My friend, a graduate student answered an exam question (in Data Mining field) with a method she's going to propose in her thesis, which has not been published yet as it is still unfinished. The (soon-to-be) thesis itself propose a single new method.
What caused her anxiety:
- Her lecturer is currently on a research in data mining too and they are not in the same research group.
- The exam question itself contained a statement like this, "Use whatever method you know of".
The point is that my friend is afraid that her lecturer may pick that method to incorporate or develop in his research while he wouldn't know that it is actually a part of his student's research. If that happened her thesis would be in jeopardy.
From my previous question in SE, I get that lecturers really rarely mine ideas from students' exams, but my friend is still worried because her thesis is basically proposing that one method.
What could my friend possibly do in this complicated situation and state of mind?