Cool idea. We actually wrote about a Trek bike project several years back that tackled the automatic shifting idea. If I recall, there were concerns around performance, however. Not sure the shifter can match the steady power and the smooth operation of manual shifting for a rider who gets in the groove pedaling.
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.