It's not your traditional computer science class, but it is dialing up some good advice for the developers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Stanford University is offering a free 10-week college course, "iPhone Application Programming", in how to use Apple's iPhone & iPod Touch -- and make money from it.
More than a billion apps have been downloaded for the for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and the creation of more "apps" is potentially big business for entrepreneurs. The class offers special guest lecturers including Steve Demeter, creator of the popular "Trism" game.
"I think it's amazing that they have these up-to-date courses. When I was in school, I think I took some pascal course. I didn't learn much from it, but, I mean, just to offer this kind of cutting edge is fantastic, I think," said Demeter.
This class is also getting attention from non-Stanford students. The lectures are available on iTunes and have been downloaded more than a million times. Online viewers of the course will see the same lectures as the on-campus students, but won't receive credit.
"There's a lot of interest in the iPhone," said Brent Izutsu, Stanford's project manager for Stanford on iTunes U. "This course provides an excellent opportunity for us to show the breadth and depth of our curriculum and the innovation of our students."
According to Apple, the download count from its App Store has passed the 800 million mark. Some of the student-developed apps from the fall-quarter class, such as the Chinese-English dictionary Qingwen, are available at the iTunes store.