For me, working with clever and enthusiastic students on a diploma project is one if not the best part of being an academic. Thus, my door is always open to students who are considering to have me as a supervisor for this important part of their higher education. I'm utterly proud and happy to have been involved with many wonderful diploma works, and cherish the time spent with the students who prepared them.
The goal of this page is to provide an initial picture for interested studenst about the conditions, expectations and topics involved when doing a diploma project under my supervision. I tried to keep it organized, but most of the aspects are intertwined with each other. If you feel, that you can sympathize with these principles, feel encouraged to contact me for a personal discussion. No commitment at this point, obviously, and I'll most definitely guide you towards a colleague, if I see them more fitting for you.
Probably the most important part of the aforementioned discussion is the topic of the project itself. I roughly categorize possible topics like this:
In my eyes, a diploma project is an opportunity for the student to learn and experience many new things with the guidance of the supervisor, and his/her goal should be to exploit this opportunity to get as many skills, know-how as possible before starting a career. Thus, I expect my supervised students to be dedicated and hard working, and having the same attitude. If someones goal is to get the degree/certificate with minimal or just sufficient effort, I'm not a good choice for a supervisor. My expectations towards quantity/quality is usually considerably higher than what is needed for the best grade.
I expect hard work and dedication from you. In exchange, I will also do my best to provide the support you need to reach the hights you are capable of. That is the exact reason, why I only accept a small, limited number of students each semester. I rather have 3 students to whom I know I provided valuable insight and help, than to have 10 diploma projects, for each of which I can only allocate a barely sufficient time.
In this collaboration I'm a supervisor, not a teacher. I don't consider it my job to teach a specific technology that is needed to fulfill the development tasks at hand. Most probably I've never even used it, and I have no idea, what is the best choice from several competing options. At the end of your studies, you have to be ready to do your own research in such situation, make a reasonable selection, and then learn everything necessary based on the content that is available on the web. Obviously, if I have former experience in that specific topic, I'll share that with you, but definitely not spend hours teaching them or finding the best reference documentations or materials.
Similarly, I'm not your "motivation coach". I'll do my best to keep you motivated during all the work, but I won't go out of my way to nag you if you don't progress. This is your diploma work, not mine. I'm sad, if it stalls, and I'll try to help you resolve whatever issue is blocking you, but I won't put effort in fighting lazyness or disorientation in your daily routines.
I'm also not your superior/boss. There will be decisions, that I'll make based on my experience, but I consider this mostly as a collaboration. I want you to have your opinion, suggestions, and to make decisions for yourself in many questions.
You must be able to independently read online references, resources, articles, etc., which are 99% of the time in English for IT. I'm happy if you decide to write your thesis in English, but that is not required nor proposed at all. This decision is entirely up to you.
I'll do my best to find a suiting co-supervisor, who can provide help in things that I can't during a project. This is typically someone from my circles, who is an expert in the technologies that you probably will end up using in your project. His or her role ends at answering short questions regarding these technologies, and to provide directions. If you have someone from your circles in mind, I'm happy to have them as co-supervisor.
Each university has its own administrative procedure that comes with doing a diploma work and finishing the course. This usually mean reports, signed forms, etc. that have to be submitted before a deadline. I'll never keep track of those deadlines for you (see responsibility and indepence above). It is your job to keep me updated, and notify me in time if any buerocratic task is needed on my part.
There is no need to wait for the last semesters to start working on your diploma project. The more time is available, the better the endproduct can be. Obviously, it is probably too early in the first semester, but if we sit down to discuss the topic, I can tell you, if there is something, that you can do as a preparation in advance, or if you need to wait before finishing several classes.
There are a few technical requirements if we want to work together: