Brian MacMillan

07 Current Research

BM 07 Current Research

Current Research

In addition to the specific research projects listed below, I am actively working on what I call “real-time” research papers. The traditional means of publishing data involves discrete samples in static texts. My intention is to rethink this process in light of 21st Century technologies, specifically to create research projects that can be updated in real-time on web pages, including statistical analyses and the visualization of results. I am using the D3 javascript library, the statistical analysis package num-py and the web framework angular.js in this project.

Incidence of War Trauma in Survivors of Torture who have been Sexually Assaulted

I am working with Dr. Kristina Jones from Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, under the aegis of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, on research related to the incidence and intensity of post-traumatic stress disorder in torture survivors. Our work was presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual conference in spring 2015 and at the 10th Annual Research Symposium of the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs (sponsored by the State Department), on March 5, 2018. It is being prepared for immediate publication.

NGO Roots of the World Wide Web. The traditional narrative about the formation of the World Wide Web focuses on the enhancement of a university-based US military research network by HTML enabled graphical browsers and commercial email, in the early 1990s. While this narrative explains the spread of the Internet within American, British and Canadian academia, it does not explain the spread of the Internet to much of the rest of the world. This essay looks at the considerable technological impact that the 1992 Rio UN Conference on Climate Change had on the spread of Internet technologies to developing nations (particularly Brazil), focusing specifically on the work of NGOs like Web Networks, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), and the Tides Foundation.

Public Goods Game Between 2015 and 2017 I worked with Julian Wills at New York University Department of Psychology on research related to selfishness and altruism. I have written a web-based game that employs a node.js and the jQuery mobile responsive design library. The goal of this tool is to examine factors influencing group-oriented and selfish behavior. One of our most interesting experiments measured the impact of testosterone levels on game outcomes, conducted at the Neuro Leadership Conference in November 2016. Provisional results suggests a correlation between testosterone levels and selfish behavior, but are not conclusive. My collaborator in this project, Julian Wills, has been recruited by Facebook, in part because of this research. This project is in abeyance pending additional funding.

Techniques for the Creation of Cubist Dance Video. This essay, the documentation of my digital media Master’s thesis project at NYU, is a playbook of tools that videographers/editors can use to create cubist video. I focus on the use of buffering and frame subtraction to simultaneously create multiple perspectives on an event, and to compress sequences of actions into one image.

Negation: The Concept of Negative in Art, Logic, Mathematics, Philosophy and Science. This paper analyzes the concept of “negative” from a multidisciplinary (visual art/language philosophy) perspective.

Rethinking Heidegger’s Phenomenological Web. This essay uses a pun on Heidegger’s famous notion of the phenomenological web as a starting point for a discussion about how virtual and trans-human technologies are fundamentally altering the nature of human reality.

In addition to these specific projects, I have a passionate interest in epistemology, particularly as it relates statistical analysis. My current area of reflection is the relationship between deductive and inductive inference, particularly as they relate to the issues of evidence, proof and meaning.

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