Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Research Niche

A scientist walks with a friend, who remarks that they must be an absolute expert in their field after studying it for years. A thought bubble emerges showing how their specialty a corner of a corner of a field.

Most of the time, I’m just trying to redirect the conversation toward that specific niche where I feel comfortable.

Leaky

On the left, there's a bowl that represents the brain and is being filled with knowledge. On the right, there's the reality, which is a bowl with a bunch of holes in it.

“Don’t you remember everything you learned last semester? I’m just going to pretend that you do.”

Mathematical Majesty

Two peasants approach the mathematical king with presents. The first offers only an example in which a conjecture is true. The king is not impressed. The second peasant brings a shiny counterexample, and the kind automatically takes a liking to this peasant.

Now that would be a wild world if mathematicians were kings.

Local Minimum

One person tells a friend that they wish they could get into an exercise habit, but it's just so difficult. The friend shrugs and tells them that they are trapped in a local minimum of laziness.

Unfortunately, this happens to all of us in some area of our lives.

Remain On Path

A student has a path that stretches out before them, with signs on either side telling them to stay on the path.

Sad, but too often true.

Historical Introduction

A professor introduces the class to a new topic and begins with the historical introduction, even if it's not very helpful.

Is this way more confusing? Maybe, but we’re going to forge ahead anyway!

Artistic Rendition

A scientist presents their data, and it is really clean and perfect. An audience member comments on how great the data is, mentioning that the error bars are so small that they can't be seen. The scientist replies by saying that their in-house artist "cleaned up" the diagram because it was super noisy.

Presenting experimental data: the art of making your errors not seem too bad.

Teacher Evaluation

A filled-out evaluation form. Under the "improvements" section, the student draws a circle and declares that this isn't "good enough" to be a square.

In an ideal world, we would all have to go through a drawing course before making diagrams on the board while teaching. It sounds like a small matter, but having a good diagram is crucial to understanding some topics in physics and mathematics.

Context

A student reads a passage from a textbook and doesn't quite understand, but they decide that the context will help them figure it out (it won't).

This is part of the reason why you can’t just expect to blaze through a textbook. Understanding all of the terms requires patience.

Equal Time

A student decides to spend equal time on two different assignments, even though one is way shorter.

My inability to distinguish between the importance of various assignments really contributed to being much more stressed out than I should have been in school.