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Questions tagged [thesis]

Questions related to initiation, preparation, editing and presentation of a research thesis. A Thesis is a long research report including personal research conclusions and outputs. A Thesis must include personal research and the proper citations from other publications in the research topic.

238
votes
20answers
23k views

How to avoid procrastination during the research phase of my PhD?

I just finished all of my coursework for my PhD program, and am entering the research phase of my degree with a topic already in mind. I've already started the research, but I'm already finding that ...
196
votes
22answers
31k views

What to do when your student is convinced that he will be the next Einstein?

As an adviser, I have found it to be a detrimental motive for a student to focus solely on surpassing Einstein in achievement, for many reasons. One student in particular has busied himself with the ...
163
votes
9answers
53k views

I realize I made a huge mistake in my thesis and am not sure what to do. I'm defending very soon (days away). What should I do?

I realize there is a somewhat similar question posted, but my question is different in that I found a pretty big mistake in my thesis. It's such a big problem, it changes my results. I almost wish I ...
147
votes
13answers
24k views

Appropriateness of dedicating my thesis to a Jewish mathematician who died in a concentration camp

I am a Muslim student in a non-Arab country. Would it be unwanted/inappropriate for me to dedicate my thesis on Tauber theory to Alfred Tauber, and more generally to all those Jewish mathematicians ...
121
votes
18answers
37k views

What's the point of PhD theses if nobody reads them?

At best, the PhD thesis is read by: The author The examiners The supervisor The author's parents The author's roommate / spouse / fellow students in research group Or less than 10 people in total. ...
107
votes
6answers
20k views

What can I do when some people stole my master thesis work and published it as their own work?

Google scholar suggested a paper for me to read, I opened it and boom it was my master thesis work. My work was based on Arabic language but they claim their work is based on Telugu language. Even ...
106
votes
9answers
16k views

How to respond to a company that wants specific details on implementation of my PhD research?

A company approached me for an interview to explain my work, which has been published as part of my PhD. As I understand from their email, they want to understand my work so that they can use it. ...
105
votes
13answers
19k views

Is it ethical for a professor to get masters students to work on open source modules related to the professor's profit-making company?

My professor of Computer Science has a company (both based in Germany) that promotes an open-source software. Of course the software is free and open-source, but his company generates profits through ...
104
votes
14answers
27k views

What is the best “last slide” in a thesis presentation?

There are some possible options as the last slide of a typical thesis presentation. I've heard of some possibilities: A question-mark image (as the time to be slaughtered by the referees!), A Thank ...
94
votes
2answers
15k views

What is a “sandwich thesis”?

On the Internet, I have found that some people have graduated with a PhD by means of a “sandwich thesis”. Could anyone explain what it is?
90
votes
7answers
19k views

What happens if a math PhD student fails to find a proof that is the main objective of his/her thesis topic?

How exactly do Math theses/dissertations work? Is it fair to assume that the work involves trying to prove something? What happens if you can't? I did a thesis in Computer Science, and though my ...
86
votes
11answers
24k views

Where did I lose control of my studies?

I am a 5th MSc semester mathematics student at a local German university. Since fall, I have been working on my thesis, which is the only remaining task for finishing my studies. I had not had ...
85
votes
6answers
10k views

Should I report an accepted PhD thesis in which the literature review is copied verbatim from sources?

While writing the literature review for my doctoral dissertation, I picked up a few recent dissertations on similar topics from the library to get some pointers on references and style. As I was ...
82
votes
7answers
34k views

Use of first person in a PhD Thesis

Is there a non written rule to which person to use in the PhD thesis, 5 years of using "We" in the papers have brought me to the innate necessity to do it every time I describe something. Recently, ...
79
votes
7answers
11k views

Can I thank websites that host illegal book downloads in the acknowledgements section of my thesis?

My stance is that these websites are a great boon to the research community and they were certainly extremely helpful for my research. I think they should be applauded rather than persecuted, and ...
77
votes
16answers
12k views

Should I learn to use LaTeX to write up a History Masters Thesis?

So I reviewed the "What are the advantages or disadvantages of using LaTeX for writing scientific publications?" question on this forum and am sitting on the fence at the moment whether or not to use ...
76
votes
8answers
16k views

What should be included in a disclaimer about the omission of gender-neutral language in a bachelor's thesis?

