A coin operated game may seem like a toy, well, it is, actually, but with so many tasks running at the same time it's the perfect socket for a multi-core processor. A coin operated game (think pinball)must process lamp effects, music, sound effects, solenoids, switches, run the game application and still fetch data from USB or other memory. We usually used an operating system to handle all of these tasks, but with the multicore propeller one core could handle the IO with one core, another core for the music, another for the sound effects, another for the lamp effects, memory, game, and even one just running debug functionality with video out. Sure, not every solution requires a multicore processor, but if you're using an operating system to juggle tasks, a multicore processor might be a good solution. Give the propeller a spin, too. Parallax has some great kid tools to get started and the processor is quite capable of handling some hefty processing.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.