Information about writing student theses at DICE

Student information about theses in the Data Science group

Theses at the DICE group

Bachelor's or master's theses at the data science (DICE) group typically build on content of our courses or project groups. We provide a list of open theses topics on our teaching website. In the list, there is a contact person for every topic. You have to contact the respective supervisor by email to make a first appointment. The language of your bachelor's thesis can be either German or English. For a master's thesis, the language should be English.

General information about theses in UPB CS

The department of computer science (CS) of the Paderborn University (UPB) provides a list of official rules and regulations as well as an FAQ:

Please read the provided information carefully and make yourself familiar with the regulations.

Thesis procedure

  1. Choosing the topic and application
  2. First meeting with supervisor
  3. Sub task preparation
  4. Meeting with supervisor and professor
  5. Register the thesis
  6. Working phase
  7. Thesis submission
  8. Thesis defense

1. Choosing the topic and application

The student starts the thesis process by choosing one or several topics which they are intersted in and get into touch with the contact person(s) of these topics. The student should apply for the thesis topic with the following information:

  1. A (short) list of the student's computer science / computer engineering skills
  2. A list of grades that the student got during their studies. We are mainly interested subjects related to our field of research and the student's overall average grade.

Part of the application is a programming test. The student should get an invitation to a test appointment. The test will take place online and simply ensures that you have basic programming abilities.

Please note that our resources are limited and we are not able to supervise every student that sends an application. In case a student does not pass the test or the application has to be rejected because of other reasons, a new application can be submitted after 6 months.

2. First meeting with supervisor

After your application has been approved and you passed the programming test, you will be invited to a meeting with the supervisor of the topic. During a first meeting, the topic is discussed and the student should state whether he is interested in the topic or not.

3. Sub task preparation

It might be possible, that the supervisor defines a first small sub task of the thesis that should be solved by the student. This is typically necessary to ensure that the topic fits to the students abilities before registering the thesis. If the sub task is solved by the student he should be able to solve the main topic as well. If the student encounters major problems, it might be possible that (depending on the topic) the supervisor suggests a different topic.

4. Meeting with supervisor and professor

After the student showed that he/she is able to solve the main topic, there will be a meeting with the student, his supervisor and the professor of the DICE group. During that meeting, the goal of the thesis is defined. This typically includes points that should be covered by the thesis but can also contain things that should not be covered.

As a result of this meeting, the student should create a summary of the meeting describing the goal of the thesis. This summary will be reviewed by the supervisor.

5. Registering the thesis

The registration of the thesis is the task of the student. Based on the summary of the meeting described above the student should create a work plan for the thesis and give it to the supervisor. After that, the student will receive a letter stating that the thesis work plan has been approved. With this letter, the student can register the thesis at the examination office. Please note that apart from the letter, the DICE group is not directly involved in the thesis registration.

During the registration, the reviewers of the thesis have to be defined. Since the thesis is supervised by our group, the 1st reviewer is the professor of the DICE group.

Based on the registartion date, the examination office will provide the deadline for the thesis submission. Please note that the thesis should not be submitted after the deadline and not before 80% of the thesis time have passed (7 weeks for a Bachelor thesis, 4 months for a Master thesis (full time student)).

Work plan

In the regulations mentioned above, it is specified that for registering a thesis the student has to prepare a work plan and submit it the the supervisor. The work plan has to contain the following elements:

  1. description of the task which has to be worked on,
  2. motivation of the thesis,
  3. explicit formulation of the target setting,
  4. description of the tasks that have to be carried out in order to reach the goal,
  5. including a related schedule as well as
  6. a setting up of a provisional structure of a written elaboration.

Source: Examination Regulations for the master’s degree course Computer Science of the Faculty for Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Paderborn, Edition 44.17 of June 16th 2017

(You can reuse major parts of the work plan in your thesis.)

After the registration, the work plan should be sent to the second examiner.

On item 5: Schedule/timetable

The schedule should to contain major milestones. It is recommended to provide a gantt chart. Please consider to schedule buffer times. A template, which as to be adapted, is given by the following list:

  • State-of-the-art review
  • Proposal of your solution
  • Implementation, tests, and benchmarks
  • If you chose an iterative approach: Analyze results and go to previous step
  • Thesis writing (typically runs in parallel with all other tasks)

On item 6: Classical structure of a thesis

A thesis should be structured similar to the following list:

  • Introduction
  • Related work
  • Background
  • Approach
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation
  • Summary and Discussion

6. Working phase

After point 3. is done, the main working phase starts and the student should work on the topic and write the thesis. During that period, the student should have regular meetings with the supervisor. Typically, there should be at least 1 meeting every second week. However, this has to be negotiated with the supervisor, personally.

7. Thesis submission

The thesis has to be submitted by the student. The examination office defines a deadline until that the thesis will have to be submitted.


We recommend to use LaTeX for writing your thesis. There are various existing templates. An example is the Clean Thesis template.

8. Thesis defense

After submitting your thesis, the two reviewers will check your thesis. After that, there will be an appointment at which you have to defend your work with a presentation (BA 20-30 minutes and MA 30-45 minutes) which is followed by a question and answer round (up to 20 minutes). Your performance during this appointment will be taken into account for the grading.


The thesis will be graded by two reviewers. Reviewers from the DICE group typically take diverse criteria into account to compute the final grade of a thesis. These criteria include (but are not limited to):

  • Quality of the solution
  • Technical content
  • Code quality
  • Writing
  • Thesis defense


Find your supervisors contact information at the DICE team.