phdcomics at umich

Jorge Cham giving talk! Jorge Cham signing books!

PhdComics creator Jorge Cham was at school today giving a talk on every grad student’s favorite topic, procrastination. Got my books signed, and did the usual fanboying that is expected of me getting my picture taken with him! Really enjoyed the talk — it was almost like standup, although I did feel it was a little too simplistic for the audience. I know it’s hard to put a lot of serious content into a light hearted lecture, but it would have been nice to hear about related things such as structured procrastination and other such topics that usually haunt the “advice” section of eminent faculty’s homepages.

Some interesting things from the talk:

* Average annual stipend of a grad student in the U.S.: $14055. Average annual salary of a McDonalds employee in California: $14040. Which means we can afford an extra $15 CD once a year. Whee.

* It is not important that Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree when he discovered gravity. The important point is why was Mr. Newton sitting under an apple tree, slacking off, instead of working hard at his desk?

* A person in the audience shared an anecdote about how he ran an experiment five minutes before coming to the talk, and found out that he’s invalidated his advisors theories, etc. Jorge hears that and says, in a fearful voice: RUN!!”.

About the author:

Arnab Nandi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University. You can read more about him here.

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