The ATLAS Speaker Series

The ATLAS Speaker Series hosts distinguished visitors from academia, industry and the arts.
The series is an educational and experiential resource for students, faculty and the larger community
to discuss the challenges, opportunities and innovative applications of technology.

Unless otherwise noted, talks are from 4-5 p.m., Mondays in ATLAS 100, Cofrin Auditorium,
ground floor; enter from lobby. See map of campus with the Roser ATLAS building.

Sneak Peek! Great things are coming to ATLAS in 2015.
(Additional details to follow soon.)

The Launch of New Social Network Ello
- Entrepreneurs Paul Budnitz, Todd Berger and
  Lucian Fohr will talk about the recent launch of Ello.
  4 p.m. Monday, January 26.

Entrepreneurs Unplugged features
Lucy Sanders, Co-Founder and CEO of NCWIT

- Silicon Flatirons and ATLAS will co-host Entrepreneurs Unplugged
  featuring Lucy Sanders, CEO of the National Center for Women and
  Information Technology (NCWIT).
  6 p.m. Wednesday, January 28

Advancing Communities with Technology
- Technologist Wayan Vota will discuss issues related to international
  development (ICTD) and advancing global communities.
  4 p.m. Monday, February 9

Technology and the Photographic Image
- Photojournalist and ATLAS Ph.D. student Kevin Moloney will talk
  about how advances in technology have changed the concept of the
  photographic image.
  4 p.m. Monday, February 23

Game Design and Development
- Megan Fox, programmer and CEO of Glass Bottom Games,
  will discuss game design and development.
  4 p.m. Monday, March 2

Innovation and Crowdsourcing
- Creative visionary John Winsor will lead a conversation about
  collaboration, open innovation and crowdsourcing.
  4 p.m. Wednesday, March 4

Art, Technology and Social Interaction
- Artist Addie Wagenknecht will talk about the interplay between
  technology and social interaction.
  4 p.m. Monday, April 6

Our Deeper Relationship with Electronic Technology
- Intel’s Genevieve Bell will take a deeper look into our
  experiences and interactions with technology and electronics.
  4 p.m. Monday, April 20


Past events


Revi Sterling
ICTD: How technology is changing humanitarian work


See a video of this talk.

Learn about the tremendous changes, opportunities and trends in
Information and Communication Technology for Development (MS-ICTD).

• Which development efforts show the most promise for changing lives and livelihoods?
• What communities, groups or regions are still missing out on the benefits of technology?
• Where are we making progress to address these gaps?

The speaker, Revi Sterling, is the founding director of the ATLAS practitioner-based
ICTD track, the only program of its kind in the United States.

Previously, Sterling served as a software engineer and program manager at Microsoft,
where she also spearheaded the corporation’s efforts in gender equity in computing.
She currently works with graduate students on field projects in Africa, India, South
America and the United States.

Sterling is the distinguished recipient of the national 2012 Anita Borg Women of Vision
ABIE Award for Social Impact.

4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, ATLAS 100
Following the talk, attend a reception celebrating the 5th anniversary of the ATLAS Master’s Program and the ICTD track.


Wendy DuBow
Really, Why Are There Fewer Women in Tech?
Mythbusting and How to Shift the Status Quo

Brian Baker

Look around your computing and engineering classes, your hi-tech startups and your tech departments. Chances are you will see very few women.

Wendy DuBow will share why many common explanations for the lack of women in techology are not true. Learn what research points to as key factors. Get a deeper understanding of the societal forces at work, information to dispel common myths, plus techniques you can use to help shift the status quo.

DuBow is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Women & Technology, Their gender diversity efforts help increase the participation of girls and women in computing.
4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, ATLAS 100

ATLAS Conversations:

Education, Innovation & Technology

Explore the issues, hurdles and opportunities of technology, education and the digital age. The panel will feature graduate students from the ATLAS Technology, Media and Society Ph.D. program and will be moderated by Mark D. Gross, Director of the ATLAS Institute.
4-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, ATLAS 100, Cofrin Auditorium

The ATLAS Ph.D. student panelists include:
Katherine Goodman
focuses on STEM learning to improve
students’ creative problem-solving skills.
Kevin Moloney
researches media ecology, networked narrative
and transmedia storytelling in journalism.
Zack Jacobson-Weaver
investigates Hacker culture as
a public education model.
Jackie Cameron
explores novel uses of technology to engage
students in democratic, creative practices.


Documentary Film Screening:
The Internet’s Own Boy
with Reception and Panel Discussion

See the story of the life and tragic death of Aaron Swartz, internet prodigy/activist

Panel Discussion on Civil Liberties, Open Source Software and Technology with Panelists:
- Alicia Gibb, Executive Director, Open Source Hardware
  Association and CU ATLAS Instructor
- Paul Ohm, CU Law, Associate Dean for
  Academic Affairs
- Blake Reid, CU Law Professor
- Michael Skirpan, CU Ph.D. Student, Computer Science

Aaron Swartz, programming prodigy, helped create the Web feed format RSS, technology that helps make Web content freely available.

In 2011, he was prosecuted for cyber-crimes – accused of illegally downloading literary and scientific journals at M.I.T. In 2013, at the age of 26, Aaron Swartz committed suicide.

In the wake of his death, questions arise. To what extent shall we have unrestricted access to the Internet? How shall the law protect us online? When is a prosecution overreaching?

See an interview with the film’s director, Brian Knappenberger. Read about computer crime law reform.

