Comics about mathematics, science, and the student life.

By Inspection

The differential equation for oscillatory motion is on the board. The professor explains that the solution is clear by inspection, when really it's the years of experience that makes it clear.

“You don’t see it? But it’s jumping out right at you!”

Your Turn

Despite being frustrated as undergraduates, we do the same thing as our professors later on.

The cycle continues.

Procedure

Student thinks their piece doesn't fit in the machine, but they don't realize that a rotation would do the trick.

I try not to be too cynical about early mathematics education, but I really dislike when we try and split a concept into distinct “parts”. The end result is that students don’t recognize that some procedures are part of the same idea.

Extra Step

Student walks down the staircase, thinking there are only two steps to go when really there are three left.

It’s like a staircase that always has one more step than the last time you used it.

Thicket

Student tries to hack through the thick grass, unable to figure out where they are.

“If only I remembered to pack my lawn mower.”

Divergence of the Undergrad

Students are running away from a professor in the radial direction.

I won’t make a claim for this joke. I first heard it from one of my professors, and haven’t forgotten it since.

Patching

The dream is that someone gives you a luxury car that works well, while the reality is that the bicycle tire gets patched.

“If you want the full service, I can even adjust the seat post!”

Forgetful

Professor wonders how students haven't learned about black-body radiation, only to be reminded that they were the one that taught the course.

I kid you not, this actually happened.

Non-Conservative

Graph of the status in your class versus how much of the course is done. The integral isn't zero around the loop.

We reward those who do good throughout the whole semester versus those who peak at the end, even though the end result is the same.

Sweeping

Professor asks if student understands, and the students says yes while sweeping misconceptions under the rug.

And then a few days later, we ask for an explanation once again.