Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Sock Classification

A series of socks and their topological equivalence to standard objects. A new sock has no holes and so has genus zero, like a sphere. A used sock has one hole, so it has the same genus as a torus (genus one). The final sock is my sock, and it's what happens when you take the limit of the genus going to infinity.

In surprising news, my socks provided a new avenue into the classification of topological spaces.

Future Problems

Graph of "Problems for future you" versus "Inability to say no". The curve rapidly increases.

“I really want to prove you wrong, but I’ll do it later.”


A researcher with a pickaxe is digging a tunnel, with plenty of unknown obstacles they are about to hit. The caption: Research.

I’m forever bracing myself in research for the inevitable moments when things go wrong. But on the other hand, there are also those moments where things go right!


First panel: Two friends are in conversation. One has a bag of money in hand. The other says, "What's that bag of money for?" "Bribing a mathematician." "Uh...let me give you some advice..." Second panel (later): The person no longer has the bag of money anymore, and approaches the mathematician. He says, "I have a paper that needs a coauthor, but I require a favour--" She interjects, "Done!"

You would almost think papers are a sort of currency in academia…

Constant Confusion

A graph of two functions versus time. The first is a dashed line which is constant, and has the label, "Confusion". The second is a solid linearly increasing line, with the label, "Growth".

If I wasn’t confused, it wouldn’t really be research.


Two friends are talking. One says, "Wow, you're so put together!" The friend says, "Thanks". He's sitting on a box that's shaking and has a swirling mess inside, labelled, "Inner chaos".

Even when you see the success of others, they often have a similar box.

Model Failure

Two scientists are walking together. The first one says, "I'll admit it: my model failed dramatically." The friend says, "So you're going back to the drawing board?" She replies, "Of course not! I'll just make my model more complicated."

“Aren’t you worried about having too many knobs?”

“No, I’m worried about having too few to describe the data!”


A bar chart ranking performance. On the left is a small bar with the label "Skill". On the right, a larger bar with the label "Mindset".

Mindset is the foundation for your craft.

Wrong Turns

A supervisor hands their student a scroll and says, "Congratulations on persevering through so many wrong turns." The student says, "Thanks! What is this?" Supervisor: "A PhD."

This is one of those places where many wrongs might make a right.


Two scientists are in a rowboat near a whirlpool. One of the scientist cries out, "Get us away from here!" "What is it?" "A science problem that's going to suck us in!"

Honestly, the whirlpool tends to be much bigger and often sucks in more than two lone scientists.