Master's Projects

Revised: 5/24/2011
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Project Topics Master's Projects Master's Theses Research References Cloner Software Foundry

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" By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. "
- Charles Wadsworth

Master's Projects are required for the Master of Science in Computer Engineering and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering programs. A project is not required for a Master of Science in Computer Science degree. Master's Projects are awarded no credits, but you must register for them (at no cost).

Distinction between a Master's Project and Thesis

The scope of a Master's Project is approximately equivalent to a software design course project, e.g., CSE687, plus a report. The report is like a C-Specification, but a little less formal. So, you should expect to spend 20 to 30 hours on an implementation and another 10 to 20 hours on a report. You have satisfied this requirement when your faculty advisor and Program Director approve the project. Note that there are other forms of Master's Projects, discussed below in items 2 and 3.

A Master's Theses is much more work. You should expect to spend six months of half time work conducting a research project and documenting your results.

Project Topics

For students who perpare a Master's Project under my direction, these projects may take any of the forms:
  1. Software project on some interesting topic, submitted with a comprehensive report.
  2. Survey paper on a significant technology that you may not have addressed in your program, but is something you want to learn about.
  3. White paper that explores some technical area in detail.
The primary difference between the survey and whitepaper options is a matter of breadth versus depth.


I have two main requirements for this work:
  1. You should explore some area that is new enough to you that you learn something significant. Pick a topic that interests you.
  2. The project should involve about as much work as any of the class projects you do in my courses and must also be documented by a report that, for software projects, is structured much like a software Design Document.
I prefer students to select their own topics, rather that have me assign one. I have too many students concurrently working on projects to give each one a unique topic. By this point in your program you should be able to identify an interesting topic. Below is a link to topics to think about.

Topic Ideas:    Projects Page

Remediation for Data Structures and Algorithms

This year I have had a huge number of requests to supervise MS Projects that will, in part, be used to waive a requirement for remediation of CSE382. Due to the large volume of requests I am no longer able to do this and will accept no more requests of this kind.

Note that, as always, I am pleased to supervise your MS Projects. I just will not supervise remediation of CSE382 requirements. Note that you can either take the course, as indicated in your acceptance letter, or you can take the exemption examination which is given every year.

I've left the instructions for remediation on this page for the students with whom I have already agreed to supervise remediation. But I will not accept any more, this semester, or later.

Students who have been levied a remedial program requirement to take CSE382 - Data Structures and Algorithms may satisfy this requirement by preparing a Master's Project that demonstrates the requisite knowledge. Here are the steps necessary to complete this process: