Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Fooling Ourselves

A student finishes a section of their workout slower than expected, but asks their coach to let them run faster. The coach decides that somehow they should be able to run faster, even though it's clear they won't.

Nothing gets me more fired up than those who ignore the fact that students move on in mathematics when they aren’t ready.

Perturbation Theory

A friend asks a physicist what they're doing. It's perturbation theory, which works kind of like shipping software at a version 1.0, and slowly incrementing.

“When do you expect to get to version 1.1?”

“I don’t know, but the person who can figure it out will probably win a Nobel Prize!”

Gooey

A student working at their desk tells their friend that the "gooey" (GUI) they are working with is great, but the friend doesn't know what in the world a "gooey" is.

It doesn’t make it easier that we seem to have a somewhat arbitrary application of this. We articulate NSERC, and LaTeX, but we spell out acronyms like UK or EU.

Periodic Decay

A student can't believe they have to pay for their driving licence each year.

This lesson is made even more acutely when you’re a student.

For The Exam

In the first panel, the student pushes a rock ("test material") up a hill towards a sign that says "Long-Term Memory". They are almost there, but since the test goes by, they decide to let go of the rock, and it rolls away, not getting stored into the long-term memory.

“I was never really going to use this stuff anyway, so I actually dodged a bullet!”

I'll Understand Later

The student sits at their desk, confused about a concept from their texbook, but reasons that they will figure it out later.

This works well when reading fiction, but textbook authors have an annoying habit of repeatedly referring to past material without giving the full explanation again, so it pays to take it slow.

Siren Song

The student sits at their desk during an exam, trying to pump themselves up to not just hand in the exam and leave.

The trick is to convince yourself that you can push through the effort. Just a little more, and it will all be over!

The Crash

A graph of how one loses energy during an exam. The real drop comes at the two-hour mark, where the focus becomes just to power through.

After the crash, it’s quite typical for me to spend ten minutes looking at a single equation and wondering what these weird symbols even mean.

Weak Spot

A student holds a shield and sword while hoping that the teacher won't find their weak spot.

“I’m comfortable with everything except one little detail, but of course with my luck it will be on the test!”

End of Semester

In the first panel, a student thinks about how much they will have to study to prepare. In the second panel, the end of the semester is seen from the professor's perspective, which includes a lot of marking.

If the exam season was particularly rough, I take savage pleasure in thinking of how much work the professors will have to go through.