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"Piled Higher and Deeper" (PHD Comics): The comic strip, "Piled Higher and Deeper", takes a humorous look at life in graduate school and follows the struggles of four graduate students as they question their place in the world and whether they have what it takes to succeed in research and academia. The comic has been published in The Stanford Daily, the MIT Tech, Carnegie Mellon University and Caltech newspapers among over 50 others. It is now published online at PHD Comics has appeared or in the journal Nature, Science Magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times among others, and has appeared on several news websites including those by USA Today, MSNBC and The Washington Post. Currently, the PHD Comics website ( receives over 7 million unique visitors per year (source: Google Analytics).

Jorge Cham (Creator/ Writer): Jorge Cham began drawing PHD Comics while pursuing his doctorate degree in Engineering at Stanford University, specializing in Robotics. His research at Stanford focused on dynamic legged "biomimetic" robots that incorporate novel manufacturing technologies and design lessons from biology. He also spent time at Caltech developing work on Neural Prosthetics. Since 1997 when he first created PHD Comics, Dr. Cham has published four books and travels extensively giving lectures at conferences and universities about the power of procrastination and "life (or the lack thereof) in academia". "The PHD Movie" is Dr. Cham's first screenplay. For more information about Jorge Cham, please read his profile in Science Magazine, which can be accessed here.

Meg Rosenburg (Producer): Meg is a graduate student in Planetary Science studying lunar topography and surface processes. She is a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow, as well as an aspiring historian of science, pursuing a graduate minor in the history of impact crater studies. She has produced, stage managed, and acted in numerous productions at Caltech and as an undergrad at MIT, where she earned her Bachelor's degrees in Physics and Planetary Science. An ardent supporter of theater and science, she always does what she can to bring them together. All her hard work is made possible by the support of her husband, Jon, and her dog, Simon.

Vahe Gabuchian (Director): Vahe began filmmaking as a hobby during his undergraduate career at the University of California, Irvine, where he studied Chemistry along with Mechanical, Aeronautical, and Chemical Engineering. After several shorts, Vahe began to take on larger film projects such as BALROG: BEHIND THE GLORY and a feature film called THE PARTY IS OVER. Besides movie production, Vahe loves action movies, hot asian soup, and his favorite pair of red basketball shorts, stolen from a friend from high school, which he often wears on set. He is currently a graduate student in Aeronautics at Caltech investigating dynamic mode II ruptures along frictional interfaces using laser vibrometry and opto-mechanical diagnostics.

Raj Katti (Cast, Nameless Grad Student): Raj is a Caltech undergraduate sophomore physics major and lives in Ruddock House. A member of this year's Physics 11 research class, he performs research in Prof. Christof Koch's lab on a project concerning ephaptic coupling by low-frequency electric fields in the human brain. As a high school senior, he was named a 2010 U.S. Presidential Scholar by the Department of Education. He has played several lead roles in TACIT productions, is currently a student at Carter Thor Studios on a scholarship from Caltech's Don Shepard Essay Contest and will soon complete his first short film which he acted in, wrote, and directed.

Alexandra Lockwood (Cast, Cecilia): Alex is a Ph.D. candidate in Planetary Sciences and has undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Maryland. With the support of an NSF graduate fellowship (and a wonderful advisor), she studies molecular excitation in protoplanetary disks in order to characterize planet-forming regions around young stars. In her spare time, Alex is an RA at Ruddock House, one of two Social Chairs for the Caltech Graduate Student Council and appeared in a 2010 production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change by the Extracurricular Players at CIT (EXPLiCIT).

Evans Boney (Cast, Mike Slackenerny): Evans (MIT '06 Chemistry, Physics) is a Caltech graduate student in Chemistry Theory, studying surface vibrational chemistry with Nobelist Rudy Marcus. In his spare time, he has also acted in and produced Penn and Teller Tell A Lie for the Discovery Channel and has written a feature film about Caltech basketball that is in development. Evans is interested in pursuing a postdoctoral career in show business (writing, production and acting) as well as scientific research. For more about Evans, please visit his website.

Crystal Dilworth (Cast, Tajel): Crystal is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry using fluorescence microscopy to probe the molecular basis of nicotine addiction and Parkinson's disease. In 2010 she was the award recipient of an individual NRSA fellowship from the National Institute of Drug Addiction. Crystal has been an avid reader of PHD Comics since 2005 when she was doing research at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. She has a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from UCSD. Before coming to Caltech, Crystal was a professional dancer and choreographer, and a nationally ranked rhythmic gymnast. She received her dance training at the prestigious Ailey School in Manhattan, NY.

K. Zachary Abbott (Cast, Prof. Smith): Zachary is on the Information Technology staff at Caltech, working as a Systems Administrator. He has acted in several stage productions for TACIT and he holds a graduate degree in Theology from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA.