The Roser ATLAS Building lobby filled with students in motion.

The ATLAS Institute is a center of interdisciplinary research, learning, and collaboration in engineering, creative technologies and design. Attracting researchers and students whose interests bridge the artistic and technical, the building houses the Interactive Robotics and Novel Technologies Lab, the BTU Lab hackerspace, the Laboratory for Playful Computation, the Black Box Experimental Studio and the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

The ATLAS Institute also offers a wide range of academic programs through the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) Bachelor of Science program invites students to use and build digital technologies in unconventional and speculative ways, while the TAM minor and certificate programs coach creative technical skills to students from all majors and colleges across campus. ATLAS graduate degrees include a radically interdisciplinary PhD program and an MS with tracks in Creative Technology and Design, and Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD).

Centrally located at a major campus crossroads, ATLAS also lies at an intellectual crossroads, enriching the CU Boulder campus with opportunities for creative investigation and invention in engineering, the arts, and emerging technologies.

Vision and Mission

Vision: ATLAS leads discovery and innovation at the intersection of technology and society.

Mission: To realize the full potential of people interacting with information and communications technology. ATLAS interdisciplinary programs develop creative designers, critical thinkers, effective leaders, capable learners, innovative teachers and engaged global citizens.


ATLAS continues its mission of connecting students and the university community to IT and practical computing through programs that make technology both accessible and approachable. The aim is to equip students with a range of versatile and relevant technical skills. These tools are increasingly a central part of today’s computing and creative community and one of the key drivers of the workforce.

Today, ATLAS is a vibrant hub of multi-disciplinary, technology-centered academic programs and outreach initiatives. An exciting new BS degree in Technology, Arts and Media complements the Technology, Arts & Media minor and certificate programs, which currently engage over 800 CU Boulder students from all majors. Project-based, hands-on and collaborative learning contribute to increasing student demand and enrollment of classes that include over 50% women. Additionally, graduate students in the ICTD track of the Master program leverage information technologies to advance developing communities and, in the Creative Technologies and Design track, develop and apply technologies in speculative ways.  And, ATLAS’ PhD program continues to attract doctoral candidates whose areas of research, interest and interdisciplinary exploration push the boundaries of topics in technology, media and society; from education, policy and media to gaming, social media and computation.

Thirty faculty and staff members participate as ATLAS Faculty Fellows to facilitate cooperative research, advancement and interdisciplinary impact in ground-breaking topics and areas of investigation. Finally, the state of the art Black Box Experimental Studio hosts visiting artists or collaborations whose works combine digital technology and a broad range of artistic disciplines.

Join us! Plug in and learn more. We invite you to become a part of ATLAS today.

Organizational Structure

ATLAS is structured to provide leadership to develop and incubate new multidisciplinary curricular, research and outreach programs involving information technology, to assure programmatic agility, risk-taking and innovation.

The ATLAS Institute is led by a faculty director who reports to  the University of Colorado Graduate School and the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

ATLAS is supported by campus and external funds. The campus provides a permanent base budget for ATLAS. ATLAS has received major funding from a student-approved fee, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the State of Colorado, Comcast, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Colorado Institute of Technology, Apple, Avaya, Microsoft, the Mellon Foundation, and from many generous individuals.

ATLAS has an outstanding and active external Advisory Board that includes representation from the community, industry, and academia. Faculty fellows from schools and colleges at CU-Boulder also play an active role in advising ATLAS on new curricular and research programs.