Bachelor thesis

It's done - the internship is in the bag and can be started, now it's time for the next step: the bachelor thesis. This deals with an issue from the internship and illuminates it from a scientific point of view, as well as placing it in a context with research and development results.

The choice of topic

The topic of the bachelor thesis, like the internship, results from the goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of our graduation project. From the department, which corresponds to the own preferences, a supervisor is looked for, who will accompany and examine the work. Generally, this is a researcher of a working group at FIN, which is active in the field you want to dedicate yourself to. For this purpose, your supervisor in the internship company is a helpful contact person. Together with your supervising professor, these three form a team that will help you to successfully complete your bachelor thesis. Now it is up to you to do the necessary work for this.

This work is roughly divided into four steps: researching, organizing, writing and defending.

Your work in the internship will be in a subject area previously chosen by you according to the goal you have set. In this field there will be myriads of scientific publications such as books, journal articles, conference papers and doctoral theses. It is part of the research to find the relevant ones for your own task, to work out the important ones and to put them into the context of your own bachelor thesis.

Help with the research

To cope with this task, there are three important tools: search engines, literature databases and card index systems.

Search engines are used to find publications and to trace relationships between publications. The initial hurdle is often the choice of the right search terms or the linking of these using logic operators. Here it pays off for the computer scientist that he had to listen to logic and theoretical computer science in the study, which give one these working tools to the hand. Starting points for the search are:

OPAC of the university library
Google Scholar
ACM Digital Library
Computer Science Bibliography of the University of Trier

When choosing a publication with respect to its relevance for your own work, you have to consider the maturity level of the publication. The highest level is a book, followed by journal articles and doctoral theses, and further down conference papers and workshop papers or diploma and master theses.

Keeping the overview

In order not to lose the overview in this leaf forest, a classification system is indispensable. Suitable are literature databases and card index systems, which provide the found literature with important meaning data and easily provide standard data such as author, title, publisher, etc. in any required form.

Literature databases available for a variety of operating systems are:

CITAVI with license from the University of Magdeburg
JabRef in Java as an installation-free program
BibDesk - MAC Bibliography Manager
Zotero as Firefox plugin for direct management from web search
Calibre for managing e-book formats

Notepad systems are available free of charge. These manage citations and own notes from texts as well as link them, so that connections become or remain traceable and easy to see. As a selection:

TextCite as an installation-free Java program
ZMzettelkasten for Linux
Zettelkasten for Win, Mac and Linux

Writing the thesis

Now that the foundations for the bachelor thesis have been laid, which consist of research and your own practical work as well as its documentation; it is time to write the bachelor thesis. Two questions have to be decided at the beginning: Which program do I use to create the thesis? And how should I write about my activity?

To answer the first question, you have to choose between two options. On the one hand, the "what you see is what you get" way, using programs such as Microsoft Word, OpenOffice or Apple Page -- for the more demanding, QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign or Scribus are also suitable. On the other hand, the way of a real word processor by using a typesetting system like TeX, LaTeX or ConTeX. I recommend the latter choice if you plan to stay in academia and continue your studies via Master to PhD, since text typesetting systems are standard systems in the field of computer science for submitting and publishing scientific papers in journals and conferences.

For an introduction to LaTeX, I recommend:


A possible template for bachelor theses at FIN find