Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

Learning Curve

A list of instructions, with comments on the side pointing out all of the hidden assumptions. There are a lot of them!

In my experience, the bulk of my work as a PhD student is uncovering all of the hidden assumptions in papers I read.

(And hopefully, making sure I write down the explanation to them for both my future self and others!)


A researcher goes to read a reference to find their "Methods" section, only to realize the reference is 519 papes long with no indication of where to look.

This has to be in the top three most maddening habits of researchers.


Thinking that scientists are all objective is a convenient fiction.

Scientists are humans. Humans do strange things that aren’t always objective.

I’ll let you do the rest.


My research area is a subspace of a subspace of a subspace.

I’m a quantum-entanglement-many-body-physics theorist. If you want more words shoved in, I can accommodate!


Trying to understand a paper often includes reading a ton of other papers. This is academia's version of "batteries not included".

The best part is that the papers that really help me understand aren’t often the cited ones.

Oh, who am I kidding? It’s usually the Physics or Quantum Computing StackExchange which give me the answers I need.


Seeing researcher's code has made me appreciate how great most apps are by comparison.

Of course, the worst researcher’s code I’ve seen is often my own.

Cutting Edge

Trying to climb a very steep slope is the metaphor for research.

The best feeling is when you discover there’s actually a flight of stairs on the other side.


Acknowledging everything that made it possible to do the paper.

Happy belated Mother’s Day all you mothers, and may more of our acknowledgements sections include all of the important supporting players in our lives!


The toolkit you build as a physicist doesn't include many tools to deal with nonlinear phenomena.

Inspired by the book Chaos, by James Gleick. I’d highly recommend it!

Research Directions

A sign for where to go next in your research, but the directions are unhelpful.

Be thankful you even have a sign.