FAQ for Master Thesis in Electrical Engineering
Based on FAQ for PA2404, the Master Thesis in SE.
1. Can we do our thesis at another university?
In principle yes, in practice no.
Even though it is not formally forbidden it is very unlikely that it is possible or will work well. Some of the problems are:
- Other universities will not get paid for supervising you, so it is unlikely they really take you on (and even if they do you often will not get the attention you need from them to really do something on your thesis)
- You still need a supervisor in BTH, who will have to be updated on progress and will evaluate your result. So you still need to keep that person up-to-date etc => more time on administration and less time on the actual work.
- You still need to write a thesis proposal according to BTH standards. If the other university have other requirements there is more extra work. The same goes for the thesis report; its form and quality needs to follow BTH standards and regulations.
Furthermore it is rude to email faculty members at other universities with lots of questions about their thesis etc. In general they only have time to help their own students; not ours.
2. Can I do my thesis alone?
No, the default is to be two students in each thesis project. We can make an exception in two cases:
- you are a top student and have high grades (at least B in all and and at least one A) in all courses relevant to your thesis topic (as judged by examiner)
- if you are doing a thesis at a company and they have some specific reason for why they prefer only one student to work on the project (the company must contact the examiner in this case)
Note that even if you are in any of the situations above you are NOT guaranteed to be allowed to do your thesis alone; it is up to the examiner to decide this from case to case.
3. I have registered but it does not show in LADOK
All questions having to do with LADOK you should take with the student exp. The examiner or your supervisor has nothing to do with LADOK.
You should also note that you need to register both (formally) in LADOK and (informally) in the thesis management system. There is no automatic connection between the two systems.
4. Where can / How do I find a supervisor?
You either check the list of available topics or you write a 2-3 paragraph description of what you want to do and send to the examiner. If you find a topic on the list you can talk to the supervisor listed for that topic.
5. When are the deadlines?
The deadlines are clearly stated on the course home page. They are: "Proposal OK (by advisor, then faculty reviewer, then examiner no later than this date)" at P-15 weeks, "Advisor tells examiner that you are ok for presenting" at P-2 weeks and "Final version of thesis" at P-1 week, where P is a presentation date.
6. So it is ok if I send my first draft of the proposal 15 weeks before a presentation date?
No later than 15 weeks before a presentation deadline it must be approved by your supervisor, and your faculty reviewer and the examiner. This means you must probably have it approved by your supervisor at least 16 weeks before the presentation date.
7. What is the process for the thesis? What do I need to do?
8. How should I manage my references? Will a Word document do?
No, we strongly recommend you to use a reference management system. There are many both free and commercial ones you can use:
- JabRef (any Java-enabled platform, Free)
- Zotero (integrates with Firefox so runs everywhere, Free)
- Endnote (both Windows and Mac, Commercial but there is a free light version)
- ProCite (Windows only)
- Reference Manager (Windows only)
- BibDesk (Mac only, Free, handles Bibtex bibliographies)
- BookEnds (Mac only, Commercial)
- Sente (Mac Only, Commercial)
Wikipedia has an extensive comparison between different systems.
9. What if only one student in a pair really works on the thesis? What if both students do not contribute equally? What if one student does not know the material?
Your supervisor will know if you are not both working on and contributing equally to your thesis. In such situtations the supervisor will notify the examiner and tell you that you need to shape up and handle the situation. If no improvement is seen, the lesser contributing student will fail the thesis. Depending on the circumstances this student might be given a chance to continue with another but related thesis. More likely he/she will have to restart with a whole other topic and supervisor. The student that was really doing the work and contributing the most to it can continue on the original thesis but cannot expect lesser expectations compared to the proposal/plan.
When the supervisor or examiner suspects that both students in a pair have not contributed equally to a thesis, the examiner will have individual, oral exams with both students in which both, only one or none might pass. Both students are not guaranteed to get the same grades. You should make a real effort to avoid these situations; they will cost you time and grades and you risk failing the course and thus your programme. Be proactive; even if you are the student really doing the work you need to tell the supervisor. You also stand to loose time and grades and can even fail outright even if you have done "your" part.
10. Am I guaranteed to pass when I have presented the thesis? What about re-exams if I fail?
No, you will need to update and make a final version of the thesis. If serious problems have been found you will need to make substantial updates. If you have plagiarised text and/or ideas from others you will fail.
Re-exams can be decided upon by the examiner and/or supervisor. They can be either written or oral. There are no special times for such re-exams; they are decided from a case-by-case basis by the examiner and supervisor involved.
11. Can we oppose on a thesis as a pair or group?
No, being opponent is always an individual task.
12. What is the process for the opponentship?
If you are an opponent
- you should get the thesis to oppose from the authors at least one week before the presentation,
- you should prepare 3-6 questions on the critical aspects of the thesis,
- you should view the presentation of the thesis,
- you should pose your questions to the authors after their presentation,
- you should write 1-3 page opponent report (following the provided template) and send it to the authors and the examiner at most 5 days after the presentation.
13. When must the thesis be updated after the presentation?
Within 14 days after the presentation you must have updated your thesis based on the comments from opponents, supervisor and examiner.
14. Where should I send the FINAL version of the thesis?
When you have updated your thesis based on the opponents, supervisor(s) and examiners comments (from presentation) you should:
- send the final pdf to your supervisor(s) and the examiner,
- upload the final pdf to ArkivEX on the library web pages,
- print a hard copy and give to the student expedition.
15. I am planning to start my thesis project soon. Can I come talk to you (examiner/course responsible)?
Unfortunately I do not have time to meet personally with everyone before the course starts. If you have some special questions or concerns then please describe them in an email and we can take it from there. In particular, I want you to describe which areas you are interested in so that we can hook you up with a suitable supervisor. So read up on all the material and pre-requisites on the course page, http://www.bth.se/com/mscee.nsf/pages/starting-your-thesis.
16. Is there a dress code for the presentation?
Swedes are fairly informal and there is no stipulated or mandatory dress code for thesis presentations. However, as a courtesy to the audience it is customary to "dress up" somewhat, wearing maybe a suit or a shirt and a tie (or correspondingly for women). This also shows that you take your thesis seriously and value them being present. However, few swedes will be offended if you dress more casually.