Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Outliers

A density plot of "Stubbornness and persistence", in the shape of a normal distribution. To the far right are the outliers, where there's a label: Scientists and runners.

Who else is way out here?

The Weight of Expectations

Two friends are speaking. One friend asks, "Do you really want to carry that?" She's referring to a huge box labelled "Internal Pressure and Perfectionism" that her friend is carrying. He replies, "I...have no choice."

“I have to be the best.”

“Why?”

Pause. “I just have to be.”

Working Reality

A bar chart. The tall left bar says, "Times I think something will work". The smaller right bar says, "In reality".

“It’s going to work. It’s going to work!” (Pause) “It didn’t work.”

Execution

On the left, a person is thinking about their perfect idea. On the right, there is a slightly mangled object. The person says, "Here's what I made." There's a "less than" symbol between the two scenarios, showing that it's always better to ship.

If it doesn’t exist in the world, then it may as well not even be in your mind. Execution is key.

Arrival

A mountain in the shape of a staircase. At each step is a person looking up at the person above them. Everyone is thinking the same thing: "I'll be happy when I get to where they are."

Be wary of trying to “arrive”.

Just Smart Enough

A graph of "Danger" versus "Knowledge". The curve starts off with low danger, then peaks, then decays with a long tail. At the peak, there's a label which says, "Just enough to be dangerous."

“No, you don’t understand. I know what I’m talking about!”

Play

A graph of "Work as play" versus "Internal and external pressure". It's a negative linear relationship.

This is why the solution to difficulties in work is sometimes: Take a break and do something else.

Elevator Talk

The outside of a building with an elevator. As the elevator lift descends, there's a conversation between a scientist and another person. The person says, "So, what do you do as a scientist?" Scientist: "Well, how should I say this for someone without a background..." The elevator descends and the scientist is mumbling, "Uh, it's kind of complicated but..." The person says, "Can you tell me anything?" The elevator gets to the bottom and the scientist says a few things that have been redacted due to jargon, and then says, "And that's what I do."

If only the elevator was a semester long…

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.

Skeuomorphism

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.