Even in an advice-centric environment dedicated to advising young graduate students, as reflected in the formal title of advisor, there are many questions for which advice seeking is not supported in the normal course of affairs. Graduate students at research universities are surrounded by many peers who could act as a sounding board, and students have formal advisors who might agree to offer advice outside of the conventional, expected area of research advice. This aspect of graduate-student life is captured hilariously in several “Piled Higher and Deeper” cartoons by Jorge Cham (, who studied for a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Stanford and later was an instructor and researcher at Caltech.

  1. personal questions
  2. irrelevance
  3. no matter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: