The PhD saga: Jorge Cham

Tomorrow is Father’s day and what could be the best gift I can give to my dad than a writing a new blog… 🙂 After all I learned (or genetically acquired  :)) it from you…Happy Father’s day baba… 🙂


I finished my BS and declared that I will never ever take a class…then I met Neeraj,  fell in love with him decided to do my MS and after MS declared (again) never ever ever ( new addition :)) will take a class…..! Then I joined PhD program! ha ha… 🙂

There were two reasons  why I joined PhD program one I loved PhD comics and second after reading  Po Bronson’s book ‘What should I do with my life’ got inspired! Ideal answers…BUT No. I am kidding. I am not telling you the inside reasons… 🙂

Even though I didn’t join PhD for PhD comics, I am in love with Jorge Cham from head to toe. While Jorge Cham doesn’t need an introduction to the graduate students across the world… but for those who don’t know him yet…is a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and now a full time cartoonist! I know what you all must be thinking…what a waste of talent! He calls himself as an over-educated cartoonist! Believe me I thought the same thing when I first heard about him! Later he joined California  institute of technology as assistance professor and worked there for two years and then realized that he loved his cartoons more! He is the writer of PhD comics ( Piled Higher and Deeper)! This comic strip is about the PhD students and their life inside ( and outside?! if any ) the lab.

When he was doing his master’s at Stanford University, he saw an advertisement in Stanford Daily about a  call  for cartoon strip and started this comic strip, posted it on his website and soon became a ‘lab’hold name in all laboratories across United States… 🙂  Every possible high impact journal paper has given him an honorary mention! Since then, now for 14 years he has been producing this PhD saga!!!

He has a great sense of humor…and has apt observations! I think what makes these cartoons a big success that the fact that you read one cartoon and you think Oh…that’s me!!! You read another and you go…aah that’s my lab… 🙂 He made us ( poor graduate students) realize that how some phenomenon are universal…such as how your parents/spouse/friends don’t understand what (and why???) you do? Why you are not earning money while your undergrad friend is earning way more and is married and has kids!!!… 🙂 Why you attend seminars at arts school (Real reason: your love for free food???) and the ADVISER!!!phd050599s-300x130

He even understands your need [read: procrastination] to follow  French/ American/Australian Open and Wimbledon and all random ATP tours…(I am not even counting the IPL and the endless cricket tours… :))

After the huge success of this series Cham published 4 books of this comic strip.  Soon he realized that the current medium of communication is video so he decided to make a movie based on PhD comics.  I did not get a chance to see The PhD movie but I have seen the trailer but didn’t like it much… 😦

If I have to choose one favorite from PhD comics…it is impossible! May top 10… 🙂 But I like the one published in Science and would like to know  if this ever happened with you!!!phd072508s

PS: I am writing this blog because I AM PROCRASTINATING… and I have too much to do!!! Hi Hi… 🙂


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