Ali Almossawi — My big head

ALI ALMOSSAWI   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 span the fields of engineering, design, writing, 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 as a data visualizer at Apple. Between 2012 and 2017, I worked as a data visualization engineer on the Firefox team at Mozilla. In the past, I was a lead for a team of 30 software developers and co-founded and managed a design studio.

My biographical statement is at the bottom of this page.

Join the mailing list for occasional news about Bad Choices, An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, and all related follow-on projects.

Bad Choices

Learn how algorithms can help you think smarter with this illustrated guide to algorithmic thinking. Order it now from Viking and John Murray! 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 2.5 million people and translated into 18 languages. Read it online or in print!

Firefox Hardware Report

The first ever public report of the hardware used by Firefox users. The report's data can be used by developers to improve the experience of Web users. Take a look.


A D3-based library that's optimized for visualizing and laying out time-series data in a principled way—600,000 hits, 6,500 GitHub stars, top 1% of most-starred projects. Take a look.

Hans in the Land of Bards

The opening part of a novella about an absentminded tailor and his quick-witted accomplice struggle to escape a land where things aren't always what they seem. Take a look.

The Web We Want: Firefox 29

A real-time visualization of the global community that powers Mozilla, visited by 10 million visitors. My contributions were designing and coding the map and stats page. Take a look.


A project by the Macro Connections group at the Media Lab that 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.

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.

Experiments and smaller works


Interviews and talks

Personal writings

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments in the press

Bad Choices in the press

Mentions and various other things

Brief biographical statement  Ali Almossawi is the creator and maintainer of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, which has been read by 2.5 million readers and translated into 18 languages, 12 of which were done by volunteers from across the world. His second book, Bad Choices, is an illustrated guide to algorithmic thinking. Ali currently works as a data visualizer at Apple and was formerly a data visualization engineer on the Firefox team at Mozilla, a research associate at Harvard, and a collaborator with the MIT Media Lab. He is an alumnus of MIT's System Design and Management program and Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science.

The portrait at the top is courtesy of Alejandro Giraldo.