I'm working on my bachelor's thesis to get my bachelor's degree at a German university. I am not sure about the situation in other countries, but German universities are very sensitive when it comes ...
71
votes
4answers
11k views

Advisor drops MSci student suddenly in final semester

Today I had a fellow student (who is working on a master's degree) come to me and inform me that our mutual advisor (call her Professor WW) had just dropped her as a student for "personal reasons." I ...
69
votes
12answers
16k views

My advisor's new student copied parts of my PhD thesis; advisor doesn't care. What to do?

I wrote my PhD thesis a few years back. After I finished, my supervisor found another researcher and continued research with the apparatus I built, but along a different line of study. I met this ...
68
votes
11answers
23k views

Can one or two emoticons be used in a PhD Thesis?

I have a very dumb :-) question: Are emoticons (if rarely placed - one or two times) in a PhD thesis considered unorthodox? I have an introduction where I give an apt example and appended some small ...
67
votes
4answers
10k views

Dealing with professor's death on my thesis

My professer, regrettably and very suddenly, passed away yesterday. He was my mentor for my graduation thesis. His teaching capabilities were not great, but he was a great man. Always helping out with ...
66
votes
5answers
15k views

What to do (years later) with otherwise good student who has accidentally plagiarised part of PhD thesis?

Here's a not so hypothetical situation. International student x is very talented but comes from a background where technical writing is not taught or understood very well. She writes a great thesis ...
63
votes
8answers
25k views

How can I find out if someone really holds a doctoral degree?

We're currently interviewing candidates at my company and I'd like to verify if some of them really have the academic degrees they claim. One in particular claims a doctoral degree from a German ...
62
votes
5answers
8k views

Why not make students reproduce work?

Typically, PhD theses are expected to have novel results. As science advances, it is becoming increasingly difficult to accumulate enough knowledge to begin a project that pushes the boundaries. ...
61
votes
5answers
15k views

Is it inappropriate for a student to attend their mentor's dissertation defense?

I'm an undergraduate student at a research one university. My former instructor and current research mentor is defending their dissertation soon. I asked if I could attend and they said they would be ...
61
votes
4answers
7k views

Strategies to overcome “academic-apathy” in the final stages of the PhD?

Background - I am doing my PhD in atmospheric physics/photobiology. Here is a scenario: The experiments are complete - the results are far better than expected Successfully got the computer program ...
59
votes
7answers
40k views

Self-Plagiarism in PhD thesis

I am a final year PhD in UK in a scientific discipline and I am writing my thesis. I have already published 2 journal papers and I have submitted 2 more papers for publications. My department does not ...
58
votes
14answers
26k views

PhD thesis without acknowledgements

During the process of writing my PhD thesis, I was close to falling out with my adviser, the advice I received from other staff at the lab (including the director) was unhelpful at best. I have since ...
57
votes
10answers
22k views

Telling PhD supervisor I published a paper about my thesis without telling them or listing them as authors?

I am in my 3rd year of PhD. In my program, it is a requirement for PhD students to graduate with a paper that is published in a Scopus Index journal. Before I entered, and during my PhD, I had ...
56
votes
5answers
35k views

Is Lambert Academic Publishing a reputable company?

I was contacted by the Acquisition editor of Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP) to publish my bachelor's thesis as a printed book. Is LAP any good? I have no idea about it; I have just heard that it's ...
54
votes
7answers
8k views

Is it normal for a PhD candidate to be dissatisfied with their PhD thesis topic, if the field is not hot?

I am a 2nd year PhD student in Germany. I am working on computational mechanics. It is on modeling the mechanical behavior of a composite coating. My background is metallurgical engineering. When I ...
54
votes
11answers
6k views

How to make thesis-writing feel less tedious?

I'm about to finish my master's thesis on a TCS topic (algorithms). I'm quite happy with my results; the most engaging part of the thesis was grappling with getting up to speed on the state of the art,...
53
votes
8answers
8k views

Can I use a section of my thesis to “soap-box” about a meta-issue regarding research?

I'm a big believer in FOSS (Free Open Source Software), and a physics graduate student. I believe a lot of current researchers are not aware of free solutions to problems that are usually encountered ...
52
votes
2answers
28k views

Whether and how to thank a girlfriend or boyfriend in the acknowledgements of thesis?

