Teaching & Supervision

Current Teaching Activities

Ongoing Master Theses Supervision Activities

  • Using Multiple Transport Networks in NetInf Enabled Android Devices, by Hugo Negrette and Miguel Sosa (expected date: Sept. 2012. In collaboration with Ericsson)
  • Emulation and Simulation of the Basic NetInf Transport Protocol, by Noman Ali and Robert Potys (expected date: Oct. 2012. In collaboration with SICS)
  • Swift Peer-to-Peer Transport Protocol:An Analysis and Extension, by Fu Tang (expected date: Nov. 2012)

Previous Master Theses Supervision Activities

  • PeerSelector: A framework for grouping peers in a P2P system, by Rakesh Kumar (June 2012)
  • Cross-device interaction in distributed content-centric networking: a web-based approach, by Urko Serrano (October, 2011)

An Overview of the Master Thesis Process

Week (-2)-0 Formulate Thesis Topic
Find an examiner
Week 0-8 Final Thesis Topic Outline
Literature Study
Thesis Proposal
Week 8-18 Attend Two Thesis Defenses
Oppose on a Thesis Defense
Find an Opponent
Week 16 (N-4) Prepare for the Defense
Week 18 (N-2) Submit Final Draft
Prepare Presentation
Week 17-19 Opposition Report
Thesis Approved by Examiner
Week 20 (N) Public Defense
Week 21 (N+1) Submit Final Thesis
Your Last Month Thesis Endgame Schedule

Prerequisites (Week -2)

Before you can start a degree project, you must meet the prerequisites set out by your program. If your current transcript does no show that you have passed all other courses in your program, you should talk to a student advisor to verify that you are in fact eligible.

Formulating a thesis topic (Week -2)

It is a common misconception that a thesis topic needs to be given to the student by someone else. This is not true, a thesis topic can be formulated by the student herself. Most students will, however, formulate their topic in collaboration with a company, research organization, government agency or professor.

Often, degree project proposals are posted by companies and other organizations. If you are interested in a specific topic, it may also be possible to approach a company, organization or professor active in that area, and see if they would be interested in formulating a topic and running a project together with you. For projects done outside of KTH, you should also arrange to have an external supervisor with that company/organization.

No matter how your degree project comes about, it is important that you understand that the project and your thesis are two separate things, and that even if your project succeeds, the thesis may fail. Your thesis will be evaluated on its academic merits, which aren't necessarily the same as the goals of the company or organization with whom you do the degree project.

The academic goals of the thesis are formulated as follows:

The student should:

  • be able to apply the relevant knowledge and skills, which are acquired within the technical/main area, to a given problem
  • within given constraints, even with limited information, be able to independently analyze and discuss complex inquiries/problems and handle larger problems on the advanced level within the technical/main area
  • be able to reflect on, evaluate, and critically assess one’s own and others’ scientific results
  • be able to document and present one’s own work, for a given target group, with strict requirements on structure, format, and language usage
  • be able to identify one’s need for further knowledge and continuously develop one’s own competencies

Your thesis (and defense) is how you demonstrate an document that you have, in fact, fulfilled these goals. If it isn't in your thesis, it will not be considered in the examination.

It is also worth remembering that the core task of a degree project should not be too large, since the intention is that the 20 weeks allocated to a degree project includes everything, both the core tasks, the writing of the thesis and its presentation.

When formulating the thesis topic, you should take this into consideration and also put together a tentative time plan, that shows how your project can be completed in 20 weeks. We usually recommend that you do not allocate more than 10 weeks to the core tasks of the project, leaving 10 weeks for meeting the academic requirements, including writing the thesis.

Finding an examiner (Week -1)

If you have formulated a thesis topic with a professor as your supervisor, most likely, your supervisor will also be your examiner. If you plan on doing a project with an external supervisor, you will need to find a professor willing and able to be examiner for your project.

