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How and when to choose a thesis?

How and when to choose a thesis?

How and when to choose a thesis?

Hey everyone,

I apologize if the title is misleading, but I am not looking for specific ideas for a thesis. I am more curious how someone goes about choosing one and if I should have a good idea prior to going in for 2 more years. I am a current senior ME student and I want to further my education while covid diminishes the job opportunities. I don't have a clue, however, on what state of the art research is currently focused on and where to begin my research.

I am specifically looking for avenues that may help me generate ideas for creating my own thesis. Journals, websites, and article recommendations are welcome and anything that specializes in new micro/nanotechnology is a bonus. I would like to reiterate that I am not looking for specific ideas, but rather where to start my journey selecting one.

RE: How and when to choose a thesis?

In this day and age, the internet is chock full of both synopses as well as complete research articles, in addition to the web pages of research groups of most universities. There seems to be little reason why you couldn't find information about almost any research topic.

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RE: How and when to choose a thesis?

In most engineering disciplines, your thesis advisor is who to turn to for research ideas... this is typically because the professor is interested in a certain set of research areas, and grad students help those efforts along. It is relatively rare for the student to go out on a limb and research something far outside the professor's research interests, though it does happen from time to time. This is why it's important to choose an advisor that has similar interests, if it can be helped.

Dan - Owner

RE: How and when to choose a thesis?

Dan hit it on the head. Just to flesh it out a bit more, since I found the process to be very opaque initially... If you already have a school chosen, find professors/researchers in your desired field and contact them. You'll want to figure out whether they have 1) ongoing and prospective projects of interest to you, 2) funding, and 3) any capacity/desire to take on students. Many students, myself included, by chasing funding end up fairly far away from our initial focus intentions; this is not necessarily bad at the masters level, especially with prior experience and knowledge in your desired field that can be leveraged into a job.

As far as literature, I would check with/through your university library. There are a ton of journals out there, but most are pay-to-play. Likely you have access to a particular set. When looking for published work, it might help to find surveys or literature reviews of existing knowledge. This might help you focus your search, as most journal papers have a relatively narrow scope. Generally speaking, I suspect that a casual chat with an active researcher/expert would be a better way of getting an idea of reasonable research topics than pouring through journals - there'll be plenty of that later.

RE: How and when to choose a thesis?

Your idea of further study is great. The topic of research must be of your interest and if you select topics out of interest, you never gonna be complete this. The start of the research is should be basics of the topic.

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