Free and open to the public. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended.
RSVP: Co-sponsors: ATLAS Institute, Silicon Flatirons Student Group and the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law and Policy Clinic (TLPC); photo credit: Sage Ross, license: CC BY-SA 2.0

5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, ATLAS 100, Cofrin Auditorium, first floor

  • Film Screening 5-6:45 p.m.
  • Reception 6:45-7:15 p.m.
  • Panel Discussion 7:15-8 p.m.


Brian Baker
Experience Design (UX): How do we build what people love?

Brian Baker

When designing or building a new product, how deeply do you consider the behaviors of your user?
What emotions do they experience when holding your product? How do we build in more of what users and customers love? That’s what experience design (UX) is about: creating what people love.

Brian Baker began his career leading the number-one usability firm in San Francisco in the 1990’s.
Today, he serves as the Managing Partner of the experience design and product development
company First User Group in Boulder.
4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, ATLAS 100

Jed Paulson
How User Generated Content (UGC) can Drive Sales and Build Strong Brands

Brian Baker

Explore the creative, effective use of UGC in a top retailer’s eCommerce marketing strategy.

Launched in 2013, Free People’s fully shoppable iOS mobile app includes a program called FP Me, a social network that allows customers to share inspiration and styling photos, view an Instagram-like gallery and interact in numerous ways. Jed Paulson will discuss the role of the app in launching a social engagement program, as well as the effects of the FP Me program on the brand and its customers.

Paulson is a CU alum and Director of Marketing & eCommerce for Free People, a women’s specialty apparel and accessories retailer within the Urban Outfitters Inc. portfolio. He joined Free People in 2010 and previously held technology and marketing leadership roles at eBay and Accenture.
4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, ATLAS 100

Fall 2014 Schedule

Michele Weslander-Quaid
Google: Creating a Culture of Innovation

Michele Weslander-Quaid

How do we create environments that encourage creativity and innovation?

Michele Weslander-Quaid will discuss Google’s culture of innovation and creativity as well as the successful approaches to complex issues that come when work environments encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary teams. She will share insights and recommendations drawing from more than 20 years of leading change and innovation in both industry and government.

Weslander-Quaid is Google’s Chief Technology Officer (Public Sector) and Innovation Evangelist. Before joining Google, her work included 10 years in industry as an image scientist and chief engineer. She also served in the U.S. government in various leadership roles. Read more of her bio and an Entrepreneur Magazine article that discusses her accomplishments.
4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, ATLAS 100

ATLAS Speaker Series

Computational Thinking and Thinking about Computing

Jeannette M. Wing is corporate vice president at Microsoft Research. She has been on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University since 1985, where she twice served as head of the Computer Science Department.
She was the assistant director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation.
Wing received her SB, SM and PhD degrees from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology.
4-5 p.m. Thursday, April 17, downstairs ATLAS Black Box theater, lowest basement level, B2

ATLAS Speaker Series

Ruth West – The Integration of Art & Science

Ruth West

Ruth West is an interdisciplinary media artist/researcher working with emerging technologies. She 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, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the American Journal of Human Genetics, Genomics, Leonardo, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, NPR’s The Connection, NY Times, Genome News Network, AMINIMA and Artweek. Learn more about Ruth West.

4 p.m. Monday, April 14, ATLAS 100

ATLAS Speaker Series

Drones, War & Privacy

presented by photographer Tomas van Houtryve and Harper’s Magazine art director Stacey D. Clarkson

photos of photojournalist Tomas van Houtryve and Harper's art director Stacey D. ClarksonIn the words of the Harper’s magazine art director Stacey D. Clarkson (also a CU alumna):
“Tomas’ photo essay is 16 pages long—the longest in our history—and explores questions of domestic and foreign drone policy in an elegant and creative way. photo taken by a drone of a baseball field by van Houtryve
Tomas made the work by attaching his camera to a drone he bought on Amazon and photographing landscapes across the US. As he explains, the technology for drone photography is ahead of the laws on it….so he has created this work in a moment when laws about drone usage are being drafted. The project is timely and forward-thinking.”
A text portion of the Harper’s Magazine article is available here.
4:15 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 7, ATLAS 100

ATLAS Speaker Series

Ann Mei Chang – Information Communications Technology for Development: Oasis or Mirage?

Ann Mei ChangAnn Mei Chang, an eight-year senior engineering veteran of Google, spoke on information communications technology for development (ICT4D): policy, practice, and practicalities, during an ATLAS Speaker Series presentation on March 31. As chief innovation officer at Mercy Corps, she builds highly scalable social enterprises and leverages mobile/internet to improve the lives of the poor. Previously, at the U.S. Department of State, she served as the senior advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
There, she helped bridge the gender gap in access to mobile phones and the Internet, leveraging technology in improving the lives of female populations in developing countries and increasing the representation of women in the technology sector. At Google, she oversaw 20x growth of Google’s mobile business in just three years, delivering over $1B in annualized revenues.
For a video of her presentation, click here.


ATLAS Speaker Series

Jer Thorp – Making Data Beautifully Meaningful

Jer Thorp 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. How do we dig through our increasingly vast terrain of data? How do we put data in a human context? How can data build empathy?

He is the co-founder of the Office for Creative Research and an adjunct professor at New York University’s ITP program.

From 2010 to 2012, he was the data artist in residence at the New York Times R&D Group. Learn more.
4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, ATLAS 100
For a video of his presentation, click here.