ATLAS Timeline

Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS) Created The Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS) forms following a campus-wide academic strategic planning process that involved administrators, faculty and students from every school and college, as well as internal and external advisory boards. The goal of ATLAS is to integrate information technology for all disciplines, people and communities. A steering committee forms to manage planning and implementation of the new ATLAS initiative. Bobby Schnabel, Vice Provost for Academic and Campus Technology and CU’s Chief Information Officer, is named the first ATLAS director. A faculty member since 1977, Schnabel served as chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1990 to 1995 and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and Applied Science from 1995 to 1997.

Evaluation and Research Group Founded Lecia Barker is named director of the newly formed ATLAS Evaluation and Research Group. The group collaborates with faculty, scientists and outreach partners in conducting evaluations and research in increasing participation of under-represented groups in the information technology workforce, technology curricula, student technology use, information technology in instruction, digital libraries, and the development and use of web-based, self-contained learning modules. External Advisory Board Named The ATLAS Advisory Board is created, composed of prominent business and technology leaders from Colorado and the nation. The board meets quarterly and plays a major role in ATLAS’ strategic planning and external relations. Technology, Arts and Media Program Proposed Two campus-wide committees, drawn from every school and college, explore the possibilities for the creation of the Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program. One committee plans curriculum; one creates initial multidisciplinary projects courses for the TAM program. Diane Sieber, an assistant professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, becomes the first TAM director. The TAM undergraduate certificate program is created in 1999. ATLAS Center Program Plan Envisions Building A campuswide committee of deans and faculty members unveils the ATLAS Center Program Plan, which envisions an ATLAS building to house interdisciplinary, active-learning instructional programs; a design studio approach to teaching and learning; performance and production studios; educational technology support, and facilities for the Technology, Arts and Media program and the Film Studies program.


First Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) Student Graduates Nathalie Nunez becomes the first Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program graduate. She later moves into a career as a graphic artist, Web designer and silk screen teacher for Warehouse 21, a Santa Fe, N.M., youth center that provides an arts community for a mix of teens from different cultures, sub-cultures and socio-enonomic backgrounds. She becomes the first alumna member of the external ATLAS Advisory Board in January 2006.

Diane Sieber Named Co-Director of ATLAS Diane Sieber, the first director of the Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program, is named co-director of ATLAS with Bobby Schnabel. A member of ATLAS planning committees since 1997, Sieber received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University and is an assistant professor and associate professor in the CU-Boulder Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Tuskegee University Partnership With a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, ATLAS and Tuskegee University — a predominately black university in Alabama — forge a faculty and student exchange agreement. The agreement allows the two institutions to share research, technology, curricula and cultures and allows the Boulder campus to share its ATLAS program and accompanying curriculum for the Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) certificate program.

Jim and Becky Roser Donate $2.25 Million for ATLAS Building Jim and Becky Roser, co-chairs of the external ATLAS Advisory Board, donate a $2.25 million toward the construction of the new ATLAS building. Jim Roser is a partner in Roser Ventures L.L.C., a Boulder-based venture capital firm. Becky Roser is a CU graduate, member of the UCB Music Advisory Board, the CU Foundation Board and a former director of the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Clinic at CU.


Plans, Drawings Unveiled for New ATLAS Building The Boulder Campus Planning Commission reviews plans and drawings of the new ATLAS building, to be located on the north half of the Hunter Science Building. The building would be two stories below ground and three stories above ground and will host ATLAS programs and include an experimental performance studio. Campus Committee Proposes ATLAS as an Institute A campus-wide committee reviews proposals for campus information technology initiatives involving ATLAS and other parts of the university. One proposal is to designate ATLAS as an Institute. Another would create a new College combining ATLAS and computer science; a third proposal would combine ATLAS and Computer Science within a new school in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. State Economy Delays ATLAS Building Construction State lawmakers, facing tough decisions within a bleak outlook for the state’s economy, delay several higher education construction projects, including construction of the new ATLAS building. The state funds the demolition of the Hunter Science Building, which is the first phase of the ATLAS construction project. Demolition begins in December 2002. Colorado Institute of Technology Funds ATLAS Educational Program The Colorado Institute of Technology awards ATLAS $197,000 to fund ATLAS courses that emphasize computer -programming and technical skills to supplement the Technology, Arts and Media certificate program. These courses help create the Multidisciplinary Applied Technologies program within ATLAS and TAM.

Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Forms Leaders from ATLAS, education, government and industry propose a national coalition among academic, industry, and social institutions to address the shortage of women and girls in information technology fields. The result is the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). ATLAS becomes a co-founder of NCWIT along with Lucy Sanders, who has worked in R&D and executive positions at AT&T Bell Labs, Lucent Bell Labs and Avaya Labs. Sanders becomes chief executive officer of NCWIT and an executive-in-residence for ATLAS. The National Science Foundation awards NCWIT $3.25 million in 2004. Digital CUrrents Summer Workshop Program Created Several units of ATLAS collaborate in research and outreach to seek ways to increase the participation of girls, women and minorities in information technology fields. The Evaluation and Research Group receives a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for research to increase interest in technology careers among middle-school girls in Denver and nationwide. The National Center for Women in Information Technology coordinates the annual Digital CUrrents summer workshop program, which involves a team of university and high school faculty, Denver high school and middle school students (largely from underrepresented minority groups), and research activities on the effective use of information technology in K-12 education. The effort is assisted by a Colorado Institute of Technology grant totaling $45,000 in 2004. Funding for Higher Education Construction Projects Cut State lawmakers, facing tough economic times, do not fund several higher education projects, including the construction of the ATLAS building. 2002 ATLAS Forms Partnership with Dillard University ATLAS forms a partnership with Dillard University, a historically black liberal arts college in New Orleans, following a $550,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation to establish a 15-month demonstration project, titled “Liberal Arts Curriculum in a Technological Age.” The partnership involves sharing course materials in calculus and humanities using Web-based technologies and video-conferencing. The Carnegie Foundation suppports the partnership with an additional $350,000 grant.

ATLAS Wins Top Award from EDUCAUSE EDUCAUSE, a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the use of technology in education, awards ATLAS the “Systemic Progress in Teaching and Learning” award, one of the highest awards given by EDUCAUSE. ATLAS Becomes Institute The Board of Regents designates ATLAS as an Institute, the first new Institute on campus in 35 years. The designation specifies the structural role of ATLAS and enables ATLAS to host centers and establish a program of faculty affiliations. Technology, Arts and Media Certificate Program Grows The Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program graduates 27 students; the program, created in 1999, now enrolls about 200 students. Collaborative Arts, Media and Performance Program Created The ATLAS Collaborative Arts, Media and Performance program is created through a collaboration between art, film, journalism, music, theater and dance, and other disciplines. The campus-wide program is charged with creating interdisciplinary curriculum and creative work and new academic programs in the proposed ATLAS building.

CU-Boulder Student Government Funds ATLAS Building The student government at the University of Colorado at Boulder approves phased-in student fees to help fund the construction of buildings on campus, including the new ATLAS building. The fees, which begin at $100 a year and increase to $400 a year over a three-year period, are approved by the CU Board of Regents. ATLAS Cited for Promoting Diversity The ATLAS Institute receives a Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs Service Recognition Award for its work to promote diversity on campus and beyond. The award recognizes the continuing efforts of ATLAS to create a diverse and supportive learning, working and living environment, as well as the Institute’s commitment to promote understanding of multicultural issues. Faculty Fellows Program Inaugurated Seventeen faculty members from a wide variety of campus departments are selected as founding ATLAS Faculty Fellows. The purpose is to provide overall guidance for future directions, and to participate in multidisciplinary teaching, learning, research and outreach activities related to information technology.

ATLAS Ph.D. Program Proposed The ATLAS Fellows propose a Ph.D. program in Technology, Media and Society. The program, intended for highly motivated students whose interdisciplinary interests at the intersections of technology, media and society are not met well by traditional Ph.D. programs, would involve dozens of faculty from disciplines ranging from the arts, humanities and social sciences to the sciences, engineering, business and law. The CU Board of Regents approves the degree in October 2006. Jim Johnson Becomes Director of Collaborative Media, Arts and Performance Program Jim Johnson, a former chair of the Department of Art and Art History, becomes director of the Collaborative Arts, Media and Performance program for ATLAS. He works with faculty across campus to create an interdisciplinary curriculum within the production and performance studios in the proposed ATLAS building. The program becomes a center in 2006, when it is renamed the Center for Media, Arts and Performance.

