Two years ago I started my master's course in mechatronics engineering in Italy. After one year of classes I applied for a double degree program proposed by the university. According to this program I am going to spend two years in a Japanese university (the first year has just passed) to finally get both the Italian degree and the Japanese degree in the same field of studies. Therefore, I am doing the research for my thesis in Japan.

The main problem that I have faced since the beginning is related to the different approach to the studies. In fact I chose with my supervisor a research topic in the field of machine learning and computer vision, that I only started studying on my own in Italy for curiosity. Then, considering the long period of two years abroad, I thought that I had enough supervision to go in depth with the topics and study all the necessary theory. On the other hand I realized that I had to organize most of my research on my own, and even though my Japanese supervisor is open for guiding students, I actually realized that he doesn't have much experience in these fields.

I spent much time even for choosing an initial path to follow, with a solvable problem. I am trying to do my best to study the theory and practice to make small progresses but sometimes it is really though. But I actually like the involved subjects! So I am trying to study from books, video courses, etc. but I feel I don't have a guide to avoid many errors.

Moreover, there is a collaboration between the laboratory and a company, but I have the same feeling. Instead of a growing path it is more related to showing some results through PowerPoint presentations. And one month ago my supervisor in the company left the job, and told me to get the supervision by another member of the group, without spending too many words. Since that time, my supervisor told me that my research could even have application in other fields, thus he is going to get some collaborations with other companies. But how can I manage two different works together?

I have to say that it was a "culture shock" to face all those things, and in some ways it helped me a lot for growing my independence, and my supervisors seem to be satisfied by my work, but I still feel that I could spend better my time if only I had enough guidance. I need a lot of energies for making small improvements, and I don't know if I can resist and I will be able to finish my thesis in one year.

What do you suggest to do? Should I talk with him? Thank you in advance for your help.

1 Answer 1


The usual suggestion of this forum applies here as well: Talk to your adviser(s)!

Your adviser knows your situation, and knows the expectations to obtain the degree. Their job is not only to guide your scientifically/educationally, but also to guide you through the process to become a professional. One could expand on this, but I think the previous two sentences summarize well how I feel about the situation: What you experience is something advisers should be able to advise on as well.

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