With a nod to the success of Atlas online, the Atlas Service Center opened on March 13, on the first level of Building E17. The center provides a single location where community members can receive in-person assistance with an array of services.
The center provides services previously offered in the basement of the Stratton Student Center (Building W20), along with services from elsewhere on campus.
Offerings at the new center include:
- ID cards and passport photos
- Commuting benefits (T-pass, parking, and other options)
- I-9 employment eligibility verification
- Tax treaty guidance
- IT walk-in center and computer repair services
- Background checks and finger printing
- New employee orientation (coming later this spring)
Center staff will also be able to provide information about other Institute services, such as benefits (HR), community wellness (MIT Medical), MIT recreation (DAPER), and activities (MITAC).
Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz is the center’s sponsor. “Many people came together to help realize the vision of providing services attuned to community member needs without regard to departmental lines. I especially want to thank the center manager Kathleen Flynn and the entire team led by Robin Elices for their extraordinary efforts,” says Ruiz. “The center really captures a sense of MITness, of playfulness, of building things, of discovery, and of community. It will be a great introductory experience for new employees and students who come to MIT.”
Federico Casalegno, associate professor of the practice and director of the MIT Design Lab (previously the Mobile Experience Lab) became involved in the design of Atlas Service Center project a couple of years ago. The lab works on projects that connect people, information, and places in meaningful ways, and helped the Atlas team create the integrated service experience offered through the center.
“Developing the Atlas Service Center for MIT required the team to entirely rethink the way institutions provide high-quality services in the 21st century,” notes Casalegno. “The center combines innovative digital technologies and architectural design to deliver the highest standard of service to the MIT community. It provides an easy way to access information about MIT, connect our community, and understand the vibrant activities happening on campus and beyond. Our goal, ultimately, was to design a space to better serve the MIT community.”
Celebrate the opening
The Atlas Service Center is hosting an open house for the MIT community on Tuesday, April 4 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Community members are invited to visit the new center for refreshments and check out two of the center’s features: a 3-D campus map, which reflects MIT’s maker culture, and an interactive community wall, which represents the spirit of one MIT.
The first theme for the wall is “Our global community, make your mark.” The wall displays an abstract map of the world to which visitors to the center can affix comments.
The 3-D campus map, created by the MIT Design Lab, combines physical touch with digital media to help users navigate MIT. They can tap a building to check out events or get directions, which they can take with them through a mobile handoff. They can locate interesting art pieces on campus or the shortest route to a shuttle stop. There’s also easy access to information about research, classes, and people on campus.
According to Casalegno, “We were interested in opening up access and visualizing campus data by means of our tangible map project, which allows students and visitors to intuitively access all sorts of information and event data through a digital sculptural interface.”
In touch with Atlas
Users will notice a new Atlas logo, both at the center and online. The unfolding “A” represents the sense of discovery that permeates MIT’s culture of curiosity, and of pushing boundaries to uncover new ideas.
The center will showcase the work of Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Erik Demaine and his father Martin Demaine. Professor Demaine tackles computational problems related to folding and bending, and his father is an artist in residence and technical instructor in MIT’s Glass Lab. Together they explore connections between mathematics and art.
The Atlas Service Center is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Atlas Service Center manager Kathleen Flynn is available to answer questions. Center staff can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 253-3000.