TAM Faculty

Matthew Bethancourt, Director
Senior Instructor

ATLAS Building, Room 231D
Office Hours: Tuesdays 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., and by appointment

Matthew Bethancourt is an educator, composer, musician and interactive designer. His current work focuses on novel interfaces for games and interactive experiences. Past work has touched on nostalgia, data sonification, collaborative frameworks and innovative gestural controllers.

He has taught courses in audio production, sound synthesis, sound design, game design and development, web design, physical computing, and installation/performance with Max/MSP, and is currently an the Director of the Technology, Arts and Media program at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

He earned his MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons the New School for Design.

Annie Bruns, Instructor

E-mail: Annie.Bruns@Colorado.EDU
Office Hours: 10-11am on Wednesdays. Drop-in meditation hours 1:00-1:50 on Tues/Thurs.

Annie Bruns is an educator, researcher and human motivated by questions at the intersection of technology, storytelling, emotions and education. Her research seeks to combine technology and storytelling to investigate 1) how specific emotions (i.e. wonder, awe, empathy) influence learning and memory in the science education classroom and 2) what technological tools educators can utilize to most effectively elicit these specific emotions and positively influence student outcomes and attitudes toward science education. Through teaching she hopes to empower the next generation of makers to design and create empathically. She earned her doctorate in Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences from Northwestern University in 2014, where she enjoyed classical wet lab molecular biology and also participated in and founded new programs for science communication and storytelling.

Carson Bruns, Assistant Professor

ATLAS Building, Room 225B
Office Hours: Mondays 3:00-4:00 p.m. & Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Carson Bruns grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Loveland, Colorado and got his PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2013 from Northwestern University. His research interests span organic, inorganic, polymer, and biochemistry, as well as materials science and engineering. The formats he uses for his artwork embrace digital / computer art,illustration, painting, photography, and body art.

Chris Carruth, Instructor

Linked In profile E-mail:
ATLAS Building, Room 231C
Office Hours: Tuesdays 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Christopher M Carruth is an educator and artist who works with critical theory, photography, and the poetics of technology to not only study expression but empowerment through expression. He draws from a rich and eclectic background in emerging technologies, critical media studies, international development, editorial journalism, and visual art, combining these disciplines in both the classroom.

The focus of his courses range from theory to technique, including critical perspectives, imagery, and writing. He holds a B.S. in Information Systems from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where upon graduation, he spent 4 years working as the Director of IT in the College of Business. He graduated from the ATLAS with an interdisciplinary degree in the Spring of 2013 and has been instructing since.

Laura Devendorf, Assistant Professor

Unstable Design Lab, ATLAS Building, 207

Laura explores relationships with technology and the poetics of technology that doesn’t quite work. She designs, develops, and studies interactive systems that leave room for the user to be challenged in order to provoke curiosity and enchantment with the everyday. She has undergraduate degrees in Studio Art and Computer Science from UC Santa Barbara and continues to practice art in parallel with academic research. Laura’s research lab at ATLAS is the Unstable Design Lab in ATLAS 207.

Ellen Yi-Luen Do, Professor

ATLAS Building, Room 207

Ellen Do is interested in design cognition and the methods and processes in which people engage in design. She has conducted empirical studies of design drawing and constructed computer software to integrate knowledge based applications with freehand drawing. Ellen is a member of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) and the AIA (American Institute of Architects).

She received her Ph.D. in design computing from Georgia Tech.

Ian Hales, Instructor

ATLAS Building, Room 231C
Office Hours: Fridays 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Ian Hales has been an ATLAS faculty member since the late Jurassic period of 2004. He earned his bachelor's degree in studio arts from the University of Colorado Boulder, with an emphasis in digital media, and his master's degree in advertising management, from the University of Denver, with an emphasis in digital marketing. Ian has taught a wide range of courses over the years but focuses in areas of 2D animation and motion graphics, web development, live-streaming production and social media community management. In addition, Ian also currently serves as the faculty advisor for CU Boulder's eSports Club and Game Development Clubs and also oversees the administrative duties of ATLAS's Mixed Reality Lab. Ian lives in Golden, Colorado with his wife, daughter, son and shiba inu pupper. When he's not teaching classes or braving the treacherous roads between Boulder and Golden, he enjoys playing video games, gardening, homebrewing and spending time with his family.

Arielle Hein, Instructor

Linked In profile E-mail:
ENVD 234
Office Hours: Monday 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. & by appointment (Sign up here)

Arielle Hein is an artist and technologist whose work explores the imaginative use of emerging technologies and spans the fields of physical computing, interaction design and conceptual art. As an educator, Arielle is passionate about empowering students through the exploration of interactive systems and the use of digital tools, as well as creating collaborative learning environments that encourage diversity and accessibility in technology.

Arielle earned her Master’s degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in 2015. At CU, she teaches courses in physical computing, digital fabrication, web development and interaction design.

