Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

The Right Game

A bar chart with two bars. The first bar is the highest and represents, "Time spent doing X". The second bar is much lower and represents, "Time spent thinking why I do X". Caption: Being good is useless if you're playing the wrong game.

The problem, of course, is that being good at X often makes me feel that I should be doing X, even if it’s not ultimately what I want.


A graph of "Agreement" versus "Number of scientists". It's an inverse relationship.

I think disagreement is in our blood.


A scientist wraps up their talk in front of a board and asks, "Any questions?" There's crickets (silence) from the audience. Caption: Why is this the end of most academic talks?

Maybe I just haven’t found the really exciting talks.

Kernel of Care

A large space labeled, "An applied problem". Within, there's a small square that has the label, "The mathematical kernel that a theorist cares about."

“Please do me a favour next time and get rid of all this extra fluff.”

Wrap Up

Graph of "Time left on a project" versus "Time". It begins as a decreasing linear function, but then tapers off as a project drags on. At some point, there's a discontinuous jump with the label, "Okay, we need to wrap this up!" and then the project is done.

The undiscussed alternative is to let the project quietly die.


A graph of "Worry" versus "Size of error". For most people, it's a linear relationship. For me, it's a constant line.

Unfortunately, the value of my worry is also way too high.

Test Taking

Left panel (Before grad school): A student says, "I can ace any test you give me." Right panel (After): The student has their hands up in the air and says, "You want me to do *what?!*"

I’ve shed all capability of taking tests, and you know what? It feels great!

Data Race

Three physicists sprinting towards a sign that says, "Publish here". The caption: Theoretical physicists racing to publish first on new data.

“Quick, we need to establish precedence first!”


A large space labeled, "All people". Inside is a dot representing a person, with a small circle around them labeled, "The only people you interact with". The dot says, "Why is everyone like me?!"

In fact, this is the best response, because the alternative is thinking that the little circle represents everyone.

Rent Free

A frequency bar graph showing how many mistakes occur versus successes, as well as the proportion of space each one takes in my mind. While I have many successes and few mistakes, the few mistakes take up much more space in my mind.

Don’t let the mistakes linger more than they need to.