ATLAS Logo  Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society
Recent events
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Dave Kalahar, who has been the sole adviser for the ATLAS Technology, Arts and Media program for the past 15 years, has been presented the annual Chancellor's Employee of the Year Award. For more information about the award, click here.

UNDERWOOD RECEIVES PH.D.: Heather Underwood, at right above with former ATLAS director John Bennett, who was her adviser, received her Ph.D. in Technology, Media and Society during ATLAS graduation ceremonies Dec. 19. Her dissertation was titled "The PartoPen: Using Digital Pen Technology to Improve Maternal Labor Monitoring in the Developing World." (For a video of her presentation, click here.)

January 2014

Mark Gross named director of ATLAS Institute

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, has been named director of ATLAS.

“We are delighted to have professor Gross return to the Boulder campus as director of ATLAS,” said Robert Davis, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. “He has a great vision for interdisciplinary education and research, which will engage students and faculty from across our campus.”

Gross is the co-founder of two Boulder-based companies including Blank Slate Systems, which was founded in 2013 and creates software-based design tools such as a digital sketchpad that allows users to create blueprints for laser cutters. His other company is Modular Robotics, which was established in 2008 and makes robot construction kits for kids.

Gross’ 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.

In 2009, Gross received a distinguished teaching award from the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, which cited his efforts to bring women researchers into the field.

Gross has been a professor of computational design at Carnegie Mellon since 2004. From 1999 to 2004, he was a professor of architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle.

For more information about his appointment, click here.

Joel Swanson is featured in "Left to Right, Top to Bottom"

Joel Swanson, who is the director of the ATLAS Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program, is the featured artist in an exhibition entitled "Left to Right, Top to Bottom" Jan. 17 through March 30 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.
Swanson, shown above working on the exhibit, explores language and its literal (sometimes even physical) forms. He stretches language to become an image, or multiple images, and uses the structures of grammar and composition as sources for creative production.
Swanson received his MFA in digital art at the University of California, San Diego.

Save the dates: ATLAS Speaker Series, spring semester

The ATLAS Speaker Series, which is made possible by a generous donation by Idit Harel Caperton and Anat Harel, hosts distinguished visitors from academia, industry and the arts as part of the ATLAS Institute’s mission to explore information and communication technologies and their effect on society.
Following is a list of speakers for the spring semester. For more information about each speaker, click here.

Randi Zuckerberg will talk about her personal journey through Silicon Valley, including her experience during the early days of Facebook, and her adventures over the past two years creating her own new media company, Zuckerberg Media, at an ATLAS Speaker Series event at 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, in ATLAS 100. Zuckerberg, who is the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, also will talk about how technology shaped her career and how it is influencing every aspect of our lives today, including how we communicate with each other and the directions our careers take. The first 100 attendees to the presentation will receive a free copy of her book "Dot Complicated: Untangling our Wired Lives."

• Working at the intersection of science, art and design, Jer Thorp stretches the possibilities of infographics. He will speak about data visualization, information design and opportunities to make data more useful, meaningful and accessible at an ATLAS Speakers Series presentation at 4 p.m. Feb. 19 in ATLAS 100. From 2010 to 2012, Thorp was the data artist in residence at the New York Times R&D Group.

Ann Mei Chang will speak on information communications technology for development (ICT4D): policy, practice, and practicalities. Her talk, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. March 31 in ATLAS 100, will examine the specifics of how technology can impact development.

Ruth West is an interdisciplinary media artist/researcher working with emerging technologies and will talk about the integration of art and science during an ATLAS Speakers Series presentation at 4 p.m. Monday, April 14, in ATLAS 100. West envisions a future in which art/science integration allows us to open new portals of imagination, knowledge and communication across cultures. Her work has been presented or featured in SIGGRAPH, WIRED Magazine’s NextFest, UCLA Fowler Museum, CAA, Ingenuity Festival Cleveland, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, FILE 09 Sao Paulo, IEEE VR, Mobisys, SPIE, IEEE ICIP, the American Journal of Human Genetics, Genomics, Leonardo, LEA, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, NPR's The Connection, NY Times, Genome News Network, AMINIMA and Artweek.

