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Bachelor and Master Thesis Guidelines

If you want to write your master or bachelor thesis with one of the DWS professors, please follow the guidelines below. Guidelines for the Chair of Data Analytics (Prof. Rainer Gemulla) can be found here.

1. Application

  • To apply for a thesis, contact the chair and provide your
  • You can suggest your own topic or write your thesis about a topic that we suggest (which we always have). In the latter case, please let us know your general interests on the Master Candidate Profile form.
  • If you want to write your thesis in cooperation with a company, please send the name and contact details of your contact at the company together with your application. Make sure that the company can provide you with all required resources (e.g., datasets, servers, ...). Before starting your thesis, the company will have to sign a supervision agreement.
  • Contact points:
    • Professor Heiner Stuckenschmidt: please send your application to Christian Meilicke (Bachelor) and Ioana Hulpus (Master). Please also note that the group of Heiner Stuckenschmidt only accept applications at the following deadlines: 1st March, 1st June, 1st September, 1st Dezember
    • Professors Ponzetto and Glavaš: please send your application to Anne Lauscher. You can send the proposal anytime.
    • All other chairs: please send you application to the respective professor or research associate working on the topic you are interested in. You can send the proposal anytime.

2. Topic Proposal

  • Before you can start your thesis, you need to provide a convincing topic proposal (the so-called exposé).
  • The proposal must be 2 pages long (excluding references).
  • The proposal should include:
    • Background & motivation,
    • Goals (must-have, nice-to-have)
    • Work plan
  • Do not spend too much space on explaining the preliminaries. Focus on what you want to do.
  • You may (or should) discuss the focus and scope of your thesis with your advisor.
  • Hand in the proposal only if you think it is ready.
  • You may receive revision requests for your proposal. If so, address these requests and hand-in the proposal again.

3. Registration

  • Once your proposal has been accepted, register your thesis with the secretary of the respective chair right away. At this time, both topic, advisor and starting date (and hence, also the end date) are fixed.

4. Supervision

  • You are responsible to schedule all meetings.
  • Schedule regular meetings with your advisor to discuss your progress.
  • Schedule milestone meetings with the professor/senior advisor around every other month. These meetings should consist of a short presentation with well-prepared slides, as well as meaningful results which show progress.
  • Please send the presentation slides to the professor/senior advisor beforehand.
  • The advisors will generally neither read drafts of your thesis, nor write or review your code.

5. Writing the Report

  • Your report is the main document describing what you did in your thesis, and it is the main input for grading. Your report must be written in English using the provided LATEX template.
  • Start writing early.
  • Keep notes throughout, including detailed parameter settings for all experiments. 
  • Discuss the thesis outline with your advisor.
  • Include an abstract.
  • The target audience for your report are people with a similar background in computer science. Do not repeat basic textbook material.
  • Stay concise and to the point.
  • As a guideline, write approx. 70 pages excluding references (approx. 40 pages for bachelor thesis).
  • Avoid low-level details (e.g., long code listings). Make use of an appendix for relevant additional material.
  • It is recommended to read the relevant parts of Writing for Computer Science by Justin Zobel.
  • Use examples and figures throughout.

6. Submitting

  • Hand in your thesis in the secretary's office.
  • Make an appointment upfront.
  • Hand in two copies of your report along with source code, data, and instructions for installing and running your code on a CD-ROM or memory stick. If your data does not fit on the CD/stick, include a relevant sample of your data.
  • If you need a certificate that you have passed prior to the final grading, inform us at least two weeks before the submission. The earliest possible date for providing such a certificate is 2 weeks after the submission.