The “Dilbert” Of Academia To Speak At NDSU

Free and open to the public!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
5 p.m. – Free Pizza Social, Butte Lounge (outside Century Theater at Memorial Union, NDSU)
5:30-6:30 p.m. – Jorge Cham Presentation, Memorial Union, Century Theater
6:30 p.m. – Book Signing

Jorge Cham is the creator and artist of Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD), the comic strip about life (or the lack thereof) in grad school.

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

Jorge Cham was born and raised in the Republic of Panama. He obtained his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University (specializing in Robotics), where he started drawing PHD. He was subsequently an Instructor and Research Associate at Caltech from 2003-2005, where his work focused on developing “Smart” Neural Implants. He has published and presented nationally and abroad on his Robotics and Neural Prosthetics research. He also travels and presents all over the world to thousands of graduate students, faculty and administrators on the graduate student experience.

Three PHD book collections have been published.  In all, Jorge Cham’s books have sold over 48,000 copies to date.

A recent survey by U.C. Berkeley found that 95% of all graduate students feel overwhelmed, and over 67% have felt seriously depressed at some point in their careers. In this talk, Jorge Cham recounts his experiences bringing humor into the lives of stressed out academics, examines the source of their anxieties and explores the guilt, the myth, and the power of procrastination.

Talk duration: 45 minutes, 15 minutes Q&A

Rough outline:

•          How “Piled Higher and Deeper” got started

•          Grad students in the media and popular perceptions

•          The big question: Why grad school?

•          Average stipends

•          PhD goes global: you are not alone

•          The power of procrastination: arguments in favor of putting things off

•          Guilt and losing your mojo: common causes for depression in grad school

•          Embracing procrastination and getting back on track

For more information, contact Sonya Goergen at or call 701-231-7771.