Most programs have a number of professors within the department responsible for your program available as potential supervisors. If you want an examiner outside of this group, i.e., at another department, you need to get approval from the program director.

Generally, examiners will not commit to being your examiner unless you have, at least, a draft thesis topic outline and a time plan.

Establish contact between examiner and external supervisor (Week -1)

Every project should have at least one supervisor. If you are doing a project with a professor at KTH, then he or she will either be your supervisor or appoint one to you.

For projects done outside of KTH, the external organization will be expected to provide a supervisor. Before your project starts, you should ensure that contact is established between your examiner and your external supervisor.

Register (Week -1)

Before you can start, you must also apply to take the course corresponding to the degree project. The form for this can be found on Project Degree Form and you should bring this form in to be signed by your examiner. You need to be registered to the appropriate course in order to have your degree project graded and be able to have the degree project count towards your degree.

Typically, as a student doing a degree project with TSLab, the course code you should use in your application is IK223x (or, in some cases, 2G1021).

Final thesis topic outline (Week 0)

Before you can start, you should have presented a final thesis topic outline and time plan for your degree project to your examiner. If your project is done externally, you should also be able to show that your external supervisor has signed off on the outline and time plan.

Attend two thesis defenses (Week 0-18)

As part of the degree project course, you must attend (at least) two thesis defenses. You should try to attend at least one before presenting your own thesis proposal, so that you have a better understanding of what a finished thesis will look like.

You should sign up to the thesis announcements mailing list to find out about upcoming thesis defenses at Announcements Mailing List.

Literature study (Week 4-5)

At the start of your project, you are expected to read up on the topic of your thesis and find out what others have done in the area. This is both to satisfy the academic requirements of presenting relevant related work in your thesis, and to familiarize yourself with how others have solved similar problems, so that you can use their experiences to better solve the problems of your thesis project.

You should present your literature study to your examiner.

Thesis proposal (Week 8)

Once you have familiarized yourself with the related work in your area, and started to get a better grip on what your project outcomes will be, you should prepare your final thesis proposal. This is, in essence, a document that describes what the goals and expected outcomes of your thesis will be. This proposal will be the framework for your thesis.

Often the literature study presentation is combined with a presentation of your thesis proposal.

Oppose on a thesis defense (Week 8-18)

You can often find, or ask for, a thesis to be opponent on using the thesis announcement mailing list. As a general rule, you are eligible to be opponent on any thesis in your own study program. You may also oppose on any thesis that falls within your area of study, even if the thesis is by a student in another program, but in this case you should get your examiner to sign off on this. Either way, the examiner of the thesis you are opposing on needs to sign off on you being opponent.

Being the opponent means that you should provide constructive feedback on the thesis and the thesis defense. You should check with the examiner of the thesis project you are opposing on what her/his requirements and time table are when you request approval for being opponent.

Typically, you will be expected to:

  • Read and comment on the thesis draft
  • Attend the thesis defense and provide feedback and ask questions to the presenter

You may also be asked to submit an opposition report (basically, a summary of your feedback on the thesis) before the defense.

Find and opponent (Week 15-16)

The thesis announcement mailing list is usually a good place to find an opponent. The same rules apply to your opponent as applied to your own opposition, and your examiner needs to sign off on your opponent.

This is also a good time to...

Prepare for the defense (Week 16 (N-4))

When your thesis is almost done, you should start looking at tentative defense dates. Your defense needs to fall inside the semesters, i.e., not during the summer or Christmas break. You also need to coordinate the date with your examiner, supervisor and opponent.

Please note (more on this below) that you will need to submit your "final draft" weeks ahead of the actual defense, and that any delays in submitting it will result in a delay of your thesis defense.

If your project is completely on track, your defense would happen in week 20 (N=20), but to account for the possibility of delay, we will refer to the defense as happening in week N, and specify this and subsequent steps in terms of when, relative to N, these final steps will happen.

