ALI ALMOSSAWI

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 upcoming novella about a witty tailor in a foreign land. Part I of the Book of Algorithms, which aims to teach readers about fundamental computing algorithms. Take a look.

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

A book on critical thinking that explains a set of common errors in reasoning. The book is available online and in print and has been read by 1.3 million people. Read it online or in print!

MetricsGraphics.js

A D3-based library that's optimized for visualizing and laying out time-series data in a principled way. Starred on GitHub over 4,100 times. 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.

Pantheon

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

Shortlisted in the 2013 Kantar Awards, this visualization impartially depicts the casualties of the conflict in Bahrain, abstracted to take the form of a palm tree. Take a look.

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.

Participie

An experimental online platform for augmented democracy that helps encourage direct online participation using interactive visualization. Take a look.

Publications

Interviews and talks

Writings

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments in the press

Mentions and various other things

linkedin · github · visually · twitter · google scholar · goodreads · instagram