Jorge's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Doctoral Roadtrip

JORGE CHAM

Cartoonist / Roboticist
PHD Comics

“As a Ph.D. student, you are given a very open problem that no one in the history of humanity as far as we know has figured out or even thought about...now it’s up to you to do it! ”

INTERESTS:

Art Engineering

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Opportunity Risk Hobbies & Pastimes Transitions Goals Success Self-Reflection Societal Pressures Inspiration Confidence Fulfillment Passion Values Choices Support & Encouragement

FOUNDATION:

Communicating / Sharing Stories

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Was born and raised in Panama.
  • Both of his parents were engineers—he grew up seeing first-hand the joy of solving problems and being “on the cutting edge...devoting your life to something new no one has ever done before.”
  • Attended Georgia Institute of Technology for his undergraduate studies and went on to receive his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
  • He has worked as an instructor and researcher developing neural prosthetics at Caltech, and has also worked on a project developing robotic “cockroaches” that can explore areas humans can’t.
  • In response to the common anxieties students face going through grad school, he created his popular newspaper and web comic strip, Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics).
  • PHD Comics has been adapted into two feature-length films: The PHD Movie and The PHD Movie 2: Still in Grad School; screened at over 500 locations across all seven continents.
  • He also co-wrote and illustrated—along with physicist Daniel Whiteson—the book We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe.
  • Says he sees similarities between his scientific/academic work and his creative art—both embody the search for truth and an expansion of knowledge.

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)