PlayStation 101, anyone?
For young scholars unafraid of giving their thinking caps a full workout, here is an academic subject to consider: MIT and IBM just announced the completion of a course in which students worked with the microprocessor that powers Sony Corp.'s PlayStation3 computer entertainment system.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the International Business Machines Corp. described the course as the first in the United States to be structured around the capabilities of the Cell Broadband Engine, a microprocessor that powers PlayStation3.
Sony provided students with PS3 hardware, MIT and IBM said, and Toshiba helped fund the course.
During a four-week course earlier this year that focused around parallel programming, students not only learned about the new microprocessor, but also designed and implemented projects to run directly on the PS3 system using open-standards software.
The student team with the best project - a 3D version of the classic Pong game - presented their work at the Game Developer Conference last month, said MIT and IBM, which sometimes refer to the Cell Broadband Engine as the Cell/B.E.
"The fact that students - with no background in parallel programming or the Cell/B.E. - were able to get their projects done from scratch in just about one month goes to show the capability and determination of our students," MIT Professor Saman Amarasinghe said in a statement.
Amarasinghe taught the course with Rodric Rabbah of IBM.
Interested? Check out the course's home page by clicking on this link.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)