Cartoonist, Former NASA Roboticist, & Creator of the Webcomic, "xkcd"
Randall Munroe sketches elegant and illuminating explanations of the weird science and math questions that keep geeks awake at night. One of a small group of professional web cartoonists, math-obsessive and chronic-explainer Randall Munroe dazzles the online world (and racks up millions of monthly page views) with the meaninglessly-named (and occasionally heartbreaking) webcomic xkcd.
xkcd is a stick figure comic with themes in computer science, technology, mathematics, science, philosophy, language, pop culture and romance.
Munroe had originally used xkcd as an instant messaging screenname because he wanted a name without a meaning so he wouldn't eventually grow tired of it. He registered the domain name, but left it idle until he started posting his drawings in September 2005. The comic has a very loyal fanbase.
Munroe licenses his xkcd creations under the Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial 2.5, stating that it isn't just about the free culture movement, but that it also makes good business sense.
The popularity of the strip among science fiction fans resulted in Munroe being nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist in 2011 and again in 2012. In 2014 he was nominated in the Best Graphic Story category, for Time.
He has also started a project called "What if?" where users post questions to the website which are usually absurd and physics/math related, and he answers them using his own knowledge as well as various sources from the web.
Aside from maintaining his websites, Munroe also engages in kite photography, in which cameras are attached to kites and pictures are then taken of the ground or buildings.
Munroe published an xkcd-style comic on scientific publishing and open access in Science in October 2013.