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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Who are you?
Answer: My name is Mike and I am the creator of Spiked Math Comics. Even though I am trying to stay semi-anonymous, it is rather easy for someone to figure out my true identity. Currently, I am a postdoc at a Canadian University and hope to land a job in academics before the year 2015. I completed my Ph.D. degree in 2010 in a crossover between graph theory and linear algebra (i.e., spectral graph theory). I love doing research and have published a few papers in math journals. I also sit on the editorial board for a couple of journals, organize seminars/conferences and take on an active role as an educator. It's definitely a busy, busy, busy life.

Question: What is Spiked Math?
Answer: Spiked Math is a geeky webcomic that often contains mathematical puns, jokes and humor. Since it is completely written and drawn by me, the qualtiy of jokes often ranges from very poor to an instant classic (depending on my creativity and time constraints).

Question: Where does the motivation and ideas for Spiked Math come from?
Answer: Everywhere. Currently, I have a database of over 100 original ideas for comics, mostly crap ideas :-(, and a bunch of excellent user submitted ideas or ideas inspired by others. If I use someone else's idea or the comic is inspired by someone elses idea then I try my best to give credit where credit is due. It's pretty common for artists to draw something they believe they came up with but really the idea came from somewhere else (and they forgot or the similarity didn't occur to them at the time). If this happens to me, let me know and I'll credit the original source(s) to the best of my ability.

Question: How often is the comic updated?
Answer: I try to turn out 12+ comics per month. Depending on how busy my schedule is, it may be more or less. During the summer time it is definitely less.

Question: Can I use comic ### in my newsletter or classroom or article or project or presentation or website?
Answer: Absolutely!! Spiked Math is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License. This means you can't sell the comics without permission but are free to copy and reuse any of my "drawings" (noncommercially and so long as you leave the attribution/copyright in each comic). If you are unsure, send me an email and I'll let you know :D. If you want to use a comic in a textbook you are writing (or use it commercially), then send me an email and we can discuss it. So long as you aren't selling a book of the comics then I usually allow it. I do have higher resolution images of the newer comics if needed.

Question: And how exactly can I contact you?
Answer: If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me an email to: spikedmath at gmail.com. You can also leave comments in the comment area of each comic as I always read these.

Question: I have a truly awesome comic idea! Can I send it to you?
Answer: Absolutely, and perhaps when I have time I will put it into comic form.

Question: I made a paradoy/guest comic, can you post it on your website?
Answer: Maybe. Worst case is that I'll post it on my blog site and link to it from Spiked Math.

Question: Blog site? What other websites do you operate?
Answer: Right now I operate:

Question: How much time do you spend on these websites?
Answer: Way too much time!

Question: How much money do you earn?
Answer: I earn negative money at the moment.

Question: How can I show my support for Spiked Math?
Answer: There are many ways you can show your support! Some ideas include:
  • Visiting the website.
  • Leaving nice comments on the website.
  • Subscribing to the rss feed.
  • Joining and participating in the forums.
  • Liking me on facebook / following me on twitter.
  • Telling your friends and enemies about Spiked Math.
  • Telling Mike you want Spiked Math merchandise, then when he comes out with it, buying it!
  • Linking to Spiked Math from your blog/website.
Of course, if the only thing you happen to do is visit the website, then you've already made me a very happy person!!

Question: Do you ever get hate mail?
Answer: Once in a while I do. Sometimes a comic/joke/picture turns out to be offensive to a particular demographic and I don't realize it until after it's posted. This first type of emails are allowable since I don't intentially mean to offend anyone. My goal is to entertain, educate and motivate people who have an interest in math, not to spread hatred or make people angry (if I happen to piss you off, then I do apologize - send me an email and we can chat about it). Other times, hate mail is from people just disliking Spiked Math in general. Sometimes it is from a disgruntled student who hates math or is seeking attention, and other times it is from a die-hard xkcd fan who thinks I am invading on Randall's territory. I often get comments comparing Spiked Math to xkcd stating how much lamer Spiked Math is.