Thursday, September 07, 2006

Piled Higher and Deeper...

All the graduate students (i.e. MS/PhD) would have realised by now that this post is about the famed PhD comics . For those people who claim to be mature/old/wise and think that comics is just for kids... here's a strip for all of you guys.

This is one of the few no nonsense comics that really appeal to grad students. I would count it in the league of Calvin and Hobbes. The author only focuses the content on the graduate students... so even though non-graduate students will find it amusing, they wont relate to its characters. It would be really difficult for them to separate out comedy, sarcasm, irony and truth from the content.

Recently Dr Jorge Cham, the author of PhD comics, paid a visit to SU. The topic of his presentation was: The power of procrastination...
It was incredible.. it still is.. on how someone can give an hour long presentation on something as mundane as that...

His presentation just gave a comical/ironical overview of the problems graduate students face all over the world. It was not just random stuff that he was dishing out... he supported his theories with properly researched data. One of them was a research conducted by UCB. According to the research, 95% of graduate students suffer from extreme anxiety, 65% of them suffer from depression at some point in their academic life, 10% think about committing suicide and .5% actually commit suicide. It was amusing to find how the lives of grad students, all over the world is pathetically the same...(no pun intended)

Although Dr Jorge has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and his research focuses on neural prosthetics (brain-machine interface in a nutshell), he is better known for his comics. He is amazingly jovial and so much unlike the regular PhD guys I have met... who either are serious about everything or pretend to be (as if the world wants the doctors to be dark natured.. immersed in thought... a total bullshit).

The comics are now his full time job... he teaches at Cal tech though(part time i guess). After 24 years of education... pushing, stamping, sweating and getting a PhD from Stanford.. this guy chooses to write comics for a living... I salute him.


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