The day of every prospective computer scientist comes with a day that pays off any difficulties he has encountered while studying – the day when his thesis is defended. Whether it’s a bachelor’s or master’s degree (or maybe even a PhD), today you just want to jump for happiness 🙂 Well, but about everything from the beginning.
The thesis, as one lecturer said, is probably the biggest project that every student has to do during their studies. It can be done not only by one person but also by classmates (although this does not make work much easier, it only increases in volume). Depending on the study cycle (bachelor, master or doctorate), the job requirements, the duration of the training and the procedure of defense are different.
Before going into the details I will mention that the preparation of any thesis usually starts with the choice of topic and the supervisor. I tried to explain this in a separate post. In short, more proactive students usually come up with the topics themselves, while the choice of a supervisor is a more sophisticated task. The primary purpose of the supervisor is to help students teach how to prepare and present their graduation thesis, to follow the progress of their work, and to advise on difficulties. So it is not surprising that the reputable lecturers are scattered before the beginning of the “final” season 🙂
By the way, virtually any computer scientist (or just a technology graduate) with a higher education degree than you can become a job manager (described here in more detail). For example, you are completing a Masters degree and can lead undergraduates. And if you have the letter “Dr.” attached to your surname, you may already be the supervisor of the master’s thesis.
Well, but let’s get back to the highlights. Approximately one semester (half a school year) is devoted to the creation of a Bachelor’s thesis. In our faculty, it is usually closely related to the practice that students do in real businesses during the final semester of the 4th year. From experience, I can say that about 60-80% of the time is spent on job creation and 20-40% of the time on job description.
By the way, when it comes to the fruit of labor or what is called a “product”, their students are creating a variety. In a nutshell, it is some kind of acting, cunning, or just very imaginative thing that reflects your knowledge and the work you put into it. Depending on the field of study and specialization, it can be some kind of sophisticated program, game, website, 3D movie or just some kind of sophisticated algorithm.
Suppose you created a product and described it – what’s next? Oh, the defense of the bachelor’s thesis! Although the order was different in my time, students now present their undergraduate thesis twice – in the cathedral and (about a week later) in public defense. As the kinks of my ignorance lasted for a long time, I decided to reveal the veil of the mystery of these steps.
In the departmental defense, you talk about your main job features for about 7 minutes and show your product in action for another 5 minutes. You are listening to a small commission of about 4-5 people, made up of teachers from the department you belong to. I will tell you from practice that these are usually familiar faces, so you don’t have to worry about that. The main tasks of the commission are to identify the features and shortcomings of your work and to evaluate the work and its presentation. My recommendation is to be sure to thank the panel for its comments, as they will significantly improve your presentation during the following defense.
True, another thing that students know little about – every bachelor’s thesis is thoroughly read by a reviewer. This is the kind of person who has to read all the work and write a testimonial, who will go straight to public defense and help the commission decide on the final grade for the job.
In public defense, you will face a slightly different commission: you will only have one faculty member in your department, and the rest will be a real ‘blend’ – representatives from other departments, science center staff, and even people from outside (usually firms). There will be no retreat during this defense – this is the last but most important step towards a diploma. If within the same time (~ 12 minutes for presentation) you prove your work is worth it – congratulations! If you don’t have to try it after a year, though my thesis is unprotected, there is little laaaaaaaaab.
Master’s thesis differs significantly from bachelor’s thesis. It takes more than two semesters to create it, even two years! Don’t be scared, nobody forces you to sit at it for two years 🙂 But there is a lot of work to be done.
Another important difference is that if you did something “product” in your Bachelor’s thesis, you will already need to introduce and justify some new, interesting idea in your Master’s thesis. By the way, creating something that works (or more precisely illustrates your idea) will also be necessary, but not necessarily complete. Most Master’s thesis projects are limited to prototypes – partially operational but far from complete programs that prove that your idea can be put into practice.
No less interesting is the Master’s workflow itself. When you select a topic in the first semester, you usually research what’s new / done in the world within the confines of your topic. Based on the results of the review, you are trying to come up with something new, say a more effective, better way to solve the problem. Later on, you usually create a program to illustrate the idea and then run an experiment to prove that your idea is working and bringing some benefits (such as solving a problem faster or just better). Of course, from time to time you will also have to sit down on the job description because you will have to present the results of the work every semester.
If it was less relevant when writing a bachelor’s thesis, then the hardest part is creating a master’s thesis … finding time for him. When you know that results will only need to be shown in half a year, and your mind is so full of science, most likely work and (who knows? 🙂 family, it’s easiest to settle for “burning” things. Believe me, this will or will not happen to any of you, so I would definitely advise you to search the internet for tips on how to manage your time so that you have everything.
By the way, when I was enrolled in the Master’s program, I thought for a long time – how is it possible to come up with a master’s thesis out of nowhere? After all, this is a case-sensitive SCIENCE, and I wasn’t really like a scientist at the time … It turns out, just like undergraduate work, it’s very easy for you to get a job supervisor. It both suggests a topic and helps with research. So there is really nothing to be afraid of in this place.
Another interesting thing is that if you miss a dozen, you will need to write a scientific paper and most likely present it at a scientific conference. I will definitely write about what a scientific article is in the future, but if it is short, it is just a few pages of some form summarizing the results of your work. And writing it is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance, you just need to do the research properly and have a side-by-side approach to writing articles (like your work guide). Serious science events are followed by the press, but their interpretations sometimes do not always correspond to reality …
Master’s thesis defense is quite similar to undergraduate thesis defense. There are cathedral and public defenses, and there is a reviewer. Only the latter will come from a department other than yours (probably an unfamiliar lecturer). The presentations are also slightly different – you will have a little more time to talk about your work (about 10-15 minutes) and you will probably be much longer than the members of the jury will ask during the presentation of your undergraduate work.
Of course, these are all “flowers” compared to a doctoral thesis called a dissertation. There it is fun … 4 years of study, research, writing scientific articles, three defenses of work and just damaging the nerve cells 🙂 Of course, after all the suffering and misery, the magic letters “dr” appear on the last name and higher pension, provided you survive until: D
Well, but what I said here, as I said in the beginning, is always the redeeming moment of being pressed by university officials and holding a diploma. So, I sincerely wish all the writers, or at least those planning to ever write, with great determination and success!