Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Talk Attendance

Title: Reasons to attend a talk. There are are two sublists. On the left (Stated): Cool topic, relevant to your research, or a great speaker. On the right (Revealed): Free food, department obligation, or an excuse to take a break.

Never underestimate the free food.


Two friends are walking. The first one says, "The internet brings so many new paradigms for sharing science..." The second one continues, "And yet, we can't move past a form that mimics a technology thousands of years old?" The first friend sighs, then says, "Stupid skeuomorphism."

Scientists: Never moving to a new technology because they are attached to backwards compatibility.


A person is running over a set of hurdles. They are in mid-flight above one while saying, "Why am I even running these hurdles?!" There are arrows underneath the hurdles, with the caption: Things you signed up for in the past but no longer care about.

Just because you wanted it once doesn’t mean you need to go after it until the day you die.


Two people are having a conversation. The first person asks, "Do you want to go over there?" She's referring to a sign that points out of the panel that says, "New conversations". The friend replies, "Nah, I like it here." Caption: Familiar conversation ground.

“I know everything we’re about to say in this conversation, but sure, let’s do it over again.”

The Right Game

A bar chart with two bars. The first bar is the highest and represents, "Time spent doing X". The second bar is much lower and represents, "Time spent thinking why I do X". Caption: Being good is useless if you're playing the wrong game.

The problem, of course, is that being good at X often makes me feel that I should be doing X, even if it’s not ultimately what I want.


A graph of "Agreement" versus "Number of scientists". It's an inverse relationship.

I think disagreement is in our blood.


A scientist wraps up their talk in front of a board and asks, "Any questions?" There's crickets (silence) from the audience. Caption: Why is this the end of most academic talks?

Maybe I just haven’t found the really exciting talks.

Kernel of Care

A large space labeled, "An applied problem". Within, there's a small square that has the label, "The mathematical kernel that a theorist cares about."

“Please do me a favour next time and get rid of all this extra fluff.”

Wrap Up

Graph of "Time left on a project" versus "Time". It begins as a decreasing linear function, but then tapers off as a project drags on. At some point, there's a discontinuous jump with the label, "Okay, we need to wrap this up!" and then the project is done.

The undiscussed alternative is to let the project quietly die.


A graph of "Worry" versus "Size of error". For most people, it's a linear relationship. For me, it's a constant line.

Unfortunately, the value of my worry is also way too high.