As a child, Ali and his family immigrated to the United States from Pakistan and settled in Englewood, New Jersey. As a proud New Jerseyan, he earned his Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, followed by a Master's degree in Biological Science Education at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. After graduating, he taught high school biology and also worked at Khan Academy as a biology content fellow.
Currently, he’s a PhD candidate in the SESAME program at the University of California, Berkeley where his research focuses on how we can make undergraduate STEM education more inclusive, interpersonal, and interdisciplinary. He specializes in assessment, evaluation, and design-based research. In his dissertation research, Ali is measuring the development of "Innovation Skills" in undergraduate students taking a course called "Bioinspired Design." In this course, students work in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams to solve design problems in society with design solution inspired by nature.
Ali is a practicing Muslim and firmly believes in the mutually reinforcing nature of Islam and science. In his free time, he loves watching and playing sports, so you can catch him on the basketball court missing wide open shots or turning off the TV in frustration as his favorite teams (Nets & Mets) maintain their mediocrity.
Specializations and Interests
STEM Education; Higher Education; Rasch Analysis; Item Response Theory; Design-Based Research