Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.


Professor presenting: "Bosons are quite friendly and will share states, but fermions? Forget about it. They are like lone wolves." Caption: Physicists: The people who love to give sentience to everything, from equations to particles to stars to galaxies.

How else are we going to get funding if we don’t make our equations sound fun and engaging?

Variable Conditions

Before a test: "This stuff is so easy!" During a test: "Ugh, why does it feel like I'm suddenly much less intelligent?!"

Temporal pressure does funny things to a person.

Research Bubble

Five research papers reference each other, with no one actually doing any work. Researcher: "Did anyone actually take the time to look outside of these five papers?!"

In mathematics, this is known as “proof by circularity”, and is partly where I got the idea for this comic (from someone else).

However, my real motivation came from the fact that I was looking at the literature for a specific topic, and I kept on seeing the same few papers being referenced. I was hoping to find something new, but I couldn’t seem to break this “bubble” of citations.

Arbitrary Function

Professor: "Okay, so to motivate this theorem, let's start with an arbitrary function..." (Draws essentially a curvy function.) Caption: Every professor's idea of an "arbitrary function" seems to be a sine wave.

Now that you’ve seen it, you won’t be able to unsee it.

Textbook Explanations

Colleague: "A lot of people are complaining about your new textbook. They're saying that you don't actually explain anything." Professor: "That's ridiculous. I explained everything that was confusing to me."

I’ll file this one under curse of the expert.

Supervisor Choice

Student: "Okay, time to find a supervisor for the next several years. I need to make sure we are a good fit beyond superficial reasons...OOh, this person has a cool website, so they must be good!"

I can’t be the only one who uses this criterion!


Student 1: "I heard this guy's nickname is Professor Exhaustion." Student 2: "Because his class if tiring?" S1: "No, because he likes to prove everything by exhaustion." (Door of classroom is ajar, in which the professor is speaking) "Let's check that 6079 is prime by going through cases!"

He also doesn’t believe in exhaustion, since you can’t check each case. Nor is he a fan of the continuum.

Proof By Previous Result

Student 1: "That last proof was difficult, right?" Student 2: "Not really. It was like three lines." S1: "Only three!? Mine took a whole page! What technique did you use." S2: "'Proof by quoting a previous result.'"

“To prove this statement, I invoke Theorem 3.2 of our textbook in conjunction with Corollary 67.1, which together implies our result trivially.”


Left panel (Politician): "We may have lost the battle, but we will win the war!" Right panel (Scientist, after a null result): "This might seem like a disappointment, but it's still a good thing. As long as get more money." Caption: No matter your job, humans are always good at putting a spin on things.

The side job of a scientist is being a public advocate for science anyway. I guess we are close to politicians after all.

Reasonable Assumptions

Left panel (Your paper): "As you can see, my paper uses the regular assumptions." (Points to pi = e = 3, and the small angle approximation.) Right panel (Other papers): "What?! This author is assuming that N^2 - 1 = N^2 when N = 10^6. What a ridiculous assumption!"

I just try to be unreasonable all the time. Much easier to be consistent.