The Thesis

Your thesis, be it Bachelor’s or Master’s, is the most important work you will do during your studies. It proves to yourself, fellow students, friends, the university and everyone else that you deserve the title ‘computer scientist’ or ‘software engineer’. It is the final culmination of the two or three years your studies. Use every skill, tool, experience and piece of knowledge you have gained so far to make a great thesis!

You can only do it once in your life!

Most importantly, it is your thesis. You will be the one responsible for it. You are the one to reap the benefits and the one to proudly call yourself the author of it. This is why the topic of the thesis should be something you feel that is right for you. Something that you really want to be good at and work with after your studies as well. Perhaps not with exactly the same thing, but definitely with something similar. Because, you see, after writing a thesis, you become very skilled and knowledgeable in the particular topic. It becomes the road you have traveled on and know well.

The choice of a supervisor can depend on many aspects. The supervisor is not your client or boss though. Neither is your supervisor a lecturer or a practice session instructor who would give you a grade afterwards. Do not expect the supervisor to tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. Those questions are for you to solve. Your work is for you to keep track of. Your supervisor is more like a co-worker at a coffee table. Together we can come up with some great ideas or try to solve difficult problems. We also care about how you are doing and will give you a cheer if you are feeling down. Naturally we want to help you and give you feedback on your results, but all the choices are and will always be yours to make. It is your thesis and you will be the one defending it afterwards. You need to be confident of your choices in your thesis. All of them.

Be sure to pick a supervisor that you like to get along with. Someone who also has some experience in the field that interests you. You should be able to discuss ideas and understand each other. Someone whose support you find the most useful.

The best topics are often the ones that you come up with yourself. Remember that doing the degree was your choice. What was it you wanted to learn from your studies? Take that idea and make it your topic! No one else should tell you what job to get in the future, which house to buy or how many pets you need to have. Coming up with and choosing a topic is just like those choices. It will affect you and your future – what is the area you want to excel in?
Among other values, having a degree means that you have shown to have independent thought in identifying problems and setting goals plus the skills, creativity and willpower to provide solutions, follow through and make the world better!

Be sure to check out the computer graphics theses from previous years.

If you are still unsure what a thesis is or how to write it and like metaphors, then check out our article series Of Thesis Writing.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is a thesis?
Please read the thesis regulations PDF (in Estonian, in English).

2) Can I make a computer game as a thesis?
Yes!
It does need to be unique though, not just a clone of an existing game. It also needs to satisfy the rules for the “software solution” thesis type. Among other things you need to: describe similar games, say why your game is different, explain the design choices, describe the more complicated algorithms, test your game on the players, improve it if necessary and show that it is a great game!
If you make a game, which will have an Overwhelmingly Positive score on Steam, thousands of players and manage to write up in your thesis what you did right, then it will be awesome!

3) What should I reference in my thesis?
It depends on the specific topic. Generally, you should find good books and science articles that support your topic. If you are a slow reader, then the earlier you start, the better. We have a dedicated literature page to help you out.
It is fine to reference non-academic sources too, but it should not be only those. Otherwise, if a source is non-academic, but relevant for your work, then do reference it, of course.

4) It is now February… I need to do a thesis… can you help?
Where were you in December? Do you not enjoy your sleep?

5) How do I know if my topic is suitable?
Do you feel confident to defend it according to the thesis regulations? If you have not read the regulations yet, then please do. Then think about, which type your thesis is of. Then think, how does your topic satisfy the requirements for that specific type.

In almost all the cases, you should be able to answer right off the bat:

  • To whom is your thesis meant?
  • What is the unique value in your thesis?
  • What are the similar / alternative solutions in the world?
  • Do you utilize enough of computer science?
  • Is the foreseen work worth 9 (BSc) / 30 (MSc) credits?

If you can adequately explain that, then your topic is probably suitable. Come talk to us! 🙂

 

Thesis Topics

If you really can not find a topic on your own, then here is a list of potential topics we offer.

 

 

Delta Building Visualizations

Supervisor(s): Raimond Tunnel
Degree: BSc or MSc

The institute wants you to create some nice visualizations to be displayed on big screens in the lobby of the new Delta building. Already two Bachelor students have started the project by visualizing the 3D Delta building, the people movement in the building, the schedule of activities and the weather. See the Delta Building Visualisation and Optimisation and the Delta Building Environment Visualisation theses.
So a thesis here would be a continuation of their initial work. There can be several theses that work on this project, so you can collaborate with a fellow student here. Some possible avenues could be:

  • Creation of an admin tool for debugging different situations.
  • Further optimization of the actors.
  • Better pathfinding and activity planning for the actors.
  • Fancier rendering techniques for the building, weather etc.
  • Code and architecture refactoring.
  • Actual integration with the Study Information System 2.0 API.
  • Web version of the visualization.
  • Some new idea what to add to the visualization.