Ground Breaking Held for ATLAS Building A multimedia groundbreaking for the $31 million ATLAS building is held in January. The area of the building housing the campus’s programs to enhance the quality of teaching and learning is named the Byyny Teaching and Learning Center. The naming honors the leadership, inspiration and vision for ATLAS provided by Chancellor Richard L. Byyny, and his emphasis on the practice and scholarship of the highest quality teaching and learning at CU-Boulder.

ATLAS Building Opens Construction of the $31 million, 66,000-square-foot ATLAS building is completed; the building opens in August. Funding for the building includes $20.7 million from the student-approved annual fee; $3 million in federal funding; $1.6 million from the state, and $6 million from private fundraising, including the $2.25 million donation from the Rosers. A plaque honoring the Rosers is placed near the ATLAS building entrance. It states: “With special gratitude and thanks to Jim and Becky Roser for providing leadership to ATLAS including their enabling gift in support of the ATLAS Building.” A plaque honoring the student fee support for the building is placed in the ATLAS lobby. The student plaque states: “The ATLAS Building was constructed with student fees and is dedicated to students of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The University of Colorado Student Union made this building possible by going above and beyond its duties to support a capital construction fee when traditional sources were limited.” Some 6,000 students study in the building each semester. An open house celebrating the new building is held Oct. 13. ATLAS Building Gets Gold Environmental Rating The ATLAS building achieves the U.S. Green Building Council’s gold rating under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the U.S. benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. To achieve a gold rating, a building must meet high standards, including sustainable site development; water-saving features; high levels of energy efficiency; use of green construction materials; extensive recycling of construction waste; and high indoor environmental quality.

John Bennett Named ATLAS Director John Bennett, Associate Dean of Engineering and Applied Science and an ATLAS Board member who helped create the ATLAS Ph.D. program in 2006, becomes the director of ATLAS. Bennett, the Archuleta Professor of Computer Science, holds joint faculty appointments in electrical and computer engineering and interdisciplinary telecommunications. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rice University in electrical and computer engineering and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Washington, Seattle. Joel Swanson Named Director of TAM Program Joel Swanson, an artist and instructor in the Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program, is named curriculum director of the TAM program. A TAM graduate himself, Swanson later received an MFA in digital art at the University of California, San Diego. His works include installations, both physical and virtual, that explore the nature of language and its embodiment. Rebekah West Named Director of Center for Arts, Media and Performance Rebekah West, a multimedia artist whose creative works include theater, dance, video, television, photography and writing, is named director of the Center for Arts, Media and Performance. Her experience also includes 10 years as producing director of the Space for Dance Theatre/Boulder Dance Alliance.

2008 Jill Van Matre Named Associate Director of ATLAS Jill Van Matre is named the associate director of ATLAS. Van Matre has a law degree from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in finance and international studies from Indiana University. Prior to law school, she worked for Lucent Technologies and Microsoft Corporation. Van Matre, a research fellow with CU’s Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship, leads the ATLAS Ph.D. seminar. She also teaches a writing seminar in the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program. Revi Sterling Becomes First ATLAS Ph.D. Program Graduate Revi Sterling graduates in December with the ATLAS Institute’s first doctorate degree in Technology, Media and Society. Sterling’s dissertation on advancement through interactive radio deals with efforts to link disadvantaged Kenyan women with local community radio stations and other community-based resources such as non-governmental organizations and extension programs. Sterling accepts a position as director and developer of the new ATLAS master’s degree program in Information and Communication for Development (ICTD). ATLAS Board Holds Retreat Members of the ATLAS Advisory Board and ATLAS staff generate ideas about future directions for ATLAS during a retreat at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colo. ATLAS Associate Director Jill Van Matre facilitated a discussion of graduate education and research; Advisory Board member and Computer Science professor Clayton Lewis, illustrated possible directions for undergraduate education; ATLAS Outreach Director Lucy Sanders directed discussion about outreach; and Center for Arts, Media and Performance Director Rebekah West facilitated discussion about the center.

