Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.


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.”

Linear Theory

The trick to getting your linear theory to work is making the data points bigger.

“So the size of the dots indicate your error bars?”

“Oh no, I only add those in when I’m really desperate.”


The Ising model is what everyone starts with.

Most condensed matter research nowadays is just a list of footnotes to the Ising model.

Narrow Band

The narrow band which is what you know of your research field resembles that of the visible band in the electromagnetic spectrum.

If you work diligently, you might get to double the width of your knowledge.

Spherical Cow

Trusting a physicist to do a rigourous job probably won't end well.

Honestly, was it that much of an approximation to take the complicated world economy and transform it into a series of springs?

Up To Date

Becoming a polymath back in the day was a lot easier than now.

“Oh look, I think I see the new shipment on the horizon! You better get started on this pile.”


Science can be seen as a loosely-grouped collection of islands or a continent in which we arbitrarily erected borders.

Let’s not forget that the divisions in science are mainly a human construct.

Risk Management

Figuring out what is risky and what is not is much simpler if you just decide *everything* if risky.

That was easy.

Quick Email

Emailing a professor seems like it could take just a minute, but in reality takes several hours.

The time professors spend reading your email is inversely proportional to the time you spend writing it.

(It seems like I was subconsciously inspired by this comic from Jorge Cham, so I wanted to link to his work. He was inspired by someone else for that comic too, so I guess there’s a multi-comic thread going through this idea now!)

Class Speedup

A graph showing that no matter how fast a teacher goes in class, there's always room for them to speed up.

“Oh crap, there are only five minutes left in class!”


“I bet we can make substantial headway on this new topic.”