Save the dates: Black Box performances, spring semester

Black Box performances are free and open to the public. The theater is located downstairs, lowest basement level B2 in the Roser ATLAS building. Seating is limited and first-come, first-served. It is suggested that audiences arrive 15 minutes before show time. Below is a list of events for the spring semester.

Settle: Multi-media, multi-generational dance theater (complete with your grandmother’s best china) – is a collaboration of 13 dancers of several generations, original acoustic and synthesized music plus video graphics that echo the objects and themes seen onstage.  While using common symbols of domesticity and family tradition, Settle is inspired by fundamental life choices. Do we settle down with someone? Do we follow our own heart’s ambition? Click here for free tickets. 7:30 p.m. this Friday - Saturday, Jan. 17-18.

  • Beneath the Text, an aerial dance production produced by dance MFA Sonya Smith, challenges the traditional idea of aerial dance as forever graceful and beautiful to reveal the work beneath the work – the effort, sweat and pain hidden beneath the surface. What if aerial dance did not always look effortless?  The show will feature five dancers, four musicians, video graphics and two composers with contrasting musical approaches – one who writes for traditional/acoustic instruments, the other who uses computer-generated sound. Click here for free reservations. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 31 – Feb. 1  

Sex Milk Instrument & Nano-Twin: a multimedia double-feature. Two different groups perform separately and then together as a super-group. Sex Milk Instrument, a four-piece noise band accompanied by video projection, will perform a sonic textural landscape. Nano-Twin will produce a very visually oriented experience with sound using cathode ray tube televisions. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 14-15  

Pendulum: The College of Music’s monthly new music concert series features original electro-acoustic music, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.   

BLOrk: The Boulder Laptop Orchestra will perform new works composed by ensemble members and featured performers using traditional/acoustic instruments blended with or  modified by controllers, laptops and software. 7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Feb. 28 – March 1.    

The Pain of Becoming: This new multimedia concert with dance examines the threads that connect the ego to the self. Produced by College of Music doctoral student and ATLAS fellow Hugh Lobel, the performance features six musicians, four dancers and live, real-time video graphics. Choreography by CU MFA Chrissy Nelson. Videography by Carl Monks. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 4-5

Conference on World Affairs (CWA) April 7-11  

Communikey (CMKY): The Communikey Festival of Electronic Arts will feature interdisciplinary electronic artist performances. Saturday, April 12.

ATLAS information available on several social networks

Several ATLAS social networking sites are accessible through links at the ATLAS Web site, which is located here, or by clicking on the icons below:
A Facebook page highlighting ATLAS events and student projects. Click on the icon to visit ATLAS on Facebook. Click on the "Like" icon on the Facebook page to stay in touch with ATLAS through Facebook.
A blog, written by ATLAS staff members, about ATLAS, its programs and technologies of interest. Click on the icon and follow ATLAS on blogger.
Twitter, which is highlighting ATLAS events, news and the creative works of ATLAS students. Click on the icon and follow ATLAS on Twitter.
YouTube, which features video of student projects, Center for Media, Arts and Performance events and presentations from the ATLAS Speaker Series. Click on the icon and subscribe to the ATLAS YouTube channel.
Flickr, featuring photos of ATLAS events, people and projects. Click on the icon and comment on ATLAS photos.
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Donate to ATLAS

The ATLAS Institute (The Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society), established in 1997 at CU-Boulder, is an innovative campus-wide initiative in education, research, creative work and outreach in which information and communication technology is the enabling force. ATLAS programs bring together students, educators, artists, writers, scholars and leaders from the academy, industry, non-profits and government to create a multidisciplinary environment that contributes to the understanding of the interaction of ICT and human society, and to the realization of the full potential of that interaction. More information about ATLAS and its initiatives can be found at

ATLAS programs:
- Technology, Media and Society Ph.D.
- Master of Science in Information and Communication Technology for Development
- Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) minor and certificate programs
- BDW advanced digital communications and design programs
- Center for Media, Arts and Performance
- K-12 outreach programs

The ATLAS Center for Media, Arts and Performance explores:
- How artists, scholars, technologists and content creators fully engage
with the richest, broadest set of present-day possibilities.
- How to discover the artistic and creative practices of the future.

The ATLAS Institute is affiliated with the University of Colorado Graduate School and the College of Engineering & Applied Science.

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