MAS 960 Special Topics:
How To Make Something That Makes (almost) Anything

Neil Gershenfeld and Joe Jacobson

Mondays 1:00-4:00 E15-135

This will be an experimental second-semester fab class covering rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines to be developed by the class, supported by a review of digital fabrication research, and a weekly section on computation in physical systems (taught by Ben Vigoda and Yael Maguire, based on a text they're writing).

Enrollment is by permission of the instructors; the procedure will be discussed at the first class.

Tentative agenda:

Mon 2/12/07: introduction, fabricational complexity
section: computational complexity

Tue 2/20/07: self-, coded, algorithmic assembly
section: error correction, threshold theorems, and fault tolerance

Mon 2/26/07: CAD, CAM formats and algorithms
section: universal computation

Mon 3/05/07: materials characterization and testing (George Popescu)
guest lecture: printing functional systems (Hod Lipson)
section: ultimate limits, scaling

Mon 3/12/07: finite difference, finite element, lattice gas physical modeling
section: automata and dynamics

Mon 3/19/07: subtractive fabrication processes
guest lecture: machine design (Alex Slocum) section: gates, operators, algorithms

Mon 4/02/07: additive fabrication processes
guest lecture (Yong Chen): 3D printing
guest lecture (Berok Khoshnevis): building printing
section: functional approximation

Mon 4/09/07: digital materials
George Popescu, Hod Lipson, Ara Knaian
motors, actuators, and motion control
section: coding and compression

Mon 4/23/07: embedded networks and distributed systems
section: constrained optimization

Mon 4/30/07: control theory
section: statistical inference

Mon 5/07/07: protein synthesis
guest lecture (Erik Winfree): DNA assembly
section: statistical mechanics

Mon 5/14/07: nanofabrication
section: quantum information and computation

Mon 5/21/07: final project presentations