Theodore Becomes Director of Center for Media, Arts and Performance Michael Theodore, associate professor of composition in the College of Music, is appointed director of the ATLAS Center for Arts, Media and Performance. Theodore is a composer, visual artist and technologist. He has studied at the New England Conservatory, Amherst College, the Yale School of Music and the University of California, San Diego. Theodore has taught music composition and interactive technology and has been involved with ATLAS as a CU faculty member since 1998 and worked with others on campus to help create the center. The center’s mission is to foster interdisciplinary curriculum and creative works involving technology and the arts. The center later is renamed the Center for Media, Arts and Performance.

Master of Science Degree in Information and Communication Technology for Development Launches (MS-ICTD) The ATLAS master’s degree in Information and Communication Technology for Development launches with seven students entering the program for the fall. The MS-ICTD degree prepares students for careers in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to advance people and communities in developing nations and underserved or impoverished regions. The two-year program includes three semesters in residence and a one-semester practicum in an internship or service project with a company engaged in ICTD efforts. Revi Sterling, the first ATLAS Ph.D. graduate, is the founding director of the program. Technology, Arts and Media Program Expands with New Minor Degree The Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) Program adds a 21-credit minor degree option as well as a Certificate in Digital Media. The minor provides a broad multidisciplinary perspective that integrates technological skills with a critical, theoretical and historical understanding of technology, media and the arts. The certificate provides a fundamental understanding of information technology and digital media production and motivates students to think critically about technology and its impacts upon society. ATLAS is Gold Academic Sponsor of Grace Hopper Celebration of Women and Computing Ten women from the ATLAS Technology, Arts and Media program, the new Master of Science in Information and Communication Technology for Development, and the Ph.D. program in Technology, Media and Society attend the 2010 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women and Computing. The event is the premier annual gathering of technical women from industry, academia and government laboratories, drawing approximately 2,000 people. ATLAS is one of three Gold Academic Sponsors of the conference.

ATLAS Building Named in Honor of Roser Family The ATLAS building is named the Roser ATLAS Building in honor of the generous support and leadership of the Roser Family, and in particular Becky Roser and the late Jim Roser, who were the founding co-chairs of the ATLAS Advisory Board. From left to right are: Chris Roser, who also is an ATLAS Advisory Board member; Becky Roser; Jonathan Roser, son of Chris Roser, with his mother, Lizzie; and CU Chancellor Phil DiStefano. BDW Post-Digital Studio Program Becomes Part of ATLAS BDW (formerly Boulder Digital Works) becomes a post-digital studio within the ATLAS Institute. It offers multi-disciplinary, project-based graduate programs provide skills needed in the digital communication fields. It also offers intensive immersion programs in digital fluency for working professionals and other programs and workshops. The program started in 2009 as a partnership between the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, CU’s Division of Continuing Education, and Toronto-based MDC Partners, the parent company of Boulder advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. David Slayden, associate professor of advertising, is executive director of BDW. Michael Lightner, chair of the CU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is technology director of BDW. TAM Offers First Maymester Digital Media Bootcamp The Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program expands by offering the first intensive three-week introduction to digital media production called Digital Media Bootcamp. The course, part of the university’s Maymester program, offers practical technological skills to people from any industry or discipline. The program aims to give students and industry professionals the necessary skills to design and develop digital media.

ATLAS Celebrates Premiere of Boulder Box Set on Rocky Mountain PBS About 70 people attended the celebration of the premiere of Boulder Box Set, a music series collaboration between the ATLAS Institute and Rocky Mountain PBS, in July. Boulder Box Set features performances by established and up-and-coming musicians captured with the high definition/high fidelity technology of the ATLAS Black Box theater. The shows highlight the creativity, energy and spontaneity of live performance in an intimate venue. Among the guests were award-winning LA-based musicians Andy Hill and Renée Safier, whose one-hour show was the first in the series to be broadcast on Rocky Mountain PBS. Also attending were Colorado bassist Chris Engleman (eTown), who was among the accomplished musicians backing Hill and Safier in the first show, and Grammy-award winning composer, producer and keyboardist Don Grusin, who composed original theme music. ATLAS Awards First Master of Science Degrees in ICTD The ATLAS Institute awards its first Master of Science degrees in Information and Communication Technology for Development (MS-ICTD) during May graduation ceremonies that were split into two parts to accommodate the friends and family of 119 graduate and undergraduate students. Receiving the Master degrees were Matthew Crum, Kevin McElhinney and Nicole Stephan. Two students – Edwige Simon and Sarah Vieweg – were awarded ATLAS Ph.D. degrees in Technology, Media and Society. Fifty-six students received the ATLAS minor in Technology, Arts and Media; another 58 received ATLAS Certificates in Digital Media.

