Special interview with Jorge Cham, PHD Comics

During the Virtual 2020 INFORMS Annual Meeting held in early November, I had the unique pleasure of interviewing Jorge Cham, scholar and comic, and special guest at the INFORMS Awards Ceremony. I am excited to share this interview with you during this special episode of the podcast, as Jorge and I discuss his comic series, Piled Higher and Deeper, and other creative endeavors; his transition from academia to the creative arts (and what his parents thought); important lessons learned; and the relationship between procrastination and productivity. And learn more about accessing valuable meeting content for three months following the meeting.

You know if you look at a lot of scientists, famous scientists. and how they come up with their great ideas, a lot of times it comes to you not when you’re sitting at your desk or not when you’re at the lab trying to make something work, a lot of times it comes when you’re procrastinating, when your mind is a little bit freer and able make these interesting connections.

Interviewed this episode:

Jorge Cham

PHD Comics

Jorge Cham is the creator of Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics), the popular comic strip about life (or the lack thereof) in Academia. He is also the co-founder of PHD TV, a video science and discovery outreach collaborative, and a founding board member of Endeavor College Prep, a non-profit school for kids from disadvantaged communities in East Los Angeles.

Often called the Dilbert of academia, PHD has appeared in the Stanford, MIT, Caltech and Carnegie Mellon newspapers among others, and is published online where it is read by over 7 million visitors a year from over 1000 universities and colleges worldwide.

Jorge Cham was born and raised in the Republic of Panama. He obtained his B.S. from Georgia Tech and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, specializing in Robotics. He was subsequently an Instructor and Research Associate at Caltech from 2003-2005, where his work focused on developing “Smart” Neural Implants. He travels and presents all over the world to thousands of graduate students, faculty and administrators on the graduate student experience.

Five PHD book collections have been published with over 100,000 copies sold.