Building the State-of-the-Art Atlas Lab

Social media is a primary channel for our civic and commercial dialogue, and a powerful communications platform in advertising, news, and public relations. To prepare students to succeed in that environment, the College of Journalism and Communications (CJC) has created the Atlas Lab to focus on better understanding this important field.

“Lon Vance and the A/V Design and Installations group brought our vision for the lab to life,” said Janet Coats, managing director of CJC’s Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology. “Lon helped us understand how the technology could be shaped to meet our needs, then helped us learn how to use it. Working with the UFIT team was a model of effective collaboration.”

The Atlas Lab is powered by sophisticated, AI-driven social media analysis tools. The technologies in the Lab provide students with real-world experience in data analytics, and researchers with a treasure trove of data to develop new insights for industry. To bring the data to life, students access dashboards with visualizations of how conversations are evolving and moving in real-time and customized to show many different views simultaneously. UFIT created a monitor wall (pictured) to surround students with a dynamic presentation of the data they are examining. The 46 monitors can be configured to show data dashboards, live television, and faculty presentations to create a fully immersive experience. Anyone with questions about the Atlas Lab is welcome to email Professor Coats.