Alyssa wonders how best to portray research professors on film.
The answer, of course, is that Chuck Lorre has already solved this problem in The Big Bang Theory, using a Rocky montage. (I'd embed the YouTube link, but embedding is disabled.)
That depiction, of course, is not entirely accurate. In my experience, it misses two critical points: (a) caffeine and (b) occasional profanity. But the essential elements -- silence, nerds, concentration, and a dry-erase board -- are all there.