Despite being not yet two years old, RP2040 is at university, and we couldn’t be more proud. Hunter Adams is a lecturer in electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University and has written his Digital Systems Design Using Microcontrollers course around our little chip. They grow up so fast.
With all due respect, this is one for the hardcore Pi-heads. I blog about a lot of whimsical stuff that everyone can enjoy but today is not one of those days. But you can’t argue with free Raspberry Pi content from the great Cornell University, can you?
What do you learn on an RP2040 course?
Lab work is central to this practical course. Students design digital systems using the RP2040-based Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller. Working in small groups, they design, debug, and construct different systems. It’s a Cumulative Design Experience (CDE) course, building on things learnt in the previous lecture to help you in the next one. Students employ their skills in coding, digital signal processing, analog circuits, control theory, computer graphics, robotics, and neural modelling.
The entire lecture list is on YouTube so you can learn along in your own time, like a real-life Cornell student. Our favourite lesson title comes courtesy of lecture 11: Boids, Bees, and Synchronization Bugs. In it, students learn about creatures’ movement and migration behaviour, and how an artificial life program called “Boids” mimics the separation, alignment, and cohesion of different flocking animals, from birds to termites.
Meet the teachers
Hunter used to work as something called a Dragon Development Intern according to his LinkedIn. He started out at Cornell University as a student of physics, before moving on to aeronautical engineering.
Helping Hunter lead the course is Bruce Land. He does a pretty sweet number in loud shirts and is a “retired” lecturer, though still dabbles in hadware and software development courses for fun. You can have a watch of Bruce and his cool shirt in action here.