Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

One Trick Pony

We need more signs like this.

For an extra fee, we will go to one higher order in our solution.

Programming Workflow

Constant errors until things suddenly work.

“I’m getting closer. What happens if I do this-?”

Error!

“Okay, maybe not that.”

Not Injective

All going for that same end goal.

We need to expose students to more than just the typical academic career path.

Competition

Working through a research paper can feel like a full-time job.

I’ve always found it tragic how research papers have to dress up what can be simple notions into some which are incredibly complex. At its core, the problem lies with finding good notation to express a given question or problem. Without this, the reader has to translate from opaque notation to the simple but informal arguments, which are easier to understand.

Pattern Recognition

Magical incantations in mathematics.

I’ve always found these sentences in mathematics to be so lyrical. They almost want you to complete them in this way, even when we can get a little carried away.

Tip of the Iceberg

The difference between what others think you know and what you actually know.

“Can you teach me everything you know?”

“Uh…that was it.”

Framing

Trying to fence the perfect area of your house to look presentable on camera.

If only I could make a “bubble of sound” around me…

Toy Model Regression

Physicists: Simplifying until anyone can solve the problem.

“Next: I can write a series of papers doing progressively more complicated perturbations and expansions.”

Numerical Instability

Machine learning is really about praying that things all work out.

That platform is only balancing because I’ve had to tune the mass of that left sphere perfectly. It practically took a neural network to figure out the right mass.

Inspection

Grad students think that lines in a research paper are much more significant than they really are.

“Do you think you should maybe polish up this draft a bit for clarity?”

“What? This isn’t a draft! I spent a whole thirty minutes working on it. Everyone I want to understand this will be able to, and the others will just have to figure it out.”