Guideline for the conduct of final theses
- Organizational matters
- Written part
- Oral presentation
We are excited that you have chosen us for your bachelor's, master's or practical course's thesis and that you would like to contribute to the success of the VSR Group through your work. We have summarised the most important experiences and tips in these guidelines so that you can quickly get along in the group, help shape the life and success of the VSR and make it easier for you to get started. We know that not all questions can be answered with these guidelines! With the right self-conception and the will to contribute to our mission and to share the same values - we will be able to overcome problems and find solutions together.
The VSR has the vision to help people and organizations to develop their potential through innovative forms of cooperation. In the center of the solutions are the web as omnipresent support medium as well as evolution and self-organisation through environmental awareness. The web as a ubiquitous support medium as well as evolution and self-organisation through environmental awareness are at the heart of our solutions.
The task description is usually not available in written form, but is specified in the first phase by the student and his advisor.
Proposals for current topics for final theses and practical courses can be found at our proposed topics list.
If you are interested in a topic, please contact the responsible advisor.
You may also choose your own topic that matches the orientation of the professorship. In this case, please send an e-mail with a short description of the topic to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After selecting the topic, you can draft your own proposal for the task description in form of a vision document and coordinate it with the advisor. Following the confirmation by Prof. Gaedke, the official working time begins (usually 3-6 months as stated in your study regulations).
After a certain period of orientation, the student creates a short document about the vision of his project. This should include the task description as understood from the student's point of view. Through consultation with the advisor, the description is refined until the individual perspectives overlap sufficiently. It will later be used to formulate the final task description. The vision document should include the following points:
- Title of your thesis
- Vision: A short description of the project with a maximum of 35 words.
- Introduction / Initial situation: Introduction to the subject area into which the work is integrated. Introduction to the problem underlying the work.
- Problem: Description of the problem on which the work is based and for which a solution is to be worked out.
- Approach: Overview of the desired solution, ideally with one or more illustrations.
As soon as your topic is found, please send an email with the following information to your adviser:
- Title of your thesis
- Short name of your work (a short and memorable codename, that does not need to be related to the content of your work) - Choose it from the list of codenames
- Your first and last name
- Your URZ username
- Your matriculation number
- Your course of studies
- Your date of birth
- A profile picture (170x170 px)
Source code written in the VSR is generally maintained using the version control system Git.
Students can use the repository to access existing code of the group and maintain their own code there.
Using Git has the advantage that there is more control over the developing code. Older versions can be used at any time. In addition, the collaboration between advisor and student is simplified.
To work with Git you need a client program, for example:
- Git (Binaries for using Git in the terminal)
- SmartGit (Graphical Git client for on Windows, macOS and Linux)
- TortoiseGit (Windows Shell Interface to Git)
Instructions for Git can be found e.g. under:
- Pro Git book (comprehensive documentation)
Access is granted using your URZ account. You will be able to create your own project and assign your advisor as a "Maintainer" or the advisor will create a project for you within the VSR group.
If your work will contribute to already existing code, you will get appropriate access rights after the internal registration.
To ensure that we, as well as other students, can understand and potentially extend your developed code, we encourage you to apply some guidelines.
According to the guidelines of the Chemnitz University of Technology, as the author of your bachelor's, master's, practical course's thesis, you generally hold the rights to the programs developed by you. In order to ensure both academic use by the group and continued use of the code by you at the end of your thesis, the VSR usually grants the FreeBSD license to the code produced.
When naming documents, classes, namespaces, etc. the following conventions must be observed:
Document names: [YYYYMMDD]-[DRF|PUB]-[Document-Name]
- DRF: Draft, the document is a draft
- PUB: Public, the document is "published", i.e. completed
- Example: 20181025-DRF-Thesis.pdf
XML namespaces (all lower case): https://vsr.informatik.tu-chemnitz.de/edu/studentprojects/YYYY/[codename]
.NET namespaces: Vsr.[codename].
Java namespaces: vsr.[codename].
Your final implementation has to be delivered as an "out-of-the-box" working product. Therefore, we will provide you with a virtual machine of your choice (Windows, Linux) where you can install and configure your software. At the end of your work, a virtual machine image has to be prepared that can be started and provides your solution without any installation or configuration.
Researching is one of the basic tasks in the context of a Bachelor's, Master's or practical course's thesis. You should be aware of this and only approach your advisor after doing your own research.
Useful search engines for finding scientific papers:
- Paper accessible from all networks:
- Paper only accessible from the campus network:
A lot of information can also be obtained using a simple Google search. If you haven't worked much with Google yet, you can find valuable tips at the Google Search Support page.
A minimum number of required pages is always stated in your applicable study regulations. (Title page, table of contents, index etc. are not included!)
These numbers are of course only guidelines. A work is considered sufficient in terms of length if the topic is self-contained and has been completely dealt within the context of the task description.
