brian_cugelman_tall_400 Digital PsychologyHello. Here’s a bit about me.

My name is Brian, and I’m a specialist in applying psychology to interactive media, for websites, digital campaigns, tech projects and predictive algorithms.

I ran my first online social marketing campaign in 1998. Then in 1999, I joined the United Nations to run global online campaigns. In 2010, I completed a PhD on the science of online engagement.

I run a consulting firm called AlterSpark that provides training on digital psychology, and consulting at the intersection of data science and behavioral science.

I obtained my PhD in Online Social Marketing with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, a world leading Internet research team that specializes in big data and data science. Since graduating, me and Prof Thelwall, head of our research group, have run numerous data science projects for several global organizations, including a few United Nations agencies.

The world’s top e-health journal has published my research on the science of mass behaviour change technology. A number of organizations have asked me to share my expertise, including the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and several Universities, including MIT, the University of Toronto, and Johns Hopkins. I was truly honoured when the Pentagon invited me to present my research for their Cyber Influence Project.

Some of my former employers and clients include the Government of Canada’s National Crime Prevention Centre, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Volunteers, the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Millennium Campaign, ActionAid International, Centennial College, Century 21 and Oxfam GB.

My popular workshop on digital psychology has attracted professionals from many of the world’s top technology companies, global organisations and high-level government departments.  I’ve trained pros from Microsoft, Samsung, PayPal, Oracle, and many big brands, but also, I’ve given away many spots to students and people doing important work who wouldn’t otherwise have access to my training.  

What people don’t know about me is that I love programming and statistics. My partners and I were doing big data research projects for the UN and global institutions, years before the word “data science” was a trendy buzz word. And in those days, I used to hide the fact that I could program, as I didn’t want to get stuck in the techie role.

But recently, I’ve started to see things in a different light. I love building things, and now accept that my best place is in thick of the source code, where I can bring engineering, data science, statistics, data base management, psychology and neuroscience all together in one brain, work with brilliant people, to make magic happen. 

For fun, I love writing songs, and I’m thrilled that my grandfather imposed drum lessons on me from a young age. I could probably be the singer for an awful band, guitar player for an ok band, but as a drummer I can keep up to some pretty talented folks. 

At the age of 82, my grandmother couldn’t give me a straight answer when I asked her: “Bubbe . What do you want to be when you grow up?” So for me, the answer to the question of who I am and what I do, doesn’t need  a straight answer either.  

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