Brian MacMillan

03 Work Experience

BM Work Experience

03 Work Experience

Consultant, Program for Survivors of Torture, 2013 – present. I manage a database management system used for data collection and analysis of information related to refugees who are victims of torture. My work includes foundation reporting; the analysis of clinical data related to the treatment of post-traumatic stress and depression; medical billing; and general assistance to the Director of Operations.

Lecturer BMCC/CUNY 2017 I taught MMP350, an advanced programming class featuring Bootstrap, php, WordPress, and design concepts.

Researcher Rap Almanac May 2015 – January 2018 I helped to create and manage a data management system that uses various language libraries to perform semantic analyses on rap and hip hop lyrics. Technologies employed include Django, java and php; the Alchemy language analysis library, and Docker. The database management system used is MySql. The main table of the database has over 350,000 rows of data.

Guest Lecture, Sarah Lawrence College Fall 2015. At Sarah Lawrence I taught the Innovation Lab, an inter-disciplinary class that focused on the application of technology to human rights issues, from both a clinical and advocacy perspective. The goal of the class was to expose non-technical students to a range of technologies, including mapping, databases, data visualization, web development and social media. Student projects that I closely supervised/mentored include an animation for an animal rescue shelter, a social media campaign about sexual assault, a web-based psychology research project, several interactive maps and visualizations using the D3 and ThreeJS video libraries. The class website is here:

Innovation Lab Home Page

Adjunct Professor, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University, Integrated Digital Media Program, 2013 – 2015. At IDM I taught the master’s Thesis class; the capstone class for undergraduate studies for students in Sustainable Urban Environments program; the Senior Project class in Integrated Digital Media; and the Graduate Colloquium class.

Thesis advisor, Tandon of Engineering at New York University, Integrated Digital Media Program, 2012 – 2015. I supervised 12 master’s thesis projects, including work on the visualization and auralization of brainwave readings using the MUSE portable EEG; visualization of transit and demographic information using Google maps and the D3 data visualization library; an animation of a student’s memories of traditional Beijing; a game designed to teach Chinese ideograms to native English speakers, a haptic control device for a miniature camera; and an animation/promotional video for Taiwanese tourism.

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07 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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06 Technical Skills

Databases Oracle, Sybase SQL Server, MS SQL Server, MS SQL server, DB2, MS Access, Foxpro, dBase. I have also assisted students with Postgres and MongoDB.

Mapping Arc GIS and Google Maps

ETL Informatica

Content Management Systems Documentum, Sharepoint, WordPress, Ghost

Operating Systems Linux, Solaris, Windows 2000 and 2003 servers, OS/400, XP, NT, Vista, OS-X, Ubuntu

Trading Platforms, BART/Tram, Clearvision, CLS

Programming Languages Perl, SQL, Javascript, Java, Pascal, CGI, PHP, Foxbase, dbase III-VI, Lua, Processing, Python, Visual Basic, C#. I have managed projects which used C++ and Open Frameworks.

Frameworks and Web Libraries: Struts, Ruby on Rails, Drupal, Angular JS, jQuery, jQuery UI. As a teacher I have helped students debug many others.

Web servers: Weblogic, Apache, Websphere, IIE

Communication Protocols/Messaging Technologies MQ, Tibco, XML, FXML, OSC, ODBC, JDBC.

Graphics Applications Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design, After Effects, Corel Paint, Corel Draw, Quark Express, Flash, Max / MSP, GIMP, Ventura Publisher, Pure Data

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02 Academic Awards

Graduate Center Scholarship Award, Polytechnic Institute, NYU, 2007, 2008

William Dunlop Modern History Prize, University of Toronto,1984

James Henderson English/History Award, University of Toronto, 1981

Bronze Shield for scholastic and extracurricular activities, 1980

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09 Media Appearances

Time Magazine Canada, “The New Nomads”, Cover story on the migration of Canadian   technologists to America, June 28, 1999

Debater on the Public Broadcasting Service, representing Canada in a Canada-US College debate   on capital punishment, 1986

Debater, The Great Debate, TV Ontario, fall 1979

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08 Non-Refereed Publications

I was hired by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies to produce 20 research reports on all areas of research at Ontario’s Universities. This project had a profound impact on the scope of my knowledge.

The Flow Through Hypothesis, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on Computer Science, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on Computer Science, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on Electrical Engineering, OCGS, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on Economics, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on Business and Management, OCGS, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on Geology, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on Mathematics, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on English, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1990
Discipline Report on Comparative Literature, OCGS, Toronto: 1989
Discipline Report on English, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1989
Discipline Report on Modern Languages, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1989
Discipline Report on History, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1989
Discipline Report on Sociology, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1989
Discipline Report on Psychology, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1989
Discipline Report on Physical Education, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1989
Discipline Report on Medicine, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1988
Discipline Report on Non-Medical Health Sciences, OCGS, Toronto: 1988
Discipline Report on Education , Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, Toronto: 1988

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10 Volunteer Work

Volunteer/Guest Lecturer, NYU Ability Program, fall 2014. I was a guest lecturer (4 lectures in total) in Allan Goldstein’s class on digital narrative. My role was to apply the lectures from my Digital Storytelling class, taught in Spring 2014, to a class in which sociology and engineering students illustrate/visualize a story related to the goals, struggles and/or achievements of people with cerebral palsy.

Toronto Environmental Alliance, graphic design, 1990

Board Member, Donna Uchizono Dance Company 2004 – 2007

Pollution Probe, research and data management 1986 – 1990

The Associated Blind, 1991

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05 Exhibitions and Artistic Commissions

August 2012 Anatomically Incorrect Festival, New York. I presented Flappescope, a dance piece created in Max/MSP which uses kaleidescopes, mirror images and an absolute difference shader.

