Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.


A trailhead with two arrows. To the left is "Breakthrough Work". To the right is "Safe Career".

A breakthrough is just another way of saying it might not have worked.


A mentor speaks with his student. He says, "You need to focus more on the positives in your writing." She says, "So I should put less emphasis on the negatives?" He answers while shrugging, "Or none at all. That's what I do."

I can’t help but notice that many papers try to minimize the drawbacks of their research. Oh, I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

Technical Details

A graph showing "Technical details" versus "My understanding". The curve starts off high and then asymptotes in an inverse relationship. Towards the bottom where I can understand when there are few technical details, I've marked an arrow with, "Why can't all talks be like this?!"

As I’ve listened to more and more presentations, I feel as though I’m less and less willing to follow technical details in a presentation.

Questions and Answers

A graph showing "Number of questions" versus "Number of answers". The top-left has an "X" labelled, "Graduate studies", while the bottom-right has an "X" labelled, "Undergrad".

Graduate school: Where you learn that the only work is asking better and better questions.

Now What?

A professor tells her graduate student, "Now that you're a grad student, you get to take control of your work." The student is holding his hands out to his supervisor in distress, and says, "Okay, but what do I do now?"

Ah, the stress of having unlimited freedom!

Figure Density

A plot of "Comprehension" versus "Information in a figure". The curve goes up, reaches a peak, and then asymptotes back to zero. As the curve asymptotes, there's a vertical dashed line, and on the right I've labelled, "Most scientific figures".

“I know what we can do. We can split up the figure!”

“Yeah, that’s a great idea. Now, each figure can tell its own story–”

“We can make an awesome multi-panel figure!”

Thought Organization

Left (Caption: Ordered): A person with a visualization of the thoughts in their head. They are all ordered. Right (Caption: Disordered): This person's thoughts are all disordered in their head, looking very messy. There's an arrow pointing to the person's thoughts labelled, "Thoughts in my head".

The best part is when they start looping.


Left panel (Caption: In my head): A sun-like object with the words "My perfect idea" in the centre. Right panel (Caption: Out in the world): Me with my idea, showing it to someone else. We're both at a desk, with my friend crossing their arms and not saying anything. I say, "But it looked so great in my mind!"

Happens to me every time.

The Right Book

Left panel: A person clenching their fist says, "I'm going to read more books!" Right panel (Caption: Five hours later): A friend comes up to the person, who is sitting at their desk on their laptop. The friend asks, "So, what are you reading?" The person replies, "Oh, nothing. I haven't found the right book."

The solution? Spend ten more hours browsing book recommendations!


A one dimensional axis labelled "Number of emails", increasing to the right. On the left, there's an "X" which says, "Collaborators and messages you want", while on the right, there's an "X" which says, "Reminders for events". Caption: I never hesitate to delete reminders, because I'll just get ten more.

As the event approaches, the number of emails asymptotes to infinity.