Undergraduate Programs in Technology, Arts and Media
The ever-expanding landscape of the networked age requires new and adaptable skill-sets, within both academic and commercial paradigms.
In order to address this need, the Technology, Arts and Media Program offers two undergraduate programs: a minor in Technology, Arts and Media (MTAM) and a smaller Certificate in Digital Media (CDM).
The minor, which requires a minimum of 21 credits, is intended for students who wish to pursue careers and research related to digital media. The certificate, which requires a minimum of 9 credits, is intended for students who are interested in the fundamentals of digital media production.
The programs are open to students from every school and department on campus.
Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program
The ATLAS interdisciplinary Ph.D. program was developed in response to the profound impact of the convergence of information and communication technology that has created what is called the "networked information age." This convergence is already having a fundamental set of impacts on our nation and world:
• It is the major driver behind the wave of globalization, outsourcing and off-shoring that is leading to a large and lasting transformation of the global economy.
• It is changing the nature of governmental and political control of societies by making it increasingly possible for people in all parts of the world to have access to a wide spectrum of communications and information.
• It is having profound impacts on national and global security, and on the privacy of individuals.
• It is redefining the media and entertainment industries in terms of content and delivery, and having a significant impact on literature and the arts.
• It is changing the nature and patterns of human interaction at the family level and beyond.
• It is impacting attention spans and learning modes, fundamentally affecting the design and delivery of education.
The ATLAS interdisciplinary Ph.D. program facilitates truly interdisciplinary coursework and research. The common thread of this research is that information and communication technology is the enabling force. Students admitted to the program are self-directed, highly motivated students who enter the program having demonstrated high achievement and a strong understanding of the interdisciplinary education and research that they wish to pursue. Examples of the areas in which students may seek to study and conduct research include ICT4D, crisis informatics, the use of ICT to enhance learning, business and economic models for the digital economy, globalization and the networked information age, how ICT influences journalism and newsgathering, aspects of gender in the context of women and video/computer gaming culture, and the relationship between children and video art and media.
Each Ph.D. degree plan is structured to include a unique mix of foundational courses in technology, social sciences and digital media. In addition, each student is required to take at least one qualitative and one quantitative methods course. Each student is required to take the ATLAS Ph.D. Seminar. The Fall 2007 Seminar focused on the Mobile Society and included discussions on how ICT is changing our daily lives, investment of venture capital in mobile technology and consideration of spectrum allocation and policy issues, including the use of metaphor in explaining spectrum. The Spring 2008 Ph.D. Seminar focused on Information and Communications Technology for Development.
Master of Science in Information and Communication Technology for Development (MS-ICTD)
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. Students are trained to address issues of access, social equity, sustainability, appropriate design and distribution.
The two-year program includes three semesters in residence and a one-semester practicum, that is, an internship or service project with a company engaged in ICTD efforts. Organizations participating in the practicum may be public or private sector, international development agencies, foundations and/or non-governmental organizations.
BDW (formerly known as Boulder Digital Works) is a post-digital studio within the ATLAS Institute. It offers multi-disciplinary, project-based graduate programs designed to provide skills needed by employees and entrepreneurs 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 Professional Studies, and Toronto-based MDC Partners, which is the parent company of Boulder advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
BDW became a part of ATLAS in January 2011.
Faculty for BDW not only comes from ATLAS, but also engineering, advertising and other CU programs, and from leading digital companies.
David Slayden, an 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.
More information about BDW and its programs is at http://bdw.colorado.edu.
Center for Media, Arts & Performance
The ATLAS Center for Media, Arts and Performance synergizes artists, technology and society through the use of the center's state-of-the-art multi-dimensional tools and spaces for performance, production, recording and broadcast.
Interdisciplinary students, faculty and artists explore questions requiring more than one discipline to investigate and present their work through live and digital spaces.
Hands-on experience moves participants through an experimental environment and beyond the classroom to benefit from and join real-world experiences.
Digital CUrrents is a three-week technology intensive summer workshop for high school and middle school students who are largely from underrepresented minority groups.
Students learn a variety of computer programs and programming skills to create and manipulate digital content to complete a final project that showcases their creative and technical talents.
Workshop participants also visit with guest speakers about career opportunities in technology-related fields and enjoy field trips to local technology-focused businesses.
Since its inception in 2002, this program, which is sponsored by the ATLAS Institute in partnership with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), has successfully engaged minority and female high school and middle school students in the use of current information and communication technology (ICT), and introduced them to ICT-related programs of study where both women and minorities are considerably underrepresented.
More information about Digital CUrrents is at http://atlas.colorado.edu/digitalcurrents/.
Assessment & Research Center
The ATLAS Assessment & Research Center is at the forefront nationally of researching technology pipeline issues, gender and information technology issues, and the effectiveness of technology curricula at all educational levels. The Center supports the development and implementation of education technologies and conducts research and assessment to increase the participation of women and minorities in professional information technology careers.
Examples of the Center's projects include:
• In partnership with the Center for Human Simulation at the CU Health Sciences Center, the Assessment and Research Center evaluated the Dissector Tool based on the Visible Human Data Project. The tool allows students unlimited access to a virtual cadaver (see virtual knee photo above).
• A National Science Foundation (NSF) grant partnering with the Denver Public School's Computer Magnet Program to help understand how to increase the number of women in technology professions.
• Assessing student outcomes for SENCER, an NSF-sponsored program using civic engagement to increase the interest and learning in undergraduate science at over 300 U.S. universities.
• Evaluation of using teleconferencing as well as Web-based mathematics modules between classes at CU-Boulder and Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
• Assessing the value of the Digital Library for Earth Systems Education for educators.
National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)
The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), a national non-profit organization headquartered within ATLAS, was created to ensure that women are fully represented in the influential world of information technology and computing. The center's mission encompasses K-12, higher education, the workforce and entrepreneurship and includes a broad national coalition of partners from all these sectors. The mission of the National Center for Women and Information Technology is to ensure that women are fully represented in the influential world of information technology and computing.
NCWIT's overarching goal is parity in the professional information technology (IT) workforce, and our fundamental strategy is to educate, disseminate and advocate a national, multi-year implementation plan that generates tangible progress within 20 years.
More information about NCWIT can be found at http://www.ncwit.org.
The programmatic efforts of the ATLAS Institute are homed in a 66,000-square foot, $31-million building that opened in 2006. The ATLAS building incorporates:
• Technology-enhanced, active-learning classrooms including a 150-seat, distance-learning equipped auditorium, a 75-seat film screening room, small and large classrooms, a design cluster for multimedia project courses, student design spaces, a student commons and shared computer editing and graphics facilities.
• Performance and production studios that support multidisciplinary teaching, creative work and performing arts, including a broadcast and recording studio featuring state-of-the-art equipment, a Black Box performance space with sprung wood floor.
• Student and faculty clusters that house multidisciplinary educational and research endeavors.
• A lobby video wall that showcases student work.
ATLAS is structured to provide on-going leadership to help develop and incubate new multidisciplinary curricular, research and outreach programs involving information technology, in a manner that assures programmatic agility, risk-taking and innovation.
Organizationally, ATLAS is led by a faculty director and the ATLAS Institute 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.