DATA VISUALIZATION, WRITING, SOFTWARE & DESIGN
I like to create things that are of lasting value. I am presently able to do that with an armory of tools amassed over the past decade and a half, tools that span the fields of engineering, design and data visualization. Yet, I remain a pragmatist, with an unwavering focus on quality and a strong belief in the abilities of others. My work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired, the New York Times, Fast Company, Slashdot, io9, BuzzFeed, The Dish, Boing Boing, GeekDad, FlowingData and Behance's curated collections.
I graduated from the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. Formerly, I worked as a research associate looking into the design of complex software systems at Harvard with Prof. Alan MacCormack and spent six months working with Prof. Cesar Hidalgo at the MIT Media Lab, with whom I continue to occasionally collaborate.
Before that, I was a graduate student in software engineering at Carnegie Mellon, a contributor to a number of hobbyist projects and spent four years in the software industry, as a software developer at first and then as a supervisor of a team of 30 software developers.
I currently work on visualizing Firefox data for the Metrics team at Mozilla in San Francisco. Between 2009 and 2012, I was Creative and Managing Director at Skyrill, a design studio that I co-founded, where our clients included Adidas.
Hans in the Land of Bards (forthcoming)
An absent-minded tailor and his witty accomplice struggle to escape a land where things aren't always what they seem. During the journey, they learn about algorithms. Take a look.
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
A D3-based library that's optimized for visualizing and laying out time-series data in a principled way. 200,000 hits, 4,300+ GitHub stars. Co-developed with Hamilton Ulmer. Take a look.
The Web We Want: Firefox 29
A real-time visualization of the global community that powers Mozilla, developed by a stellar team. My contributions were designing and coding the map and stats page. Take a look.
A project by Cesar Hidalgo and colleagues, which I had the good fortune of co-developing. Pantheon visualizes global culture using cultural icons of note. Take a look.
How Maintainable is the Firefox Codebase?
By appealing to the explanatory powers of five practical measures of architectural complexity, this work explores the quality of the Firefox codebase. Take a look.
Technical Debt in Firefox and Chromium
A quantitative comparison of two complex software systems, using prose and a visual inspired by a story from Greek mythology. Take a look.
How Educated are World Leaders?
A descriptive visualization of the education levels of world leaders, from 1950 or thereabouts to the present day.
Take a look.
Browser Usage Plurality
A space-themed visualization of browser usage plurality across time. The visualization compares Web browsers' market share in different countries across time. Take a look.
Classroom Seating Habits
A visualization that captures the seating habits of a group of graduate students attending a class during the summer of 2011. Take a look.
Bahrain: Two Years On
Evolution of the Firefox Codebase
A visualization that presents a set of metrics for all releases of Firefox that are indicative of quality and allows one to inspect them through one of several views. Take a look.
The State of Do Not Track
A set of graphs that provide a view into how many Firefox users are seeking out and enabling Do Not Track in their desktop and mobile versions of Firefox. Take a look.
An experimental online platform for augmented democracy that helps encourage direct online participation using interactive visualization. Take a look.
- Hans in the Land of Bards: A Book of Algorithms, forthcoming fiction
- An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, 1st ed. published in December 2013, 2nd ed. published in September 2014 by The Experiment, distributed in the US and Canada by Workman
- An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments (UK, Australia & Commonwealth edition) published by Scribe Publications, distributed by Penguin Books and Macmillan
- Book chapter: Visualizing ambiguity in an era of data abundance and very large engineering systems, New Challenges for Data Design, edited by David Bihanic, published by Springer-Verlag (London)
- The Data Visualization Revolution, co-authored with Cesar Hidalgo, Scientific American
- Going Beyond the One-Bit Democracy, co-authored with Cesar Hidalgo, Wired (UK)
- Analysis Tool Evaluation: Coverity Prevent, co-authored with Kelvin Lim and Tanmay Sinha, Carnegie Mellon
- MetricsGraphics.js - a lightweight graphics library built on D3, Mozilla Hacks
Interviews and talks
- Video: Open-Sourcing the Creative Process, SDM Systems Thinking Series
- Audio: A conversation with ABC Radio about critical thinking and the art of making sense
- Ali Almossawi: Technical, Entrepreneurial, and Creative Mojo; MIT
- Talk at Links 2013 (MIT Media Lab) on measuring quality in complex software systems
- Video: Hosting guest speaker Cesar Hidalgo at Mozilla's Mountain View office
- Open-Sourcing the Creative Process
- A Beautiful Night
- Saeed and the Tribesman
- A reply from Minsky, an unassuming bench and an introvert ripping the dance floor...in his own imagination
- Shorty by Mikhail Naima, translated into English
- Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, translated into Arabic
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments in the press
- Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2014
- Now More Than Ever, You Need This Illustrated Guide To Bad Arguments, Faulty Logic, And Silly Rhetoric; Fast Company
- Teach Your Kids Logic With An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Jenny Williams, GeekDad
- 9 Charming Cartoons Explaining Logical Fallacies, BuzzFeed
- Bad arguments, great illustrations by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing
- This Little Piggy Made A Logical Error, The Dish
- A guide to fallacious arguments, illustrated with funny animals; io9
- Appearance in Page Turners, submitted by Ellen at The Griswold Inn Store
- National Indie Bestsellers - Extended Hardcover Nonfiction
- Southern Indie Bestseller List
- Book review: 'Bad Arguments' will entertain, help you diagnose poor logic; Omaha.com
- Book review: Tripping Over Logic, The Philosophy Club
- The Lost Art of Making Sense, ABC Radio
- New hardcover books teach kids through superheroes, gaming, art; Denver Post
Mentions and various other things
- Do-Not-Track Talks Could Be Running Off the Rails by Natasha Singer, New York Times
- What The World Wants From The Future Web As The FCC Looks To Shut The Door On Net Neutrality
- MIT $100K 2012 semi-finalist
- Weather doesn't affect ice cream consumption, Harvard Gazette
- Stewart Lee...has let himself go
- Interview with Behance CEO Scott Belsky