Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Academic Grunt

A researcher finishes a calculation at their desk and hands it off to their student assistant to make sure there aren't any mistakes.

I actually like going through calculations, but there’s no doubt that this can definitely be classified as “grunt work”.

Delicate Balance

In the first panel, a student presents their data and comments on how it's almost perfect. In the second, they talk about how even the Big Bang might have contributed some error.

I love how a student’s job in the class is to convince the professor that they got really accurate results while also finding a bunch of sources of error that actually contribute in a significant way.

Abelian Group

A student tries to put their socks on before their shoes, and concludes that they can't form an abelian group with them.

“Maybe there’s an opportunity for a lucrative invention here?”

Elementary

A person asks their mathematically inclined friend if this "elementary" book on mathematics is a good place to start. The friend replies, "Sure..."

“Wow, so that’s what “elementary” means? I don’t even want to think about what an advanced textbook looks like then!”

Thought Experiments

A theoretical physicist begins to explain their thought experiment, but is interrupted by an experimental physicist who says that they could fund an actual experiment if they got a dime for each thought experiment that was cooked up.

“Oh come on, my other ideas weren’t as good as this one…”

Violent Language

Two students overhear some violent language from a classroom. One wonders what kind of class this could be, but the other assures them that it's just mathematics.

This isn’t just a mathematics thing. I think I hear my professors speak like this even more in my physics classes. I guess we like to be really graphic in our descriptions.

Unstable Under Perturbations

In the first panel, a friend asks another if they want to join a study group. The other student says they can't, because any distractions will perturb them away from studying.

At least I know myself well!

Typography

A professor is at the board showing the relation between speed, wavelength, and frequency, with two of the symbols being very similar.

And don’t even get me started on those sub-sub-subscripts!

Verification

In the first panel, a person climbs a sheer cliff to search for a proof. In the second panel, another person wonders why it took so long when checking the proof was easy.

I can’t tell you the number of times a dead-simple proof eluded me for many hours, only to see the “obvious” answer later.

Upgrade The Observations

A theorist doesn’t like the new data, and tells the experimenter to upgrade the observations.

“You have to look more closely for the results that match my theory!”