Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Just Smart Enough

A graph of "Danger" versus "Knowledge". The curve starts off with low danger, then peaks, then decays with a long tail. At the peak, there's a label which says, "Just enough to be dangerous."

“No, you don’t understand. I know what I’m talking about!”


A graph of "Work as play" versus "Internal and external pressure". It's a negative linear relationship.

This is why the solution to difficulties in work is sometimes: Take a break and do something else.

Elevator Talk

The outside of a building with an elevator. As the elevator lift descends, there's a conversation between a scientist and another person. The person says, "So, what do you do as a scientist?" Scientist: "Well, how should I say this for someone without a background..." The elevator descends and the scientist is mumbling, "Uh, it's kind of complicated but..." The person says, "Can you tell me anything?" The elevator gets to the bottom and the scientist says a few things that have been redacted due to jargon, and then says, "And that's what I do."

If only the elevator was a semester long…

Talk Attendance

Title: Reasons to attend a talk. There are are two sublists. On the left (Stated): Cool topic, relevant to your research, or a great speaker. On the right (Revealed): Free food, department obligation, or an excuse to take a break.

Never underestimate the free food.


Two friends are walking. The first one says, "The internet brings so many new paradigms for sharing science..." The second one continues, "And yet, we can't move past a form that mimics a technology thousands of years old?" The first friend sighs, then says, "Stupid skeuomorphism."

Scientists: Never moving to a new technology because they are attached to backwards compatibility.


A person is running over a set of hurdles. They are in mid-flight above one while saying, "Why am I even running these hurdles?!" There are arrows underneath the hurdles, with the caption: Things you signed up for in the past but no longer care about.

Just because you wanted it once doesn’t mean you need to go after it until the day you die.


Two people are having a conversation. The first person asks, "Do you want to go over there?" She's referring to a sign that points out of the panel that says, "New conversations". The friend replies, "Nah, I like it here." Caption: Familiar conversation ground.

“I know everything we’re about to say in this conversation, but sure, let’s do it over again.”

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.