You are here

One Smart Kid | Cypress Semiconductor

One Smart Kid

Summary: 4 Replies, Latest post by danaaknight on 28 Jan 2015 09:30 AM PST
Verified Answers: 0
Last post
Log in to post new comments.
kingneb's picture
40 posts

I ran into a pretty bright 7th grader the other day. He is 12 and very proficient in math. After some conversation, I found he is proficient in advanced algebra (what I was learning at age 16). He expressed some interest in learning programming.

I want to demonstrate the ARM platform to him and my PSOC5 toys. Do you feel a kid like that would be able to learn and handle C and the the concepts of embedded computing? I want to hook him early so he can not only impress his teachers, but turn that knowledge into a pragmatic career.

The thing that impressed me most about him was his ability to count in hex.



Also, I may wind up tutoring a high-school freshman in algebra who is struggling due to a learning disability. What I find about most schools in the US is that they are not good about exposing students to the practical side of what they are learning. Because their own curriculums are boring and full of drudgery, they start labeling the unmotivated students as learning disabled.

One thing this kid loves is video games. I want to show him how math is heavily used in the workings of video games and how to program them in the hope of motivating him. Once he is motivated, whatever learning disability he may or may not have he will compensate for. What language, engine, or platform should I start with here?

user_14586677's picture
7646 posts

I used PSOC 1 and 9 & 11 year old grandaughter and showed them

they were already programmers (they were able to use calculators)

and blink an LED and make processor emit "mary had a little lamb"

in sequential tones. In my case they are not Einstein, neither are they

handicapped mentally, pretty much average of population like their

Grandfather. So yes kids can learn C as it looks algebraic, many of

them having been exposed to A + 1 = C, what is A if C is 4 ?


"What I find about most schools in the US is that they are not good about

exposing students to the practical side of what they are learning."


That was even true when I was in University. I did not graduate with a great

GPA, mainly because I did not do a lot of the homework but instead came home

and applied what I had learned that day. And did lab experiemnts with the class

room material taught. As an aside the University was focused on theoretical,

explains the less practical environment. But we were engineers who wanted to



Language for games without overload, how about Python, allows acess at c level

but allows one to interface to PC and GUI capability. Vis Studio another but a little



Regards, Dana.

kingneb's picture
40 posts

I got my degree in the Electrical Engineering Technology program for the very reason of practical experience. I minored in history.

I went into higher education knowing a straight EE is almost purely theoretical, uninteresting, and delivers little practical experience. Employers want experience, bottom line. If I did not know, I may have bombed out or have gotten a very low GPA.

There was tons of gruntwork in the EET program, but I still managed to pull a 3.07 GPA. My GPA was lower at the time I was on Co-Op, and the boss came to the conclusion I was smarter than most 4.0's. All a GPA states is one's ability to memorize information, regurgitate it on an exam, and solve preconceived problems to the tee. It does not measure critical thinking abilities, practical problem solving skills, and creativity.

The idiots that run educational bureaucracies have come to the wrong conclusion by saying that students simply are not learning the way they used to. The bottom line is that a boring education (as does anything boring) turns people off. Throwing money and more administrators at the problem will not help (school districts always are complaining they are underfunded). What will work is overhauling the model. The new model will be one that is more individualized, flexible, and emphasizes building on areas of strength. Creativity and critical thinking will be the crux of the model, not conformity. After all, there are few situations where there simply are right or wrongs answers and solutions to problems. This is a complex information age we are living in.

The countries that do not implement an educational model similar to the one I am describing may not succeed in the global, knowledge-based economy. What may help do America in (more likely parts of America) are the strong forces that are resisting the changes brought on by the Information Age. If one wants to succeed in the age, they must become well educated and learn best how to handle information and knowledge. Working class jobs that once sustained the middle class have been replaced by cheap labor elsewhere (and by machines). What inevitably will define the" haves and have nots" will be those willing to learn, accept change, challenge the status quo, and above all, think.

I want to influence these kids in a way they can succeed. The school system obviously will not challenge "Einstein." The system, for the so-called "learning disabled" kid, is just unrealistic for him. My job as a tutor is to find a way to make it work for both of them. Knowledge will make or break them.

user_1377889's picture
9307 posts

There is a book (ask Amazon) titled "Learn Digital Design with PSoC, a bit at a time" written by Dave van Ess who formerly worked at Cypress. It describes in a very basic way digital logic and he uses PSoCs to program and test the logic. Worth having a look into for every beginner.



user_14586677's picture
7646 posts

@kingneb, I agree largely with what you say about school systems.

But I would state that not all professors are equal. I did have some,

maybe 30%, that wrote exams that tested critical thinking, and the rest

the route mechanical learning model you suggested. 


Unfortunately here in US there is a large disparity between elected

public officials and parents, the latter having high expectation of

schooling, the former bent on putting hudreds of students into one

classroom, and other such cuts. US is more commited to warfare

then education, and the huge layoffs of teachers that occured in

2008 directly reflects those priorities.


Regards, Dana.

Log in to post new comments.