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How to Write a Thesis/Project Proposal
======================================

You probably received this document because I asked you to write a proposal. Thanks for your interest in writing a thesis/project with us, we are stoked that you are interesting in joining them team. Don't worry if you have not yet fully decided on the topic that you are interested in, this proposal template is here to guide you.

The proposal that you are about to write serves two purposes: (1) to give a rough idea on what you will spent the next 3/6/12 months, (2) to clearly communicate this with your supervisor and fellow students. Your project/thesis teaches you to work scientifically and independenlty, the team and your supervisor are there to help you in that. Your project/thesis is your chance to do great work in a whatever field interests you the most (we hope that this is wearable computing, embedded systems or computer architecture though). It will either be your first or final independent, scientific work in Germany's highest educational insitution.

Hope you are excited, anything that is capitalized in the rest of the document is where you should ad/change something.

For the proposal you need a title of 7-20 words that describes what you will be working on. The title can be changed before you finally hand in your thesis/project[^1]. The proposal should not exceed two pages.

For the proposal apply (parts of) Heilmeier's Catechism, in particular the following questions:

>    What are you trying to do?

Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon. Ask yourself why your topic is important and what can be achieved when completed.

>    How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?

This means you can either base your work on existing papers/theses. It is particular helpful if you find a publication which is very similar to what you are planning, since you can adopt the methodology from there and apply it. Cite a maximum of three publications here.

>    What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful? 

This could be that you apply something existing in a new context. Don't spent too much time about how this will be successful, often getting clearly articulated and reliable evidence is already more than enough.

>    Who cares? If you are successful, what difference will it make?

If you build a system, who will use it? How will they benefit? If you research a phenomena, what can be done with the gained knowledge?

>   What are the mid-term and final “exams” to check for success? 

How will you evaluate your project? What are factors of success, how will you measure them? This is one of the most important question to answer for you project/thesis. This shows if you are able to quantify your goals and is the foundation of any scientific work. This will also give you a very clear idea of your goals [^2]. Enlist those goals!

>   How long will it take?

Create a timeplan for your project with objectives for each month. Formulate those in a quantifiable way, i.e. instead of "after month 1 I reviewed related work" write "after month 1 I will have read 10 publications, written down a methodology section on the selection process of three paragraphs, summarized 10 papers in roughly 5 paragraphs, and written one paragraph on what I learned and how my thesis is related to those publications. A timeplan is best written as a list.

Don't worry if you cannot answer all these question, once you finished some of them, send the document back to me.

You can decide to write the proposal in english or german. Either use pandoc[^3], latex, openoffice or word for your thesis/proposal. You can find a proposal.md file if you choose pandoc. Once your proposal is finished, and we both agree on it, you either have to write to moses@tf.uni-freiburg.de to add your project to hisinone or write to pruefungsamt@tf.uni-freiburg.de to request the thesis application form. From then on, it's happy writing!

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While Writing the Thesis
========================

For every meeting with your supervisor(s), please add a short diary-like entry here in this file, like this, and document decision and topics:

 - 2. Sep 21, met with phil, discussed goals and decided to give my best
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and now please read through Gernot's Guide to Thesis Writing [^4].
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[^1]: https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/
[^2]: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm
[^3]: https://github.com/cagix/pandoc-thesis
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[^4]: http://gernot-heiser.org/style-guide.html