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Customer Review

on July 12, 2005
Grad students! Are you working too hard? This comic strip collection can help.

"Piled Higher and Deeper" ("PhD") is the first collection of strips of the legendary webcomic of the same name, written (and published) by Jorge Cham of Stanford University. This volume contains comics from roughly 1997 - 2002, including classics such as

--The Grad Student Documentary ("Having feasted, the grad student enters a lethargic state called "researching", in anticipation of the next free meal.")

--What is... the Thesis ("Is it so hard to believe? That grad school isn't real?")

--Post-Bachelor's Disorder ("Do you experience frequent headaches trying to count how many years you've been in school?")

--The High School Renunion ("Um... well... I... I'm still in school...")

and many others. From the first crudely drawn sketches of cramped classrooms and quals to the later, well-drawn strips of research and conferences, "PhD" never fails to entertain. Some of the humor may be dark and depressing, but that just makes it more realistic, and all the more potent.

If you don't believe that a grad student comic strip could possibly be so good, feel free to check out the strip's website, [...], where all of these strips are available for free. (But be warned - reading the entire archive could be hazardous to your research, and once you start, it's hard to stop...) Why buy the book when all its content is available free online? For one thing, to thank Jorge for all the hours of procrastination that he has so kindly provided. For another, to have access to the comics even when you're away from your compu... ok, never mind. The first reason is more than good enough by itself.

Even though "PhD" focuses on engineering, grad students in all fields should find it equally entertaining. And of course, grad students are not the only people who can appreciate this volume - former grad students and future grad students will almost certainly enjoy it as well. All grad students past, present and future should purchase this first "Piled Higher and Deeper" collection (or better yet, have it purchased for them) without delay.
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