The interdisciplinary ATLAS PhD program in Technology, Media and Society attracts highly motivated inventors and investigators whose interests at the intersections of technology, media and society are not met by traditional disciplinary PhD programs. Students have come from all fields, including electrical engineering, landscape architecture, journalism, music, computer science, art history, physics, and library science. The ATLAS PhD program is research based: over the course of study each student must pass a qualifying examination, propose a field of study and carry out a research project, and defend the resulting dissertation.
Students in the PhD program select an advisory committee from among the university faculty, chaired by an ATLAS faculty member or faculty fellow. Students work with their committees to design a program of study appropriate to their research interests. The program has no specific required courses other than a seminar each semester that brings together all PhD students, and a requirement that each student learn the methods of investigation needed to conduct their research. This varies; for example, students working in human-computer interaction may need qualitative and quantitative methods, whereas students working on robotics hardware and software will need more engineering-oriented methods.
The program emphasizes out-of-the-box invention and radical investigation. We are looking for people who want to improve the world through technology, who aren’t afraid to think beyond conventional wisdom, and who have or are prepared to gain the technical expertise to carry out their vision.