Department of Information and Computing Sciences

Departement Informatica Onderwijs
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Onderwijs Informatica en Informatiekunde

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Artificial intelligence Project proposal

Course code:INFOMAI1
Credits:14 ECTS
Period:Possible in any periode individually
Participants:up till now 45 subscriptions
Schedule:Official schedule representation can be found in Osiris
coordinatie          Linda van der Gaag
Note:No up-to-date course description available.
Text below is from year 2017/2018


To be allowed to start with Phase-1 of the thesis project, you must:
  1. have passed all mandatory courses (general and per track);
  2. have obtained at least 60 ECTS; If you do not meet all these requirements, then you can only start with the final project after approval by the AI Master programme leader.

Finding a topic and a thesis supervisor

Start thinking about a topic at least two and a half months before the intended starting date. For inspiration, check the list of completed master's theses in IGITUR. Common ways to find a thesis topic are:
  • Ask a lecturer of a course that you found interesting. If this results in a topic, then the lecturer will usually be your thesis supervisor.
  • (If you found a topic yourself:) approach a lecturer who you think might be suitable as a supervisor.
If in doubt, consult the track coordinator of your track. If you want to do an external project:
  • Check the projects announced via the AI students mailing list. Descriptions of external projects will be mailed via this list when available.
  • Find an external project on your own.
In both cases, if the external organization selects you, then find an internal supervisor (an AI lecturer) before starting with the project. In all cases, the internal supervisor must approve the project before you can start. (If all else fails:) consult the student advisor of your track.


Before starting your thesis project, you need to fill in a Research Project Application Form together with your supervisor and deliver it to the Student Desk (BBG 1.84a). The form needs to be signed by you, your project supervisor (a UU staff member), the track coordinator and the coordinator of the AI Master Programme (Frank Dignum or Mehdi Dastani), and a member of the Examination Board (will be arranged by the Student Desk). Also ensure that you have included a second examiner (UU staff member). Mention in the Application Form, when the Phase-1 is expected to end. There is no need to register your participation in Osiris. At this time also have your studyplan signed by the AI master coordinator and hand it in at the student desk. This form needs to be signed and handed in before you can graduate!

Work time

You are advised to work full time (i.e. 5 days per week), but 4 days per week is also allowed. In that case, please note that your project takes 25% more time to finish.

External projects

It is possible to do your thesis project at an external organization, e.g. a company or a government institute. One of the staff members of the department should approve the project and serve as a supervisor. If an external party hosts you as a student, you also need to provide a Work Place Agreement (can be found here). The project's topic should lie within the domain of at least one of the three tracks within the AI Master Programme. We encourage you to choose a topic that fits your supervisor’s interests and ongoing work closely.

Phase-1 (14 EC)

The phase comprises 10-11 weeks of full-time work and is intended for you to do a preliminary study (usually in the form of literature study), and to propose and plan your research. Importantly, this phase will give a go/no-go decision towards Phase-2. You are expected to deliver a research proposal consisting of the following:

  • A literature study section, summarizing works that are relevant to your research.
  • Well formulated research question(s).
  • A plan for the second part of the thesis.

Additionally, depending on the nature of the project, your supervisor may require you to perform some initial research work in Phase-1, either in order to provide a convincing argument towards the prospect and feasibility of your Phase-2, or for efficiency to already do some work of Phase-2, e.g. developing an initial theory or building a first prototype of an algorithm. If such work is required, make an agreement with your supervisor on the scope of this work.

At the end of Phase-1 the supervisor(s) will make a go/no-go decision. This decision, in terms of pass or not pass, will be entered in Osiris. Phase-1 assessment criteria:

  • Scientific quality. This concerns the quality of the literature study, the relevance and impact of the research questions, the merit of proposed research method.
  • Writing skills. This concerns the quality of your writing, use of English, textual structure, and coherence/consistency of your text.
  • Planning. This concerns the clarity and feasibility of the proposed planning.
  • The quality of additional work, if such is required.
Exam form:A pass or fail for Phase 1 is given on the end date indicated on the registration form! An extension can be given once(!).
Minimum effort to qualify for 2nd chance exam:To qualify for the retake exam, the grade of the original must be at least 4.