BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The average person would probably consider a Rubik's Cube challenging, some might even try to solve it and get so frustrated you don't pick the cube up again.
But there’s a student at Scotlandville Magnet High School that’s well on his way to perfecting how to solve it.
Matthew Bui is new to Scotlandville Magnet High School. He just transferred here a few weeks ago because he likes studying math and science.
For the last seven years, Scotlandvile High has been one of few high schools across the United States recognized by NAF as a distinguished academy for engineers, Principal Tiffany Quiett explains. Scotlandville Magnet organized an engineering program 35 years ago.
Matthew wants to be an electrical engineer after he finishes school. He even spent a small portion of his summer break building a computer, “I just ordered the parts and I put it together,” he says. “It took us like an hour.”
The teen doesn’t consider himself any smarter than the next guy, but with a grade point average of 3.9, this 11th-grader is modest. “I don’t know a lot of things, but I like to know,” Matthew says.
He’s curious and has a passion to know more, that’s pushed Matthew into a three-dimensional mind test.
Matthew isn’t necessarily obsessed with Rubix’s Cubes, but it’s safe to say he’s developed a healthy habit for a challenge.
When he’s bored, this teen picks up this complex multicolored cube for at least 30 minutes. And the average person would say he’s mastered the three by three, “My record right now is 27 seconds, but my average is around 40 seconds.”
Matthew makes it look simple even though he’s using the beginner solving method. He also does this all without looking, “It’s all muscle memory,” he says. “When you see how it goes in the end, you don’t need to look anymore.”
The trick, he says lies in an algorithm. Matthew says he’s far from the expert level with the world record sitting at 3.4 seconds, but he has plans to shatter it, one day.
Freshman Academy Coordinator Darren Clark randomly caught a glimpse of Matthew's talent a few weeks ago during a big commotion caught during lunch.
Matthew was in the center of it all, solving a cube at lightning speed. His peers were in awe.
“He has a gift that a lot of us don’t have,” Clark says. “I think his mind worlds in a different way for him to solve that Rubix Cube, the way he does.”
Tiffany Quiett, Principal says engineers are geared, “to figure out how things work and why they work.” She’s not at all surprised by Matthew’s talent.
Quiett says she couldn’t put the Rubik’s Cube down when she was in school, but she wasn’t anywhere near being a record holder.
Matthew says practice brought him this far and he doesn’t have any plans of putting the cube down. In fact, he’s picked up several more, like this Pyramix.
“It’s challenging, but yet still fun at the same time,” Mathew says.
Matthew says he plans to compete in a competition, one day but first he wants to get his finish time down to the single digits.