Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Inverse Square Law

Student 1: "So now that you're finished your physics degree, what was the most important thing you learned?" Student 2: "Everything follows an inverse-square law. Even if it doesn't, most won't notice it if you try to slip it by them."

“Oh yeah, the amount of energy I have in a day follows an inverse-square law. I mean, clearly this must be true!”

(Other physicist) “Now that I think about it, I do seem to be four times as tired when I’m twice as far into my day…”


Professor: "Let's see how convoluted I can make this problem." (Later) "Here's your homework problem. It's totally what would show up in research and not something I just made up."

I’ve been knee-deep into a problem before, only to throw up my hands and curse my professor for something that is clearly meant to keep us occupied (and serves no greater purpose).

Audiobook Presentation

Student 1: "Crafting a presentation takes so long! Getting the right balance of story and technical details is super challenging." Student 2: "Oh, I'm already done." S1: "How? You only started yesterday!" S2: "Sure, but presentations are easy once you're done your paper. You just treat it as the audiobook version!"

I think we’ve all sat in for this kind of presentation before.

Wrong Preparation

Runners gather near the start line for a race. One is enthusiastically waiting for the 5K, but it turns out that this is an ultramarathon. A metaphor for preparing for the wrong test.

This is one of the most frustrating experiences you can have in school. You spend all this time studying and - suprise! - you weren’t looking at the right material.

Luxury of Worrying

Student 1: "Ugh, I'm so stressed out about my tests! How do I worry less?" Student 2: "Easy, take more classes." S1: "Won't that make it worse?" S2: "Nope. You will have so much work to do that you won't have the luxury of worrying. Problem solved!"

Unconventional, but I can vouch for the effectiveness of such a strategy.

Test Results

Siz panels depicting various behaviours students exhibit before receiving their results. Praying, sweating, calm, stressed, denial, and resignation.

Not pictured: biting nails, pacing back and forth, and obsessively checking their school’s site to see if the teacher posted grades.

Balancing Act

A student tries to balance a bunch of dishes on their head, hands, and foot. A metaphor for memorizing before tests.

Just a little bit more to go, and then everything can come crashing down!

Exam Worry

A graph depicting the amount of worry a student has with respect to their exam over time.

Whenever I get out from a difficult test, I tell myself, “Just get to that three month mark!”

Cooking Up

Student: "Professor, why do you make the problems so hard for us?" Professor: "Hard?! If you think this is bad, wait until you get to grad school. We are like chefs here! We cook up perfect problems for you. It only gets worse."

“From what we give you, it might be possible to think that you could solve any problem in the world. If only!”

Big Numbers

Person 1: "Look at all those stars! Do you ever step back in awe as a physicist at all of the mind-boggling numbers you deal with?" Person 2: "No, we physicists have figured out a way to get rid of that feeling. The speed of light? We set it to 1. The distance from here to the Sun? 1 A.U. The trick is to always redefine big numbers into smaller numbers." P1: "Now I see why you don't do any scientific outreach."

If it was possible, I think physicists would like to exclusively work with the number 1.