ATLAS Becomes Part of Engineering, Graduate School The ATLAS Institute becomes part of the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the University of Colorado Graduate School in January. “The New Year has brought the College of Engineering and Applied Science a new partner,” Robert H. Davis, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, announced in an email. “Starting this semester, our college will provide an academic home for most of the ATLAS programs, faculty and staff.” Davis noted that ATLAS, its faculty and staff will continue to be housed in the Roser ATLAS building, as will the Center for Media, Arts and Performance. “As campus-wide assets, the administrative oversight of the ATLAS building and CMAP will roll up under the Graduate School, rather than Engineering,” Davis said. He noted that ATLAS, which was founded in 1997, currently is directed by John Bennett, a computer science professor, and that ATLAS earlier was headed by Bobby Schnabel, also a computer science professor, and Diane Sieber, currently an associate dean for education and director of the Herbst Program of Humanities in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Jill Van Matre Dupre, who has been the associate director of ATLAS since 2008, becomes the acting director of the ATLAS Institute in July. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law and is a member of the Colorado Bar Association. Prior to law school, Dupre worked for Lucent Technologies and Microsoft Corporation. Her research includes alternative dispute resolution and the use of mediation to resolve disputes in interdisciplinary fields; information privacy; data lifecycles; Internet sociology; transmedia storytelling; leadership; and innovation. 2012 Diane Sieber Named Associate Dean for Education in College of Engineering and Applied Science Diane Sieber, the inaugural director of the ATLAS Technology, Arts and Media program and co-director of ATLAS from 2000 to 2007, is appointed associate dean for Education in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Since leaving her TAM position, Sieber has been director and associate professor in the Herbst Program of Humanities in Engineering. Revi Sterling Wins Women of Vision Social Impact Award The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology awards its Women of Vision Social Impact award to Revi Sterling, director of the ATLAS master’s degree in Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICTD), during an awards banquet in Santa Clara, Calif. Women of Vision award winners are selected from leading women in technology professions in industry, academia, NGOs or government.

Mark D. Gross appointed Director Mark D. Gross, a professor of computational design at Carnegie Mellon University who taught from 1990 to 1999 in the CU architecture, planning and design program, is named director of ATLAS and a professor in the Department of Computer Science. His research interests include design methods, modular robotics, computationally enhanced construction kits and crafts, sketch tools and applications, and human interaction with computers as an increasingly common experience in many aspects of the physical world. He was a professor of computational design at Carnegie Mellon University from 2004 until his appointment as ATLAS director in January 2014. From 1990 to 1999, he was an assistant and associate professor of architecture, planning and design at CU. From 1999 to 2004, Gross was a professor of architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle.

ATLAS today continues to be a vibrant hub of multi-disciplinary, technology-centered academic programs and outreach initiatives. Undergraduate participation in the ever-growing Technology, Arts & Media or TAM program currently exceeds 650 CU Boulder students from over 55 majors, over 50% of which are female. Close to 40 students are engaged in ATLAS’ selective graduate programs; the nascent practitioner MS ICTD program focused on leveraging IT to advance developing communities and the Ph.D. program whose doctoral candidate community advances research at the intersection of technology, media and society. The interdisciplinary explorations of ATLAS are furthered by over 40 Faculty Fellows from across the university communities to facilitate cooperative research, advancement and impact in ground-breaking topics and areas of investigation within ATLAS. ATLAS’ state-of-the-art Black Box hosts over 100 creative and artistic events each year that combine digital technology with creative performances including dance, electronic music, video and visual artists. Join us! Learn more and plug in. We invite you to become a part of ATLAS today.