We’re a group of experienced designers, developers, researchers, writers, and data enthusiasts who like to tackle complex, unique problems. Our favorite projects are often in unfamiliar disciplines, working with domain experts who want to explore novel solutions to interesting questions. We’ve worked with healthcare professionals to redesign the patient data pipeline, with farming advocates to build interfaces to help farmers calculate land costs, and with scientists to build tools to visualize genomes, cells, and virus outbreaks.

We’re interested in clients who want to think with us: problem solving and iterating on potential solutions while learning from their data. Sometimes we’re starting with spreadsheets or databases, sometimes it’s piles of papers, and sometimes we have to seek out the right data sources ourselves. It’s never perfect, but we love the process of untangling the mess and finding what is of value. Our projects range from six week sprints to multi-year engagements, but no matter what we’re committed to using design to build tools that are easy to use, fun to explore, and substantive in their treatment of the data.

Ben Fry

Ben Fry received his doctoral degree from the Aesthetics + Computation Group at the MIT Media Laboratory, where his research focused on combining fields such as computer science, statistics, graphic design, and data visualization as a means for understanding information. After completing his dissertation in 2004, he spent time developing tools for visualization of genetic data as a postdoc with Eric Lander at the Eli & Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard. During the 2006-2007 school year, Ben was the Nierenberg Chair of Design for the Carnegie Mellon School of Design.

He is the author of Visualizing Data (O’Reilly, 2007) and the co-author, with Casey Reas, of Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists (MIT Press, 2007) and Getting Started with Processing (O’Reilly, 2010), which describe the project they co-founded in 2001.

Ben’s work was part of the Whitney Biennial in 2002 and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial in 2003 and 2006. Other pieces have appeared in the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography in New York, at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, and in the films Minority Report and The Hulk. His information graphics have also illustrated articles for the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the journal Nature. Ben was selected as one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Influential Designers in America (2011) and as one of Slate’s Top Right (2011). He has lectured on data, design, and programming on five continents.

In 2011, Ben won the National Design Award for Interaction Design. At a White House luncheon for the honorees, he had the opportunity to meet Michelle Obama, whom he found to be very gracious but quite imposing in heels.

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Mark Schifferli

Mark Schifferli likes to make life easier through computing. His programming career started at Target Analysis Group, where he processed and analyzed nonprofit revenue data. After seeing his first data visualization application, he was hooked on teasing meaningful stories from large and complicated data sets. This led him to join EnerNOC, an energy management company, where he developed applications for critical real time decision making during electrical grid emergencies.

Prior to programming, Mark contributed to various ensembles in San Francisco’s experimental music scene as a guitarist and recording engineer. Mark graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University, Bloomington, with a BA in philosophy and minors in math and French.

He, Him, His/They, Them, Theirs

Olivia Glennon

Olivia Glennon started programming at the age of ten in an attempt to beautify her Neopets page. She earned a B.F.A from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. There, she took a variety of courses in both the art and engineering schools, exploring ways to connect her design background with her passion for programming.

Before coming to Fathom, Olivia spent a year at The Wall Street Journal designing and building client-facing and internal products. Outside of the office, you will find her knitting a sweater and drinking way too much coffee.

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Paul Cronan

Paul Cronan is an artist and designer. His path to information design was sparked early on by a fascination with geography and mapmaking. He earned a B.F.A. in Communication Design at Washington University in St. Louis. There, he focused on book arts, typography and web design, merging his interests to map the complexity of urban space in interactive ways.

Before joining the Fathom team, Paul worked as a designer in his hometown, Baltimore, and illustrated a novel about prehistoric time travel for Random House. He enjoys cycling, making typefaces and trying unusual foods.

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Libby Marrs

Libby is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design where she studied Graphic Design, which was great for her because she loves to play with words — creative and critical writing, drawing and arranging letterforms, and exploring other methods of making meaning.

She spends most of her time on her laptop, discovering Illustrator shortcuts or experimenting with HTML and p5.js, but believes that the only true medium is the graphic T-shirt. She hopes to use her newly-acquired graphic design skills for a lifetime of making complex information meaningful, impactful, and accessible.

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Kyle Oba

Kyle Oba is a developer with a passion for computing and building software that solves problems for people. His love of programming began in the 80s, when he learned how to use the LOGO programming language to construct flowers from repeating squares. After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering, he quickly realized that he wanted to work writing software.

He uses art projects as an opportunity to research technologies, and some of his projects have been featured in the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Honolulu Biennial Foundation. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys collecting photos of public signs which indicate human systems problems.

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Katherine Yang

Katherine is a Hong Kong–born creative technologist interested in the pursuit of poetic tech. She graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a major in Media Arts + Practice and minors in programming and linguistics. Her latest passion project is exploring interfaces for writing, representing, and playing with poetry. She spends her days learning and making and is a firm believer in finding meaning and beauty in systems big and small.

She can typically be found either writing HTML or buried in the weeds of internet culture (occasionally both, on Tumblr). She loves a good walkable city.

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Shannon Yeung

Shannon is an artist and designer interested in asking questions through whimsical forms. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Philosophy and a BFA in Art & Design and is passionate about pursuing questions at the intersection of both. Whether it’s growing crystals in ceramic glazes, testing tension limits of curved-folding origami or laser-engraving on various plastics, she enjoys working with different materials, digging deep into their underlying structures and manufacturing processes. Her recent material of interest is food and she hopes to explore using food as a vehicle to inspire interest in scientific integrity and epistemology.

Before joining Fathom, she worked as a research assistant in digital fabrication and was involved in a museum exhibition about fair representation in arts and data. She has also dabbled in publishing – illustrating a children’s book about the history of modern art for Quarto Publishing and designing a cookbook for plant-based chef Peggy Chan. Fun fact, she was named after Claude Shannon and is delighted to work with data enabled by his contributions to the Information Age.

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Ellory Laning

Ellory Laning has always been curious about the ways in which stories are shared and remembered. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in Religious Studies, where she was preoccupied with understanding how the dialogues surrounding female voices and bodies in religious texts have evolved over space, time, and culture. Through her studies, she gained a deep appreciation for the social and political dynamics at play in the transmission of narratives and information.

Prior to joining Fathom, Ellory worked as a paralegal, focusing on the financing of affordable housing and community development projects in her home state of Massachusetts. When left to her own devices, Ellory enjoys writing murder mystery parties, convincing herself that she has an above average whiskey palate, and acting as commissioner for her fantasy football-esque The Bachelor/Bachelorette league.

She, Her, Hers

Thinking Differently
Mayo Clinic Unexpected Conversations Series 2018
The Power of Data Visualization
State Street LIVE 2017
Design, the last line of defense
PopTech 2015
Teaching, Tools, and the Trade
Eyeo 2016
Scaled in Miles: An audio-visual exploration of Miles Davis’s career
Ben Fry & Chelsea Clinton on No Ceilings
Internet Week 2015
The Expedition, Not the Image
O'Reilly Strata Conference 2014
Digging to China
Eyeo 2013
Chelsea Football Club
The Clinton Foundation
Commonwealth Fund
Markus Covert Lab at Stanford
Consumer Reports
Enterprise Community Fund
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard University
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
J.P. Morgan Chase
Knight Foundation
Massachusetts General Hospital
Mayo Clinic
Michael J. Fox Foundation
National Geographic
NORC at the University of Chicago
On Being
Popular Science
The Robin Hood Foundation
The Sabeti Lab at the Broad Institute
State Street
Thomson Reuters
Warner Brothers
World Bank
The National Young Farmers Coalition