How can I pursue a thesis at UMTL?
If you are interested in writing a Bachelor's or Master's thesis at our chair, please be aware of the following prerequisites and principles:
- Optimally, you have successfully attended lectures and/or seminars given by our group (Bachelor or Master).
- To find an advisor and apply for a topic, there are two options:
- You are looking for a topic: Have a look at our open thesis page. Here you can see what we currently offer - every entry illustrates how to apply for it. If you have experience in an area that we cover (please visit the individual web pages of our team members), but no corresponding open topics are available at the moment, you can proactively contact the corresponding member of UMTL. Add your current transcript of records (as well as former ones, if applicable), a motivational statement why the area is a good fit for you and a clear timeframe indicating when you plan to do your thesis (planned start + end date). Please note that there is no guarantee that we can supervise you.
- You already have a topic (your own idea or the topic is proposed by an external company): In order to learn more about our research interests, please visit the individual web pages of our team members. Please send Prof. Krüger an email with the names of the team members that match the topic of your intended thesis closest (if you cannot identify a match, we are likely the wrong chair for supervision).
Please note, if the thesis does not fit to our research agenda or the relevant members have no capacity left, we might not be able to supervise you on this topic (however other Computer Science chairs might be able to, see below). If the topic comes from an external company, please include the original thesis description in your initial contact and also state whether there are aspects the company needs us to consider (e.g., "Sperrvermerk"/NDAs etc.). If the topic is a fit and a member is interested, Prof. Krüger will initiate the contact.
- The potential advisor will review your application:
- You get a positive reply: Great news! You can now proceed with the topic and follow the steps stated in the section “After I have a topic and an advisor - what else do I need?” (if it is an external thesis, see also the common questions section)
- You receive a negative reply: Sadly, the team member cannot accept your application. This could be because of different reasons, such as the lack of spots available, or the specific topic does not fall within the expertise of the team member. You have the option to find another chair for supervision or you can return to step 2a.
- "Is UMTL the only chair where I can write a thesis?" - Please see your study and examination regulations, which describe the specific rules. Typically, you can write your thesis at all Computer Science chairs.
- "What is a suitable thesis topis?" - Please see your study and examination regulations, which describe the specific rules what a thesis should cover. Typically, it should have be a topic that strongly relates to your study program.
- "I have a thesis offer by an external company - what do I need to consider?" - Again, first see your study and examination regulations for doing a thesis externally. Typically, a Computer Science professor from Saarland University should be a reviewer. If you want Prof. Krüger to be a reviewer, we require that you also have an advisor from the UMTL to ensure that the topic and the work done fits to the academic standards. See 2b above. As soon as you have found an advisor it is reasonable to create an informal document summarizing what your thesis needs to cover such that both sides (company advisor and UMTL advisor) are satisfied with the result.
- "I have difficulties finding an advisor for a given topic – what do I do?" – If you have a topic in mind and have followed the principles listed here, it might be worthwhile to investigate the reasons behind the issue. Please ensure that the topic you have in mind has a clear connection to one of the members of our team. Consider revising the scientific contribution of your topic. Should none of the approached members have any spots available, consider different approaches to your topic that are of interest to other team members. Lastly, if all else fails, consider switching to a different topic listed on our open topics page or a different chair.
After I have a topic and an advisor - what else do I need?
- You need to do our Bachelor/Master Seminar
- You need to implement systems/conduct studies/... depending on the thesis' goals (which you discuss with your advisor)
- You need to defend your thesis
- You need to write down your thesis (A German and English template for this can be found here).
Which aspects are considered for the thesis grading?
The following questions are considered (if applicable for the specific thesis topic and further questions might be considered if relevant for it) while grading a thesis. This is aimed at providing you with an overview of aspects important to a thesis. If you have any further questions, refer to your advisor for more information.
- Is the thesis topic (as agreed upon initially) properly addressed?
- Does the thesis show the student implemented appropriate scientific methods (i.e., decisions were made in an informed manner and documented properly, etc.)?
- Related work
- Is the selection of related work applicable and comprehensive?
- Was the feedback on the related work during the BMS properly integrated in the thesis?
- Is the related work appropriately presented (i.e., it was described in a focused way what constitutes the related work, it was clearly shown why this work is relevant for one's own work and which aspects have flowed into one's own work, etc.)?
- Are citations used correctly and wherever needed?
- Is the bibliography complete with consistent formatting?
- Execution of the written part
- Does the abstract properly describe the thesis?
- Is the thesis structured correctly and comprehensibly?
- Is the motivation of the thesis clearly elaborated on?
- Does the thesis contain a clear summary of the results achieved?
- Is there a critical discussion on the performance and the limitations of the work to reflect on the choices made?
- Is future work thoroughly described and are connections to the own work well presented?
- Is the language used appropriate without spelling mistakes?
- Does the thesis follow an internal consistency (e.g., special terms are always written in the same form)?
- Is the thesis consistent and free of incorrect descriptions (i.e., there are no contradictions within the thesis, etc.)?
- Is the thesis presented clearly and are the means of presentation appropriate (e.g., short sentences, images are used were reasonable, images are easy to understand, etc.)?
- Is the layout of the thesis appropriate (i.e., all images are referenced, no widows and orphans, tables are properly formatted, etc.)?
- Is the concept (in relation to the thesis topic) presented thoroughly in the thesis?
- Is the chosen and described solution novel?
- Is the concept appropriately presented with a motivation why this solution is the correct one to target the goal of the work?
- Does the implementation do what it should and does it fulfill the task?
- Has an appropriate technology stack been chosen and described properly?
- Is the implementation robust and fault tolerant?
- Is the implementation extensible?
- Is the source code documented? Is there documentation on how to deploy/continue to work on the implementation?
- Is the implementation and its approach appropriately presented in the thesis?
- User interface/User experience
- Does the implementation have an appealing and intelligible user interface and is it documented properly in the thesis?
- Does the interface offer a high usability and a good user experience?
- Are the hypotheses/questions presented appropriate?
- Is the method suitable to answer the hypotheses/questions and is it commonly used in related work to tackle these aspects?
- Is the amount of recruited participants/the amount of data points considered appropriate?
- Is the type of recruited participants/the data sources selected fitting (e.g., no gender bias)?
- Was the raw data handled correctly with appropriate the statistical analysis?
- Is the method appropriately presented in the thesis (i.e., can the study be replicated based on what was described in the thesis)?
- Are the results appropriately presented in the thesis?
- Are the results appropriately discussed, specifically in respect to the presented hypotheses/questions?