August 2011 Mind-full Festival, New York. I presented a series of data visualizations based on noise algorithms, saw tooth waves and Voronoi tessellations. Several of these can be found on the video tab at, although the true impact of the videos cannot be seen, because the bitrates and resolution of the pieces are higher than can currently be viewed (practically) on the internet.

June 2011 Lucky 7 Festival, New York. I presented some of my cubist dance video experiments.

May 2011 Up in Arms Festival, New York. I presented some of my cubist dance video experiments.

April 2011 Euphoric Femme, Toronto. Artistic consultant on an installation piece that used blue tooth, Wii remotes and Max/MSP to create an interactive, multi-user sound and art piece. I worked with the artist Teresa Ascencao.

Feb. 2011        What Next Festival, Hamilton, Ontario. Premiered the video commission Rain Coming with the Hamilton Philharmonic. To view, please go to Please note that the bit rate and resolution of the piece presents poorly via the internet.

June 2009       Necropolis Festival, New York. Presented a photographic exhibit of still images from videos created using absolute difference shaders, for example Glass Dance,

May 2008       Tibetan Book of the Dead, New York. Presented an interactive video and motion- sensing installation.

Dec. 2007       V Brooklyn Video Festival, Brooklyn NY, December 2007. Presented a project which used Max/MSP to illustrate an object database of Brooklyn.

2004                Wai Café, NY. Presented portrait photography and 9/11 photographs.

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01 Education

Masters in Science, Integrated Digital Media, Polytechnic Institute of Engineering at New York University, 2009. I graduated from this program at the top of my class.

Masters in Economic History, University of Toronto, incomplete. I completed the course work for my degree but did not complete my thesis because I was recruited by Nabisco to work on their computer security system.

B.A. Honours, University of Toronto, Economics and History, 1986.

Secondary School Honours Graduation Diploma, University of Toronto Schools, 1981.

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04 Work Experience II

Freelance Developer and Consultant, 1989 – present. I have done contract work for a variety of clients including Good Robot (I employed Max/MSP and an Arduino micro-controller to control a motion sensitive sales kiosk), Rainforest Alliance (I created a cell-phone based, web/map enabled field research data collection tool).

Freelance Graphic Designer, Video Editor, 1990 – present. I have done contract/subcontract work for New York University, James Marquand Real-estate, Kaplan University, Ontario Hydro, and Pollution Probe, among other clients.

Freelance Visual Artist, 2008 – present. I have two main artistic interests, cubist video and the visualization of mathematical topologies. I am also working on creating a filter to make dance video look like charcoal drawings (please see the samples pages that I have appended to this document).

Freelance Instructor, 1990 – present. I have done a variety of freelance training projects including teaching Grade 7 students mathematics using art (2011); teaching video programming to the video artist Charles Atlas (2009); and a wide range of corporate and technical college training.

Researcher, City Technical College of NY, Ontological Database Design and Implementation, 2007 – 2008. I was part of a small team of researchers who put together a multi-media database of downtown Brooklyn as part of an experimental project on database interfaces. This system used digital architectural models (Maya objects) provided by the City of New York to construct a three dimensional model of Brooklyn’s downtown. This three dimensional interface was used to trigger queries against the Protege reasoning engine. The communication layer was Java /RMI; the display layers were constructed in Pure Data and Max / MSP.


Assistant Vice President and Project Manager, Options and Foreign Exchange Technology, Lehman Brothers, 2003 – 2007, Corporate Advisory Technology, 2001-2003, Investment Banking Technology, 2001-2003, and Fixed Income Technology 1997-2000. In these positions I managed teams of developers in America, India, Japan and the United Kingdom on work related to futures, options and foreign exchange trading, investment banking and fixed income derivatives. On a daily basis I dealt with up to 35 distinct applications, and 5 different database management systems (Oracle, DB2, Sybase, MS SQL Server and Access), some of which were responsible for millions of transactions; and three of which were identified as “Tier 1” applications, which were subject to stringent compliance monitoring.

Javascript Instructor, Ziff Davis, September 1997 – January 1998.

Senior Programmer/Analyst, KPMG, April 1997 – May 1997

Senior Programmer/Analyst and Architect, United Parcel Services, April 1996 – April 1997

I helped to design the front end for the UPS order taking system, which at that time was one of the largest distributed databases in the world; and had 35,000 daily users (and millions of customers).

Project Manager and Senior Programmer/Analyst, Nabisco,August 1995 – April 1996

I worked on a number of projects at Nabisco related to information security and Microsoft Exchange.

Senior Programmer/Analyst, BMW Canada, November 1994 – April 1995.

Instructor, Institute for Computer Studies, Institute for Advanced Technology, Beezix Software and Logan Design Systems, 1990 – 1995.

Researcher, AdAge Ontario, 1990 – 1995. I worked on a multi-year project analyzing the relative benefits of distributive versus centralized database topologies.

Researcher, Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, 1988 – 1990

In this position I researched, wrote and designed 19 research reports related to 539 of Ontario’s graduate programs. This project has a profound impact on my intellectual development because it required me systematically to review all areas of research currently being conducted in North America..

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11 Positions in Student Politics

Although these credentials are quite old, I include them to demonstrate that I have considerable experience as a public speaker and an expert knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order.

President, University of Toronto Debating Union, University of Toronto

Speaker of the House, U of T Model Parliament, University of Toronto

President, Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly, University of Toronto

Speaker, Trinity College Joint Student Union, University of Toronto

Speaker, St. Michael’s College Student Administrative Council, University of Toronto

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