Finding a Thesis Topic

Students who are interested in writing a master’s thesis should begin thinking about possible topics (cf. hot topics for thesis projects) or propose their own. Good research questions often have their origins in seminar papers around the research topics of the IML lab. Be on the look out for new data that might help provide new insights into a special IML research topic.

Your Advisor and Your Committee

In order to write a bachelor’s or master’s thesis you must find a member of the IML lab who is willing to be your thesis advisor.

How Long Should it Be? How Long Does it Take?

A bachelor’s thesis is generally 20-40 pages, not including the bibliography.  A master’s thesis is generally 40-80 pages, not including the bibliography. However, the length will vary according to the topic and the method of analysis, so the appropriate length will be determined by you and your committee.  Students who write a master’s thesis generally do so over two semesters, bachelor’s one semester.

Some other Formal Requirements

  • Follow the instruction in the Bachelor/Master Seminar: These rules apply for all theses assessed by Dr. Sonntag as the first reviewer. Be sure to check the schedule for graduation so that you hold your oral defense in time to complete and submit your finished thesis. You need to defend your thesis, too.
  • Follow the formatting requirements for Theses and Dissertations listed on our web site. A template for this can be found here. Thesis examples can be found here.  
  • You must maintain continuous enrollment while working on the bachelor’s or master’s thesis.
  • If you are planning to conduct interviews, surveys or do other research involving human subjects you must obtain prior approval from DFKI.

Hot Topics for Thesis Projects

In this work, your task is to implement a game with a purpose, but also helps in collecting hand-drawn sketches with annotations for machine learning. Your task will be to design and implement a suitable game, and to evaluate it in a user study. This game should integrate game mechanics that fit the purpose of generating/annotating sketches via touch input, stylus, or digital pens. The focus shall be on integrating interactive machine learning techniques via game mechanics that, e.g., enable the user to interactively train a machine learning model which is used during the game and has an effect on the game (i.e., the better the model, the better it supports the user in accomplishing the objective of the game).


The design and implementation of the game mechanics. You should have solid programming skills and, at best, experience with Unity 3D or another game development engine of choice. A user study will be conducted in the context of the game.

How to apply

Please send me an email with the following pieces of information (if you do not answer every point, your application will not be considered):

  • – When you plan to start/finish the thesis (approximately)
  • – A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you (max. 0.5 pages)
  • – Preliminary concept draft for a game (circa 1 page)
  • – Your transcript of records