My reason asking this question is because when I presented the idea of using the Arduino Uno to my professor, he implied that it could be used by a 12 year old. He suggested using the PIC, the standard chip we use for our classes( costs them less than an arm and a leg).
Do you think I would be downsized for using the Arduino over the PIC because of my professor's argument?
I always find this attitude amazing - it's an attitude that promotes "not invented here" syndrome, an attitude that says "code reuse is bad" - or something. It has the air of "doing things in the most complex way possible is better".
It isn't that you couldn't - if you wanted to - program the ATMega328 (or other processor) on your "Arduino" using straight AVR C or assembler; you certainly could, and I am sure many people do. Why, I don't know; some may do it for the fun of it, some may do it to squeeze every bit of performance and byte out of the processor (and there is certainly nothing wrong with that!).
If you professor is adamant that you don't use pre-built libraries (I wonder if this extends to libc?) when programming the Arduino - you can certainly do this. It won't be easy, it won't be fun (you won't be able to use the IDE for much) - but it will be a learning experience.
If nothing else - you'll -really- learn why people love the Arduino, and why code-reuse is a good thing.