Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

February 19, 2007

Contact: Lisa Merkl
713.743.8192 (office)
713.605.1757 (pager)

Mechanical Engineer, Comic Strip Creator Jorge Cham
to Inaugurate NSM Dean’s Lecture Series

Known as the “Dilbert of academia,” Jorge Cham has been giving graduate students a reason to chuckle for the past eight years with “Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD),” a comic strip about the ups and downs of life in graduate school.

Cham, who earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering at Stanford University, will speak at the University of Houston about “The Power of Procrastination” at 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23 in the Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex auditorium (room 100). The first lecture in a new UH series designed to inspire college students to attend graduate school, the event is free and open to the public.

Cham’s humor has long struck a chord with frazzled graduate students, and his talk will draw upon his own experiences to inject humor into the lives of stressed out academics. He also will explore what causes anxiety among academics and the myths – and guilt – associated with procrastination.

In addition to having appeared in student newspapers including those at Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University, his comic strip is published online, where it receives more than 4.5 million page views per month. To see the strip, visit

Originally from Panama, Cham obtained his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a specialization in robotics from Stanford, where he began drawing “PhD.” He subsequently worked as an instructor and researcher at Caltech.

Cham’s appearance launches the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) Dean’s Lecture Series. The NSM Office of the Dean, the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program and the Houston-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (H-LSAMP) are sponsoring the series. The Chemistry Graduate Student Association and the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies are co-sponsoring Cham’s talk.

The lecture series will continue this spring with two additional speakers March 23 and April 30. For more information, contact Christina Chan, UH-AGEP director, at 713-743-3242 or

WHO: Jorge Cham, creator of “Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD)” comic strip
WHAT: UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean’s Lecture Series
Topic: “The Power of Procrastination”
WHEN: 1 to 2:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23
WHERE: University of Houston
Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex auditorium (room 100)
Off Cullen Boulevard, Entrance 14

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