- 11-point font (recommendation)
- well readable sentence structure
- two-sided printing
- You should discuss the content of your work with your advisor. He will also be happy to give you tips if you get stuck at any point.
- The work can be written in German as well as in English.
- In any case, you should clarify the outline with your advisor before you begin with the actual writing. In this way, you will only avoid making time-consuming changes at a later stage. A thesis usually contains an introduction, a discussion of the problem, a review of the state of the art, an idea of your own solution together with a detailed concept, a description of the implementation, a section on evaluation and a summary with an outlook.
- When phrasing, consider the target group for which you are writing the paper. It depends on how much basic knowledge you have to impart, which terms you have to explain etc.
- Avoid insecure formulations with "actually", "quasi" etc.
- Avoid formulations that point out constant repetitions to the reader, e.g. "As already mentioned, several times in the last sections...".
- Technical abbreviations are to be defined at the first use, e.g. "The Representational State Transfer (REST) is considered...".
- If you are writing in German, please avoid English expressions for which there are German equivalent expressions (e.g. Message = Nachricht, Tier = Schicht, Request = Anfrage, ...).
A complete and uniform bibliography is essential!
There must be (at least) one reference to all sources in the bibliography from the appropriate text passage.
Web pages can also be used as sources. However, the bibliography should not contain "generic URLs" (e.g. https://www.heise.de), but specific pages. Author, title, creation date and date of last access should be listed (see examples below).
In general, every statement that does not belong to general knowledge and does not originate from the author himself must be supported by a literature reference. In the case of introductory texts (imparting basic knowledge in an area), the references to a paragraph can be given grouped together at the end of the paragraph.
Although Wikipedia is a good source for initial information, it is only suitable for referencing to a limited extent due to its constantly alterable content.
If you are unsure, whether you should cite a source, please have a look at this great overview by Princeton University: "When to Cite Sources"
For literature references it is recommended to use the IEEE citation style.
Formatting examples for literature references:
- L. Stein, "Random patterns," in Computers and You, J. S. Brake, Ed. New York: Wiley, 1994, pp. 55-70
- D.B. Payne and H.G. Gunhold. "Digital sundials and broadband technology," in Proc. IOOC-ECOC, 1986, pp. 557-998.
- M. Nottingham and R. Sayre, "The Atom Syndication Format - Request for Comments: 4287", 2005. [Online]. Available: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4287.txt [Accessed: Feb. 18, 2008].
- Microsoft, "Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Homepage", 2007. [Online]. Available: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointserver/ [Accessed: Jan. 02, 2007].
Footnotes are intended to provide additional information that the reader may or may not takes note of. Things that are important for understanding belong in the main text, not in a footnote. Cited sources must also be included in the main text.
Footnotes are suitable, e.g:
- to specify a URL at which the reader can find further information (retrieval date should also be specified),
- for the indication of further literature, from which however is not directly quoted
- or to explain terms or abbreviations that should be known to the target group.
A list of abbreviations should be included in every extended scientific thesis.
Tables, figures and program listings should be included in corresponding indexes. However, all figures and tables have to be referenced in the text, e.g. "... (see figure 3.2) ...".
A list of keywords is useful for longer theses.
Schemas, source code fragments and evaluation materials can be attached to the work as appendices.
- Every scientific work must be proofread (several times) before submission or publication, both in terms of content and formal-orthographical aspects.
- The advisor should mainly be consulted for content related questions and not for the correction of language, grammar, and spelling.
- Please do not provide the advisor with any versions that have not at least been corrected with the spell checker built into Word or something equivalent.
- In addition to the first correction by the author himself, you should look for a proofreader who knows the field of the work quite well and can find errors in the content, as well as one who is not so well versed in the field but still belongs to the target group. Of course, proofreaders should have a good knowledge of spelling and grammar.
Please hand in the thesis in printed form (two-sided) and in bound form (in the case of practical courses, a clip folder is also sufficient).
Reports of practical courses must be submitted directly to the advisor, Bachelor's and Master's theses to examination office (please refer to the respective examination regulations for the number of copies to be submitted).
Self-developed software as well as the electronic version of the thesis (PDF) must be provided on a portable storage medium (CD, DVD, USB) and attached to the thesis.
Please use the chance to take a look at previously submitted theses available at the professorship.
Furthermore, we recommend attending defenses of other students in order to get some insights on how such a presentation should be like.
You can use the following templates for the written part:
- The duration of the final presentation is determined by the respective study regulations.
- On the title slide, please mention all the advisors. Please pay attention to the correct spelling of both the name and the title. The official spellings of the titles can be found on the About VSR - People.
- Please make sure that you keep to the time limits, neither finish too early nor too late. This can be better accomplished by performing some trials beforehand.
- As a rule of thumb, 2 minutes can be calculated per slide. It is difficult for the listener to handle considerably more slides per minute.
- German book tip: "Präsentieren" by Claudia Nöllke, 3. edition, ISBN: 3448065757
- Online tip: Presentation Tips by Garr Reynolds