So, for example, this step should happen four weeks before your defense, and is thus specified as having a deadline on week (N - 4).

Submit final draft (Week 18 (N-2?))

Your examiner requires at least one week to read and approve your thesis for defense. It may take longer, for any number of reasons, so if you have a hard deadline at the end of your project, you should make sure to contact your examiner about this well ahead of time to make a time plan.

Prepare presentation (Week 18 (N - 2))

Once you have submitted your final draft, you should start working on your presentation and presentation slides. You should plan to speak for about 30 minutes, and your presentation should give the audience both a background on your topic, as well as presenting your goals, your problem(s) and your solution(s).

One key question you should be prepared to answer, directly or indirectly, is what your contribution was.

Opposition report (Week 17-19 (N-1))

If required by your examiner, your opponent should submit a report on your thesis to your examiner. If possible, you should try to get your opponent's feedback into your final draft, since this will increase the likelyhood that it gets approved, and reduce the amount of changes you will be asked to make after the defense.

Thesis approved for defense by examiner, public defense announced (Week 19 (N-1))

The rules stipulate that a thesis defense be announced _at_least_ one week before the defense date. Please note that approval is _not_ automatic, and you should not make arrangement that rely on being approved.

Once your thesis is approved for defense and the defense is announced, the date of the defense is fixed, and will not be changed except because of illness or other unforseeable circumstances.

Public defense (Week 20 (N))

The procedure for a thesis defense should, by now, be familiar to you. To recap, here are the main steps:

  • You present your work. (About 30 minutes.)
    - Please specify how you want to handle questions.
  • Your opponent comments and questions your work and presentation.
  • The audience gets to give their comments and questions.
  • Your examiner's comments and questions.
  • End of the defense.

In wrapping up, you will be asked to correct or clarify any issues that have come up during the defense, to include in your final thesis.

Submit final thesis (Week 21 (N+1))

Your grade will not be registered until your final thesis has been submitted and approved, and all the points in your checklist have been marked as completed.

A month before the defense, you should:

  • Have attended two defenses as audience.
  • Ideally served, but at the very least signed yourself up to oppose on one defense.
  • Found an opponent for your thesis, and had your examiner sign off on your opponent.
  • Contact your examiner to set up a preliminary date for your defense, and agree on a date for you to submit your final draft.

3-4 weeks before your defense you should:

  • Have your opponent read and comment on your thesis.
  • Ideally have your opponent submit her opposition report to your examiner.

2-3 weeks before your defense you should:

  • Prepare your final draft, incorporating the changes based on your opponents feedback.
  • Submit your final draft to you examiner, for the decision if you will be permitted to defend at the planned date.

Your examiner will require a minimum of one week to read and make this decision, and your defense cannot be announced until the thesis is approved. Depending on work load, this can take longer time. Also, approval is not automatic, so you may be asked to revise before approval will be given.

Do not book tickets or make any other firm plans until your thesis has been approved and announced!

1-2 weeks before your defense you should:

  • Ensure your opponent's report has been submitted to your examiner.
  • Receive a positive decision from your examiner about the defense.
  • Book a time and room for the defense.
  • Submit the title, summary, time and place of your defense to your examiner for the announcement of the defense.
  • *****************************************************************
  • No later than 5 working days (i.e, one week, unless there are holidays) before the defense your defense should be announced.
  • *****************************************************************

30-45 minutes before the defense you should:

  • Make sure that you have a couple printed copies of the thesis. (At least two, more if you expect a large audience.)
  • Make sure you have access to a working projector for the meeting. (I.e., test it to make sure!)
  • Make sure you will have access to the room the defense will be held in. (I.e., that the people in it will leave before your defense starts.)
  • Make sure your opponent is present, or at least is coming.
  • Figure out how your audience will get to the room.

Credits: Björn Knutsson

Completed and Planned Courses

Last changed: 2012-07-25