Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Well Written

Two scientists (a woman and man) are discussing a paper. The first one says, "This paper is written pretty well." The second one says, "You enjoyed reading it?" The other responds, "Oh no, I just skimmed the headers. But it *looks* good."

“The authors had good typographic taste, so I can tell the rest of the paper is good.”


A graph of "Understanding" versus "Nodding". The curve goes up and then has a long tail where more nodding means less understanding.

“Wait, I always thought those blank looks and nodding meant that what I was teaching was too easy…?”


A theorist and realist are discussing a research proposal. The theorist asks, "So...can you do it?" The realist looks at the proposal and responds, "Your experiment would cost 10 billion, requires more energy than we can produce on Earth, and breaks 50 laws of practical physics." She answers, "So...maybe?"

“Well, 50 isn’t infinity, so can’t you just improve your equipment?”


A researcher stands on top of a hill and drops a snowball, saying, "A little hype is fine." At the bottom of the hill, the snowball has become huge, with a lot of momentum. The huge snowball has the label, "What it soon turns into."

“Hmm, who would have thought that would happen?”


Two scientists are talking about a problem. The first says, "You made a lot of simplifications here." "I kept everything that mattered." "You removed 97% of the problem." The friend throws her arms in the air and says, "And now I have an exact solution!"

“But it’s not what I wanted to solve–”

“I know, it’s even better.”

Sock Classification

A series of socks and their topological equivalence to standard objects. A new sock has no holes and so has genus zero, like a sphere. A used sock has one hole, so it has the same genus as a torus (genus one). The final sock is my sock, and it's what happens when you take the limit of the genus going to infinity.

In surprising news, my socks provided a new avenue into the classification of topological spaces.

Future Problems

Graph of "Problems for future you" versus "Inability to say no". The curve rapidly increases.

“I really want to prove you wrong, but I’ll do it later.”


A researcher with a pickaxe is digging a tunnel, with plenty of unknown obstacles they are about to hit. The caption: Research.

I’m forever bracing myself in research for the inevitable moments when things go wrong. But on the other hand, there are also those moments where things go right!


First panel: Two friends are in conversation. One has a bag of money in hand. The other says, "What's that bag of money for?" "Bribing a mathematician." "Uh...let me give you some advice..." Second panel (later): The person no longer has the bag of money anymore, and approaches the mathematician. He says, "I have a paper that needs a coauthor, but I require a favour--" She interjects, "Done!"

You would almost think papers are a sort of currency in academia…

Constant Confusion

A graph of two functions versus time. The first is a dashed line which is constant, and has the label, "Confusion". The second is a solid linearly increasing line, with the label, "Growth".

If I wasn’t confused, it wouldn’t really be research.