Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Homework Time

A graph depicting the proportion of time spent on homework. A small part is for doing the assignment itself, while the bulk is in fixing mistakes, cleaning up the work, and hunting down minus signs.

I’m notorious for spending far too much time on little details that ultimately aren’t important. I just can’t stand having something slightly wrong when it could be fixed!

Compliance

A student tells a friend that they got a 95 in their class, so they can move up to Compliance 200. The friend hopes that they will be able to as well. Two adults watch on from afar, and observe that people will do anything when a grade is attached to the activity.

I find it a bit sad that we can get so wrapped up in grades that we forget to enjoy the subject themselves. Some of us end up playing the “meta-game” of school.

Tearing It Up

The professor tells the students that they can rip off the last page of the exam for the formula sheet. A student tries to do this in one smooth motion, and ends up ripping the sheet in half.

Apparently, I’m trying to make this webcomic autobiographical.

One and Done

Two friends are talking. One observes that they have never seen the other one read, and the other person replies that they tried reading once, and didn't like it, so they gave up.

If we opened our eyes just a little bit more, we would realize that we didn’t have a good experience, not that we don’t like the activity itself.

Apply this to any activity you want to convince someone to try.

Operational Definition

The professor asks for the difference between a theorem and a lemma. A student replies that a theorem is something they need to memorize for a test, while a lemma is something they can immediately forget.

Unfortunately, I think we’ve all been in the situation where we needed to recall some obscure lemma that we were sure wasn’t going to be on the test.

Recently

A number line showing how people use the word 'recently'. From cosmologists to high-energy physicists.

We’ve got experts covering all time scales!

Shaking Off

A researcher drives their pickup truck fast while undergraduates try to cling on for dear life from the back.

It’s okay, I’m making these students more resilient. They will thank me for this extra training!

Order

A student realizes they have an exam early in the morning. Instead of moving their other obligations to later times, they decide to front load everything even earlier so they don't break the usual chain of events.

I can’t be the only one who runs before the sun comes up in order to be done before school! Right?!

Simplification

Two people are asked to imagine a car going down a hill. The regular person imagines a car driving down, while the physics student imagines a block of mass M sliding down a wedge.

If we taught you correctly in school, you won’t ever imagine any “real” objects. Those are for the engineers to worry about!

Mopping

The first person is impressed with how the second is a researcher, and says that it must be awesome. The researcher replies that they sometimes feel just like a janitor. The first person is confused, and the researcher explains that, sometimes, they have to go ahead and clean up the literature of a bunch of mistakes.

“But wait, isn’t the scientific literature peer-reviewed and free of mistakes?”

“Yes, I think that was the dream at some point…”