Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

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!”

The Best Version

Two people are at a board looking at a proof. One says that the proof is really good, and says that the other student is great at writing proofs on their first try. The student agrees, while discretely pushing their scrap work in the bin.

If you ever find yourself thinking, “This is a really nice proof,” chances are the person spent a ton of time in the background refining it.