Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Compression

Left: A series of images about science. A matrix of values, a person thinking, a lattice, a telescope, a flask, and two scientists high-fiving. (Caption: The real science) Right: A scientific paper which is the output of all this work. (Caption: What people see)

Let’s never forget that it’s a human activity, not a bunch of papers.

Note

Note to self: You've gotten trapped in this science problem before. Do NOT let yourself get trapped again. Love, yourself. Signed: 2021-07-21 (crossed out), 2021-08-30 (crossed out), 2021-10-15 (crossed out), 2021-11-03.

This is my New Year’s resolution. I will stick to it!

Terminal Experience

Three scientists, with the more terminal experience as you go to the right. Left scientist: "My browser history is only StackOverflow." Middle scientist: "I'm pretty sure this won't damage my computer..." Right scientist: "I don't trust GUIs."

Unfortunately, I’m between the left and the middle.

Academic Wishlist 2

A wishlist for the holidays. 1. The discipline to not take on too many projects (>= 3). 2. No (fewer) bugs in my code. 3. Regular (some) breaks from being always "on". 4. JWST safely in space (with no delays).

The sad part is that many don’t see item 3 as desirable.

Paper Cut

A graph of paper length as a function of editing time. It begins high, and then decreases in steps as the authors implement the following strategies: Contracting words, using acronyms, moving all details to the supplementary information, and moving the methods to the figures.

Then there’s all the fun of playing with the font size and column width, as well as merging paragraphs. There are just so many options!

Linchpin

Two female scientists discussing research. Scientist 1: "I've secured my spot in the research group forever!" Scientist 2: "How?" Scientist 1: "By ensuring I'm the only one who can navigate the codebase."

A few years later, she’s driven nuts by everyone asking her questions about the code.

Research Realities

Two scientists are walking and discussing their work. Scientist 1 says, "I tried fifty different things today, and one worked. Maybe." Scientist 2 says, "That's progress!" Caption: Research realities.

And you thought the batting ratio in baseball was low.

Expert

A scientist saying, "I know a ton about this." Caption above: A scientist discussing a topic they are an expert on. Caption below: Also shown: When they have no idea.

The exercise to the reader is to figure out which one you’re dealing with.

Right

Left panel (School): A student sits at their desk, looking at their homework. "What's the right answer?" Right panel (Research): A scientist stands at their blackboard, and asks, "What's the right question?"

They don’t teach you this in school.

Block

A scientist stands in a landscape and says, "Let's show X!" X is far away, but it is surrounded by a dotted line, with a label, "Obscure math theorem that keeps blocking you".

If only I could take this bird’s-eye view more often. It would save me a lot of time!