Mayo Clinic Unexpected Conversations Series 2018
Thinking Differently
PopTech 2015
Design, the last line of defense
Eyeo 2016
Teaching, Tools, and the Trade
Scaled in Miles: An audio-visual exploration
of Miles Davis’s career
Internet Week 2015
Ben Fry & Chelsea Clinton on No Ceilings
O'Reilly Strata Conference 2014
The Expedition, Not the Image
Eyeo 2013
Digging to China
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.

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.

Olivia Glennon

Olivia Glennon started programming at the age of ten in 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.

Olivia enjoys talking about all people and things having to do with her hometown of Newton, MA (ex: Matt LeBlanc and the Fig Newton). Outside of the office, you will find her wearing a sweater, drinking Earl Grey tea, and thinking about what to cook next.

Elaine Forbush

Elaine Forbush is interested in analyzing and depicting narratives about the environment, food, immigration, culture, and the world. Originally from the Boston area, Elaine spent a year at Barnard College in New York before migrating north to Vermont where she received a BA in Environmental Policy at Middlebury College. Recent projects include thesis research on climate refugees in countries with rising nationalism, a world map portraying environmental vulnerability and refugee flows, and an earthquake simulation model (as an early venture into coding). At Fathom, Elaine does research, data analysis, and project management while also diving into the world of p5.js and honing her Ikea-furniture-building skills. Outside of the office, you can find her reading, cooking, and attempting to convert those around her to the vegetarian way of life.

Paul Cronan

Paul Cronan’s path to design was sparked early on by a fascination with geography and mapmaking. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts 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 team at Fathom, Paul worked as a designer with Illume Communications, an agency located in his hometown, Baltimore. He enjoys cycling and trying unusual foods.

Charlie Smart

Charlie Smart is a writer, researcher, and programmer interested in using technology to find and tell meaningful stories. He earned his B.A. from the University of Connecticut where he studied journalism with a focus in graphic design. He is a multimedia enthusiast, with experience in writing, design, radio production, videography, and software development. He got his start in journalism at WHUS Radio, where he later served as news director, and has since written for publications including FiveThirtyEight, The Pudding, and The Connecticut Mirror. Outside of work, Charlie can be found rock climbing, writing, playing the guitar, and cooking.

Fernando Becerra

Fernando Becerra enjoys translating data into visual stories. He earned a M.Sc. in Astronomy from Universidad de Chile and a Ph.D. in Astronomy & Astrophysics from Harvard University, where he used numerical simulations to model the formation of stars in galaxies and the formation of the first black holes in the Universe. Motivated by the challenge of presenting the results of his research to the public, he became involved in scientific visualization and science communication, which then grew into an interest in data visualization and information design. At Fathom, Fernando uses his programming skills to do research and perform data analysis to create data driven applications. Outside of work, you can find him playing soccer, biking, hiking, camping, and backpacking.

Martha Durrett

Martha Durrett, self-proclaimed “humanities person,” was sure she was going to hate programming when she took her first computer science class during her freshman year at Carleton College. She quickly found out that she was wrong and went on to earn her B.A. in Computer Science and English. The combination of fields inspired her interest in digital humanities and data visualization, and encouraged her to use her programming experience to ask and answer humanities-based questions from a creative, computational perspective. Outside the office you might find her reading books, eating ice cream, and getting lost on her way to the bus.

Anisha Nakagawa

Anisha Nakagawa is an engineer and designer interested in the role technology can play in understanding and shaping social issues. She graduated from Olin College with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, especially focused in applications of environmental and social justice. Outside of work, she enjoys biking, dancing, cooking, and finding time to be outside.

Jenny Proscia

Jenny Proscia is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in arts administration, event production, and performance. They earned their BFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. They enjoy working in a collaborative environment and experimenting in new and traditional mediums. Outside of the office find them reading feminist sci-fi, writing music, or singing their heart out at karaoke.

Founded in 2010 by Ben Fry, Fathom Information Design works with clients to understand complex data through interactive tools and software for mobile devices, the web, and large format installations. Out of its studio in Boston, Fathom partners with Fortune 500s and non-profit organizations across sectors, including health care, education, financial services, media, technology, and consumer products.

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