A project puts me in a strange role: During the semester, I want you to help as much as possible in succeeding with your project. But once you hand in, I am a referee and I am supposed to give you a grade together with the external examiner. Let’s make a few rules explicit.
Before the project is started formally, I want you to design and agree with me on an informal project plan (1-2 pages). Part of this plan will be part of the project agreement that you have to hand in, see below.
The plan describes the state-of-the-art, as well as general and specific goals for the project, and a rough timeline (I do not want a Gantt chart). The main benefits of the project plan are: 1) You learn as best as is feasible what you are getting into by accepting the project and 2) during the project, you can come back to the plan to re-focus your efforts. Of course, I know extremely well that plans can go wrong, so it is possible to change course if there is a good reason to do so—for example, if the original idea simply doesn’t work as expected.
Your project is yours. It is not my responsibility to monitor your progress or to make sure that you get a good grade. That said, I will meet with you throughout the semester to discuss the project, make suggestions for improvements, and also give feedback on which aspects aren’t fully satisfactory yet. We will typically meet once every 1-2 weeks. I will also be available electronically. If the project involves coding, I will do some code review.
Every project involves scientific writing, and I will read and give feedback on your written drafts. However, I will not provide iterative feedback, because this would blur the line too much between you writing your thesis and me writing your thesis, so in total I will read and comment on at most one full draft so long as you present it to me with ample time before the deadline (at least two weeks). This can of course be split up into reading different parts at different times.
As a student working on a project, you have to fill in two different agreements:
- A project agreement that details the project you want to carry out, more information at https://itustudent.itu.dk/study-administration/project-work/register-for-the-project/the-project-agreement/
- A supervision agreement that makes the supervision process transparent, more information at https://student.itu.dk/study-administration/project-work/register-for-the-project
This text is very inspired from the text that my colleague Holger Dell uses at https://tcs.uni-frankfurt.de/teaching/project-ideas/.