Kevin Hoth, Instructor

ATLAS Building, Room 1B27
Office Hours: By appointment

Kevin Hoth is an artist working primarily in photography and video. He received his MFA in Photography at the University of Washington, Seattle. He teaches courses on image breaking through physical and digital processes so that students might appreciate the malleability of the digital image as the primary visual information currency of our time. In past lives he has been a VJ collaborating with modern dance companies, worked for as a graphic designer, done comedic solo performances about small personal tragedies, and has made an interactive garment way back in 2005. His work deals with vantage point and how multiple spaces can be joined into one compressed frame. He has shown his work in over eighty exhibitions nationally and internationally and is represented by Walker Fine Art in Denver, CO. His work can be seen online at

M.F.A., University of Washington at Seattle, 1999
B.S.., University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1994

Daniel Leithinger, Assistant Professor

ATLAS Building, Room 207C

Daniel Leithinger creates shape-changing human computer interfaces that push digital information past the boundaries of flat displays, and into the real world. Motivated by the belief that computers must embrace the dexterity and expressiveness of the human body, his interfaces allow users to touch, grasp and deform data physically. Daniel received his PhD at the MIT Media Lab in 2015. His academic publications have been published at ACM UIST, TEI and CHI conferences, and he has received design awards from Fast Company, Red Dot and IDEA. Projects like "inFORM" have been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Ars Electronica Museum, and the Milan Design Week.

For more information about Daniel Leithinger's Past work with the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media lab, visit his MIT Media Lab page.

Aileen Pierce, Associate Director
Senior Instructor

Linked In profile E-mail:
ATLAS Building, Room 231D
Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Aileen Jaitin Pierce has been an instructor for the Technology, Arts, and Media program at the University of Colorado at Boulder since 2004. Aileen teaches courses focusing on the intersection of technology and society, as well as the integration of programming into new media. Aileen holds a B.S. in Math/Computer Science from Carnegie-Mellon University. She spent nine years in Silicon Valley working at Oracle and two startups in product marketing and technical support before moving to Boulder.

David Schaal, Lead Multimedia Instructor

ATLAS Building, Room 231C
Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

David Schaal is a digital artist showing work nationally and internationally and is currently the lead instructor for the TAM program. He received a BFA in Fine Art, a BA in Psychology, and an MFA in Integrated Art. He has developed and taught Technology Arts Media courses since the founding in 1998 as the first faculty hire in ATLAS. He is interested in all aspects of digital culture and media theory. He also serves on the steering committee for ASSETT, education director for the Communikey Festival of Electronic Arts, and as a board member for ICAS (International Cities for Advanced Sound).

Ben Shapiro, Assistant Professor

ATLAS Building, Room 219
Office Hours: By appointment

Ben investigates how to create learning environments that empower all youth to learn, express themselves, and improve their communities through playful, collaborative use of programmable technologies. Northwestern University Ph.D. 2009.

Joel Swanson, Assistant Professor

Linked In profile E-mail:
Office Phone: 303.735.2933
ATLAS Building, Room 101
Office Hours: By appointment

Joel Swanson is an artist and writer in Denver CO. He teaches courses on digital art, media theory, and the history of design. He received his MFA in digital art at the University of California, San Diego. His art work is motivated by literary theory and exists as a series of installations, both real and virtual, that explore the nature of language and its embodiment. Swanson's work has been shown in various national and international venues. His work can be seen online at

Research and teaching interests: digital art, digital media theory, design, typography.

M.F.A., University of California at San Diego, 2005
B.F.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2002

Dan Szafir, Assistant Professor

ATLAS Building, Room 217

Dan's work focuses on human-robot interaction (HRI) and human-computer interaction (HCI). He studies the design and use of robots and related novel technologies, including brain-computer interfaces and virtual reality, with the goal of improving usability and outcomes such as learning and collaboration. University of Wisconsin, Ph.D. 2015.

TAM Staff

Dave Kalahar, Logistics Coordinator and Assistant Advisor

ATLAS Building, Room 231

Dave Kalahar is the former Academic Advisor for the TAM Program and now serves as the Logistics Coordinator for the program, creating teaching schedules, adding courses onto the University system, and occasionally registering students for ATLAS classes. Dave also coordinates the ATLAS Registration Open House, Graduation Receptions, TAM @ the Movies, and schedules campus courses into the ATLAS classrooms. Dave has been employed at the University of Colorado, Boulder since 1983. Prior to coming to ATLAS, Dave was the undergraduate academic advisor in Aerospace Engineering Sciences for 14 years. In that time, he was the recipient of Outstanding Advisor awards from both the University of Colorado at Boulder and the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and garnered additional advising accolades from the Minority Engineering Program, Athletics Department, and Air Force ROTC.

Marisa Reynolds, Program Advisor

ATLAS Building, Room 231A

Marisa worked as a career counselor at CU-Boulder’s Career Services Dept. and served as an academic advisor at the Leeds School of Business before transitioning to ATLAS. She loves being an advisor and enjoys serving as a resource and sounding board for students as they make decisions related to their major and career aspirations.

Marisa was born in Michigan but moved to beautiful Manitou Springs, CO when she was a teen. She graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor Degree in Communication and received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Regis University.