Cracking the Hidden Thesis Topic Market

At TUM, topics for available thesis projects are advertised on faculty web pages. I expect the situation to be similar in other universities.

I refer to the collection of open thesis topics as the thesis topic market. The topics on the web pages are its visible part. However, there is also a hidden topic market that contains topics that are available but never get advertised. Continue reading “Cracking the Hidden Thesis Topic Market”

Topic Roulette

For many, the process for choosing a thesis topic looks like this:

  1. Browse open topics (e.g. on faculty pages)
  2. Choose the one that reads best (and is still available)

This process reminds me of ordering food in a restaurant:

  1. Browse food menu
  2. Choose the one that reads best (and is on offer)

If I am familiar with the restaurant, this process works great.

Things are different, however, if I try a new type of food for the first time. Say Afghan food. How hot is “hot” in this restaurant? What should I expect in terms of quantity—can I order starters, or will that ruin my chances for a desert? What is palau anyway? Continue reading “Topic Roulette”

How to Get Great Supervision?

Good versus bad supervision makes a large difference to your thesis project; both in terms of the outcome and how you feel along the way.

The single most important factor is how much time your supervisor dedicates to you. In general, many other factors influence how much useful advice you get from your supervisor (including your personal working styles, prior supervision experience, …). However, even great supervision experience is no use if the time to apply it to your thesis is lacking. Perceived “good” and “bad” supervisor performance in the eyes of their students is primarily determined by the amount of time the supervisors invest.

However, supervisor dedication varies drastically. Continue reading “How to Get Great Supervision?”