Synthesis of a Thesis

If someone knows me only through the blog posts I write here, it might appear that all I do is travel, go to fun events and savour the weather. While I consistently do all that, alongside I’ve come half way through my masters program!

It struck me that this blog platform is more conducive to sharing my student experiences, and have decided to give you a peek into what I do when I’m not doing that I always seem to be doing. Not that I will be writing only about my student experiences from now on, but will make an exception this post. As the post title has already revealed, I will lend my insight about working on the masters thesis at Chalmers.

I’m from the MPCOM program, doing communication engineering in the Signals & Systems department. The program is designed for two years, 120 credits equivalent work. At the end of one year, I have all my 60 credits – hard earned by taking up courses. For the second year, and to earn the remaining 60 credits I will be working on a two semester thesis!

Thesis is a mandatory part of the master programs (at least in MPCOM). The common trend is for students to dedicate one, final semester on the thesis. That would earn 30 credits, and can be done in collaboration with another colleague from the program. But, there is another option: One can choose to work two full semesters on a thesis, for 60 credits. Given the longer duration, the depth and expanse of problems usually dealt with such theses are profound and wide when compared to the one semester thesis. More so, it is mostly carried on by individual students.

I am working on a 60 credits thesis, in the Signals & Systems department. Given my fascination towards signal processing, I have happily digressed from communication engineering, and while within the ambit of the program, I will be working on a bunch of signal processing problem for the next few months. Depending on what one’s interests are, this either could sound wonderful or otherwise. I find it better suited for me, for I don’t have to take lectures and go through the chores of taking up courses.

The two semester theses are more research-like, and I am getting acquainted with the research culture and hardships. While it is enjoyable, it can also be stressful at times. That is where the supervisors play an important role – to modulate our work and train us to do reasonable research. It’s been two months, and I am still conducting deep literature survey, and implementations of already existing ideas and will soon embark upon dealing with research!

As smaller, but crucial perk I get a desk to work from, and more importantly access to the coffee machine!

If you are a student in first year, and if you think the two-semester thesis idea excites you, get in touch with your department, or talk to a professor you would like to work with! You can read more about thesis work at Chalmers here.