About the ATLAS Institute

The Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS) is a radically multidisciplinary institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. Situated at the crossroads of the central campus, ATLAS engages students, educators, artists, writers, scholars and leaders from the university, industry, non-profits and government to realize the full potential of information and communication technologies. Its programs include thriving graduate and undergraduate academic programs (total enrollment for 2014-2015 was approximately 900), the Center for Media Arts and Performance, the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT), the ATLAS BTU Lab (a hacker space), and a variety of K-12 technology education partnerships.

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. Undergraduate participation in the Technology, Arts & Media or TAM program currently exceeds 650 CU Boulder students from all majors, with additional expansion on the horizon. Project-based, hands-on and collaborative learning contribute to increasing student demand and enrollment of classes that are over 50% female. Additionally, a broad range of graduate students are engaged and invested in leveraging IT to advance developing communities as part of the professional MS ICTD program. And, ATLAS’ revolutionary PhD program continues to attract vibrant 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. Over 40 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 performance space hosts over 100 visiting artists or collaborations whose works combine digital technology and a broad range of artistic disciplines.

Join us! Learn more and plug in. 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, in a manner that assures programmatic agility, risk-taking and innovation.

The ATLAS Institute is led by a faculty director and is affiliated with the University of Colorado Graduate School and the College of Engineering & Applied Science.

ATLAS is supported by a combination of 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, active external Advisory Board that includes broad representation from the community, industry and academia. A group of faculty fellows from all schools and colleges at CU-Boulder also plays an active role in advising ATLAS on development of new curricular and research programs.