How is it received by the academia if someone thanks to his/her girlfriend/boyfriend in the acknowledgements of the thesis? I have seen writers including his/her fiancee in the acknowledgements, ...
51
votes
4answers
12k views

What to do when you spend several months working on an idea that fails in a masters thesis?

How shall a masters student deal with the complete failure to meet the expected results when working on a master's thesis? For example, in the field of machine learning a masters student might spend ...
50
votes
7answers
10k views

Is it usual for finished PhD students to send out physical copies of their thesis to unknown persons?

Some time ago, a recently-graduated PhD has sent me a physical (book) copy of his dissertation. The graduate works in a somewhat-related field, but is personally entirely unknown to me (I have some ...
48
votes
3answers
13k views

What happens if someone publishes a paper on your current PhD thesis topic

This is not in any way relevant to me, I'm just interested. What would happen if you chose a PhD thesis to work on, and halfway through someone somewhere in the world who was also doing a PhD in the ...
47
votes
7answers
19k views

Can my university revoke my degree after it was granted due to (corporate) data having changed?

I did my thesis using corporate data (I used to work there, they don't give their information freely or sell it), data is from 2009 to 2018. I collect the data, analyze it, everything normal. However,...
46
votes
8answers
11k views

Is it plagiarism for my thesis advisor to publish a paper using content from my thesis without citation?

I did my master thesis last year and recently I found out that a group of four faculty members in my department, including my thesis advisor, have published an ACM paper based on that. (A publish ...
46
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the point of a PhD thesis whose content already exists in published papers?

In my area (computer science) it is standard to publish several papers during the course of your PhD and then only "write" your thesis in the last few months of graduate school --- often you only ...
45
votes
10answers
19k views

About to write my PhD thesis and I don't know the basics and fundamentals. I am feeling unworthy of the PhD title. What should I do?

My PhD work is on modeling a 3D printing process using a commercial FEM software. But I am not confident with basics of finite element theory, non linear Finite element analysis to be accurate, which ...
45
votes
4answers
12k views

How to correct plagiarism in my own Master's thesis, years later?

My situation is somewhat similar to this question, but I'm the plagiarizer. Six years ago I did my Master's degree by coursework at university X, and wrote the Master's thesis under supervision of ...
43
votes
12answers
9k views

PhD student hiring a LaTeX expert to typeset thesis?

I am close to finishing my PhD. Some of my peers use LaTeX. Obviously, it looks much better than Word and alike. As I wrote a few papers that go into my final thesis, I however have numerous formats ...
43
votes
4answers
14k views

Don't want someone else to continue on the topic of my thesis

Today I defended by Bachelor's thesis and I did well. The thesis is handed in. However the process of developing it was a real nightmare, I had many panic attacks, etc. and it was just awful. But now ...
42
votes
6answers
10k views

Parents attending thesis defense?

My wife is defending her thesis soon, and in her department, defenses are open to the public. I will be there along with several of her friends/colleagues. Her mom also wants to come to the defense. ...
42
votes
7answers
9k views

Is beautifying a dissertation looked upon unfavourably by the examiners?

I'm writing an Msc dissertation on planning space projects and I would like to add interesting bits of information on the opening page of each chapter. Though the image and the accompanying ...
42
votes
3answers
7k views

My PhD research has a negative outcome — how can I still graduate with it?

A former PhD student at our lab had this idea for an algorithm for solving an engineering problem that has many well known solutions. The student developed preliminary results but ended up applying ...
41
votes
7answers
6k views

How to deal with advisor who wants me to submit dissertation on time even though there's a major problem?

I'm on my last month before the deadline to hand in my dissertation. I found a severe problem with the work that renders it pretty much pointless and I pointed out to my advisor that I would need ...
40
votes
7answers
8k views

Is it unethical to edit the text of my undergraduate thesis prior to sharing online?

My undergraduate thesis was completed almost a decade ago and is not available online, nor was any publication made from the findings. I would like to share it online, but looking back on it I notice ...
39
votes
8answers
13k views

Is there a way to save my career from absolute disaster?

I am in my fifth year and I am about to submit my Applied Mechanics PhD thesis in. However, I always felt absolutely incompetent in the field. I tried improving my weak areas by self study, taking up ...