Thesis Guide for Computer Science Students

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Thesis Projects

Mikael Berndtsson • Jörgen Hansson Björn Olsson • Björn Lundell

Thesis Projects
A Guide for Students in Computer Science and Information Systems Second Edition

Mikael Berndtsson University of Skövde Sweden

Jörgen Hansson Software Engineering Institute Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA USA Björn Lundell University of Skövde Sweden

Björn Olsson University of Skövde Sweden

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Control Number: 2007936686

ISBN-13: 978-1-84800-008-7
Printed on acid-free paper

e-ISBN-13: 978-1-84800-009-4

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008 First edition Springer-Verlag London Limited 2002, 1-85233-332-4 Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers. The use of registered names, trademarks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher makes no representation, express or implied, with regard to the accuracy of the information contained in this book and cannot accept any legal responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions that may be made. 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Springer Science+Business Media springer.com

Preface

Any B.Sc. or M.Sc. study programme in the computing discipline typically ends with a capstone project. A capstone project builds and tests the skills and the knowledge acquired during the education and is an essential part of the training towards becoming a professional. There is a large number of different terms for these types of projects: capstone project, senior project, final year project, B.Sc./ M.Sc. thesis project, etc. In this book we will use the term ‘thesis project’, and in some cases, for the sake of simplicity, just ‘project’. This book focuses on thesis projects within the computing discipline. Thus, the type of project discussed in this book is in line with the capstone format described in the ACM/IEEE Computing Curricula 2001 Computer Science (p. 53): … an alternative capstone format is a research experience that includes some original work, a review of the scientific literature, and an investigation of a proposed solution, followed by a scientific paper and/or an oral presentation of the results. It is important to remember that these are undergraduates and be realistic about the amount and quality of research expected. Even so, it may be more worthwhile to expose outstanding students to the challenges of research than to have them design and build yet another program

In this book, we present a process for conducting thesis projects with the researchorientation described in the quote above. This process was developed at the University of Skövde, Sweden, and it has been applied successfully at the B.Sc. and M.Sc. levels and to a wide spectrum of projects, addressing many different subjects within computing. Typical subject areas have included, for example, artificial intelligence, theoretical computer science, databases, data communication, distributed systems, human-computer interaction, operating systems, real-time systems, web technologies, software engineering, systems analysis and technology transfer. Some projects have been theoretical and others more empirically oriented, and they have included both science- and technology-oriented projects. In addition to this book, the interested...
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