years (at age 13) he became a world-class speedcuber.
Today, Etter is one of the fastest cubers in the world, being able to solve a cube in about six seconds, on average. He holds four national championships and four world records within the World Cube Association, including the first person to solve a 3x3x3 cube in under five seconds (at age 14).
Etter, a student in UK's Lewis Honors College, is majoring in mathematics in the UK College of Arts and Sciences. He says his knack for solving cubes inspired him to study math, and he's considering a career in data science.
"I was drawn to speedcubing because of the spatial challenges involved," Etter said. "Within the speedcubing community there’s a lot of people who are also interested in technology, data, like I am, so it is just kind of a natural progression for speedcubers."
Watch the video above to see Etter's speed cubing in action.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.