 

 

Advanced Computer Graphics Materials

Supervisor(s): Raimond Tunnel
Degree: MSc
Tools: JavaScript and/or C++

The base Computer Graphics course has been popular for many years. Every time there are students who would like to learn more. Currently that learning takes place in CGS and during thesis work. However, there could be an Advanced Computer Graphics course, which would continue the base course. This thesis consists of the creation and conduction of such a course. This means that establishing the learning outcomes, creating the materials and actually conducting the course. It would be a 3 credits course conducted in the Spring of 2019.
Some common topics possible in the course:

  • Deferred Rendering
  • Post-Processing Effects
  • Procedural Generation
  • Volumetric Rendering
  • Fractals
  • Real-Time Global Illumination (maybe)
  • Modern GPU Capabilities (maybe)
  • Virtual Reality (maybe)

 

Analysis and Visualization of Thesis Texts

Supervisor(s): Raimond Tunnel
Degree: BSc or MSc
Tools: JavaScript, PHP, MySQL

Raimond has created some analyzation and visualization of thesis texts from the past 3 years. However, he thinks the tried text readability metrics like the Flesch-Kincaid ease and auto index did not give a good enough result to accurately qualify the different theses. This topic is about the research of different metrics and trying some out to see what works well for indicating the quality of a thesis. There could also be other approaches taken here like machine learning. If you find some better statistics or indicators for theses, then you can also change and improve the current visualization. The goals here are to: 1) Give some indication for students, which theses are good and which bad; 2) Allow for better analyzation of also the thesis draft texts, which gives thesis authors better feedback throughout the writing process.

 

Önwall AR Tool

Supervisor(s): Raimond Tunnel
Degree: BSc or MSc
Tools: Android (or iOS)

Önwall is a company that produces wood mosaic tile covers for interior room walls. They want a simple mobile AR tool to show in real-time how a room would look like with their wall tiles. That tool can help customers decide which tiles would visually suit their rooms and desires the best.
The technical challenge is to determine the rough room geometry via a mobile application in order to detect the walls and furniture. This can be done by scanning the room with the smartphone’s camera. Then a simple UI design is required for the users to select different walls or wall regions and place specific Önwall tiles on them.
As this is work for a company, then it includes communication with the company (ran by a really friendly guy) and payment options may be possible. Detailed info about the project from here or from Karl Nagel.

 

Space Stuff Rendering

Supervisor(s): Raimond Tunnel
Degree: BSc or MSc
Tools: Blender (or other)

There is a YouTube channel called Science & Futurism with Isaac Arthur, where Mr Arthur discusses a lot of space and science fiction related ideas. The videos include 3D visualizations of different discussed things. The goal here would be to render some interesting space-related phenomena. Think about the landscapes of alien planets, weird atmospheric effects or storms on those planets, all sorts of stars, nebulae or even black or white holes. Of course also things like aliens, space ships and even megastructures like Dyson swarms. The challenge is to understand the physical and optical properties of space-related effects and render them as accurately as you can. There’s likely tons of literature of such topics and if you manage to render some cool-looking clips then maybe they can be used in the aforementioned channel.

 

Intelligent Language Teacher

Supervisor(s): Jaanus Jaggo
Degree: BSc or MSc
Tools: Javascript, HTML5, Amazone Services

I’m currently developing a web-based natural language learning application, that turns your favorite book into grammar learning exercises. The future goal is to add an intelligent teacher that studies the user progress and determines right exercises at the right time.

novelstyle

Hallucinations from Overweighting of Perceptual Priors

Supervisor(s): Madis Vasser, Jaan Aru
Contact: madis.vasser@ut.ee, jaan.aru@gmail.com
Degree: BSc / MSc
Technology: HTC Vive + Unity or Unreal

The thesis studies the top-down cognitive processes on perception and prediction by creating a uniformly gray world where the study subject must look around in order to spot tiny critters moving around. The aim is to induce the perception of stimuli even when none actually exist. It’s also important to track the users movement and responses in VR.

Probing the Internal World Model of the Brain

Supervisor(s): Madis Vasser, Jaan Aru
Contact: madis.vasser@ut.ee, jaan.aru@gmail.com
Degree: BSc / MSc
Technology: HTC Vive + Unity or Unreal

The thesis studies the internal world model of the brain by putting subjects in a VR environment consisting of visual white noise. The task of the subject is to report the exact moment when they start perceiving a generic environment from the noise. The environment fades in and fades out – the aim is to find the upper and lower bounds of such perception. We expect strong top down effects to occur, meaning that subject might perceive complex scenes even when none is presented.