Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

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.

Test Taking

Left panel (Before grad school): A student says, "I can ace any test you give me." Right panel (After): The student has their hands up in the air and says, "You want me to do *what?!*"

I’ve shed all capability of taking tests, and you know what? It feels great!

Data Race

Three physicists sprinting towards a sign that says, "Publish here". The caption: Theoretical physicists racing to publish first on new data.

“Quick, we need to establish precedence first!”


A large space labeled, "All people". Inside is a dot representing a person, with a small circle around them labeled, "The only people you interact with". The dot says, "Why is everyone like me?!"

In fact, this is the best response, because the alternative is thinking that the little circle represents everyone.

Rent Free

A frequency bar graph showing how many mistakes occur versus successes, as well as the proportion of space each one takes in my mind. While I have many successes and few mistakes, the few mistakes take up much more space in my mind.

Don’t let the mistakes linger more than they need to.

Work Cycle

Two words: "Work" and "Celebrate". They are joined in a cycle by two arrows, and there is a third arrow that creates a self-loop for "Work". The label for that self-loop says, "A bad shortcut".

It’s always worth it to rest and celebrate.


Two aliens are flying above a hill on Earth in a spaceship. The first one says, "I don't understand it. They have hundreds of telescopes, so they must know *something* about the stars!" The second replies, "Not according to these 'astrology' books I found."

“Wait…What if they know more than we do?”

Time Estimates

A bar graph of frequency for different projected time estimates. The largest bar is the "Underestimate", there's a smaller bar for estimates that correspond to the "Actual" time, and a minuscule portion for the "Overestimate".

I can settle for being wrong with all my time estimates. Just please make them overestimates!

Learning Curves

Top-left: Gentle, with a curve increasing slowly. Top-right: Linear, with a curve increasing linearly. Bottom-left: Steep, with a curve rapidly increasing. Bottom-right: Discontinuous, with a curve as a series of steps.

Not pictured: Non-monotonic, which is what I suspect most of us end up experiencing.