Literary agent   Seth Fishman   136 E. 57th Street, New York, NY, 10022   Tel: 1 (212) 838-7777

I like to create things that are of lasting value. My tools of choice span the fields of engineering, design and data visualization and my outlook is a combination of unwavering focus on quality and a strong belief in the abilities of others. I currently work on visualizing Firefox data for the data science team at Mozilla in San Francisco.

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 Alan MacCormack and spent six months working with Cesar Hidalgo at the MIT Media Lab. Before that, I was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon 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. Between 2009 and 2012, I was co-founder and creative and managing director of a design studio.

Join the mailing list for one to two updates per year about An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments and all related follow-on projects.

Hans in the Land of Bards

In this story, illustrated by Alejandro Giraldo, an absentminded tailor and his quick-witted accomplice struggle to escape a land where things aren't always what they seem. 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 has been read by 2.1 million people and translated into 15 languages. Read it online or in print!


A D3-based library that's optimized for visualizing and laying out time-series data in a principled way. 400,000 hits, 5,700+ GitHub stars. 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

Shortlisted in the 2013 Information is Beautiful 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.


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


Interviews and talks


An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments in the press

Mentions and various other things

Brief biographical statement  Ali Almossawi works on the data science team at Mozilla and is an alumnus of MIT's Engineering Systems Division (M.S.) and Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science (M.S.) Previous stints included working as a research associate at Harvard and as a collaborator at the MIT Media Lab. Ali has bylines in Scientific American and Wired and is the author of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, which has been read by 2.1 million readers and translated into 15 languages, ten of which were undertaken by volunteers from across the world.