Master thesis

For a complete listing of all Master thesises at Ansymo, visit the ESP website.

About the Text

At the end of the masters project, you will have to report your findings in a written text of approximately 80 pages. That's what will be used to evaluate your work.

In principle, this text must be written in Dutch. In practice, it is allowed to submit a text with (a) a Dutch title and (b) a 3 to 5 page Dutch summary and (c) a 80 page English "appendix".

Try using our Ansymo Thesis Template: ThesisText.zip

Writing Tips

  • The 4 line abstract
    A brilliant technique on how to structure an abstract in four sentences
    (and other tips on how to structure your arguments to get the message across).
  • How to Organize your Thesis
    Good pragmatic advice on how to organise your thesis work and thesis text.
    [ http://www.sce.carleton.ca/faculty/chinneck/thesis.html ]
  • Technical writing
    Some practical tips on technical writing; including tips on structure (numbering of sections, figures, ...), writing style (use verbs instead of nouns) as well as contents (write briefly).
    [ http://www.dcs.qmul.ac.uk/~norman/papers/good_writing/good_writing_index.html ]
  • Tips, Tools & Ideas to Improve Your Writing
    Some simple rules of the thumb to help you "getting the message across".
    [ http://www.aci-plus.com/tips/ ]
  • Advice on Research and Writing
    A list of links to papers on how to do research and how to communicate effectively (primarily for computer scientists).
    [ http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~mleone/how-to.html ]
  • Dissertation news
    Dissertation News is a 6-issue-per-year bulletin offering guidance and support for ASGS-member doctoral students, and information of value to faculty members on advising and counseling graduate students.
    [ http://www.asgs.org/Diss_Nws.htm ]

 

About The Defense

After submission of the thesis text you will have to defend it in front of a jury of 3 members of the department (the so-called reading committee) plus all possible attendees (a thesis defense is open to anyone interested and you can of course invite family and friends). You should prepare a presentation of about 15 to 20 minutes (20 minutes being the absolute maximum) en then expect some 10 to 15 minutes of questions.

Typically we organise a rehearsal session where you can do a "dry-run" of the presentation for an audience of other students.

Some rules of the thumb

  • count on 3 to 5 minutes per slide (==> 5 to 6 slides, incl title and conclusion).
  • follow the "fish-model" (e.g., (a) the problem, (b) why is the probleem relevant, (c) what is my solution, (d) which experiment did I perform to show that my solution is a good one, (f) conclusions).
  • emphasize your contribution (explaining the Related Work is for instance not necessary).
  • assume that the audience has read your thesis (at least the jury has, and those are the ones that matter !)
  • you may go into technical matter, but not in too much detail (they can read that in the text)
  • a demonstration is not necessary, unless its an essential part of your story.
    Remember that a demonstration takes a lot of time and you only have 20 minutes; sometimes a slide with a screen dump is just as good.

More tips