Information for Student Projects
This page collects various useful information to get you started
on your thesis or research project. Most of the theses I
supervise are within the E project. E ist a theorem prover for
(many-sorted) first-order logic with equality.
- Fresh topics
You can find additional open research topics
in this PDF document (in
- Feel free to approach me with your own suggestions. However,
I'm probably not the best supervisor for cell phone app
development projects, and I'm almost certainly not the right
supervisor for anything not running on open platforms (like
Linux, Unix, BSD, ...) using
- I can read English and German well enough to understand and
grade texts. Writing in English is fine, but please be careful
about proof-reading. Do consider getting a style guide. I
Elements of Style by Strunk & White to be
helpful. Older versions out of copyright can be found on the
web, but be aware that while the fundamentals are still good,
some aspects of good writing have changed. The current edition
is available for around EUR 10.
- Some people find
Maps useful. Note that the process is as important as the
result - don't overthink it. If you do them quick and dirty,
you can always throw them away and start over. Large paper
sheets, flipcharts and white- or blackboards are great - don't
obsess over tools.
- If you feel unsure about the structure of the thesis, try
to adapt my generic outline for theses and papers:
- Introduction/Problem statement
- Frequent mistakes by German writers:
- "Shortly" means "in the near future". You might try
- "Im folgenden" can be rendered as "In the following", or
sometimes "Below", but not "Following".
- "Next" can be used in various contexts, but not to
literally translate the German "Neben X gibt es Y" - use
"Next to", oder "In addition to". In general, stock
phrases cannot usually be translated word-for-word.
- Most compound adjectives and adverbs need to be
hyphenated in English. All red-blooded humans should
use properly-hyphenated words!
- English sometimes uses different forms for countable
and uncountable objects. I use less sugar in my
tea, but fewer cubes of sugar.
- If you submit a draft (or a final version) and want
feedback, please name the file Name_YYMMDD.pdf,
where Name is your name and YYMMDD is the
date of submission (Year, Month, Day). You probably only write
one thesis of any given type, but I supervise many, and I need
to keep them sorted in my mind and on my disk.
We are more interested in the quality of your content than in the
exact details of the format, but we do have a few requirements
(this is not comprehensive - if in doubt check the DHBW pages).
- The title page must contain certain pieces of
- The title of the thesis
- The name of the author(s)
- The type of the thesis
- The course of study (Studiengang)
- "Duale Hochschule Baden Württemberg Stuttgart"
- The due date ("Abgabedatum") and the work period (12
weeks for Bachelor theses, the official dates for
- Your matriculation number and course
- Your employer
- The name and titles of the DHBW supervisor
(e.g. Professor Dr. Stephan Schulz)
- If applicable the name (and titles) of a company
- A single-author thesis should have about 60 pages in length,
not counting automatically generated content (e.g. "List of
X"), and in a reasonable layout. If there are two authors, go
for about 90 pages, and include a clear statement who wrote
what (you can leave 20-30% shared content). I write about a
page a day, so plan enough time for writing.
- You can only write if you read. Read the sources provided -
if they are not (good) enough,
go find some
more. You don't need to read every book or paper in full,
but you should have a reasonable mental map of your field of
work, so that you can evaluate and place new ideas.
- If you work on a topic proposed by me, they will usually
have a small number of sources attached them. More often then
not I can provide you with an actual copy of the paper (often
by pointing to
bibliography web page). If I mention a paper, it usually
contains information you will need, and which probably will
end up in your theses. These papers will also have a
literature list at the end - use this as an entry point to find
Google Scholar is a
great resource for finding papers. For computer science it is
very comprehensive (i.e. it also contains some grey literature
and dubious sources). The number of citations also provides an
indication about the impact and importance of a given
paper. Google Scholar is, however, curated automatically, and
contains a number of mistakes. Make sure to check the
bibliographical data against an official source.
- The full text of papers may be available from the
publisher, possibly via the DHBW library. Often, authors also
publish their own papers on their web sites. If not (but check
first!), many authors will send a copy if they receive a
- The official E web site
has information mostly for (potential) E users
- The E develoment web site
has information mostly for scientists and developers. It also
hosts the private E git repository. However, see next item...
- E is now (also) hosted
on Github, and I recommend that
you clone E from there. It has better tools and I don't need to
fiddle with your public keys ;-).
- My BibTex blibliography file is a
reasonably good start for your literature (don't read all the
- You can download all (or nearly all) of my papers (i.e. the
papers where I am one of the co-authors) from
tutorial is a useful overview
- Google Scholar is a
good place to find additional literature.