Ph.D. Proposal and Thesis
A good thesis will be an original and significant work in COS research. While methodologies will likely vary from one dissertation to another, they will typically combine analytical and empirical work and include development of a computational prototype, used as a basis to demonstrate and evaluate concepts introduced in the dissertation. Typically evaluation will not be limited to a computational assessment but will also include proofs of fitness and an analysis and evaluation of relevant human, social, organizational, economic and/or policy ramifications of the proposed solution.
The program is planned to allow a typical student to complete all the required coursework by the end of the third year. By the start of the fourth year a Ph.D. candidate will present a thesis proposal to the COS community. The proposal should include:
- a clear statement of the proposed research problem, including an argument for the significance of the proposed research
- a review of relevant literature relating to the problem
- a review of the candidate’s work leading up to the thesis
- a tentative schedule for completing the work.
Advising on the thesis proposal, and guiding in the formation of the dissertation committee, is the thesis advisor’s responsibility. Normally, the thesis advisor is one of the COS faculty, but this is not mandatory. The thesis committee must be composed of at least four members, one of whom is an external member and at least one of whom is a COS faculty member. The external member may be from another school at Carnegie Mellon, or from outside the University. All thesis committees are subject to approval by the program committee.
The dissertation will typically be completed during the student’s fifth year. The final defense is a public presentation, in accord with the College and University requirements for the Ph.D. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that the College and University’s guidelines are followed for publicity of the defense and the availability of the thesis at least one week prior to the defense.
Thesis Proposal Information:
Prior to scheduling your thesis proposal you MUST first check with Connie Herold, cherold [at] cs.cmu.edu, to make sure no other ISR student is defending or proposing on the day you want to schedule. The ISR department only allows one student to defend/propose on any given day. If a conflict occurs, the department head must approve both students defending/proposing on the same day.
Thesis proposals should be scheduled only during academic periods, before Black Friday -- not during holidays, weekends, etc., and should be scheduled during normal business hours.
Thesis proposals must be announced to the community at least one week before the presentation. Earlier is even better.To schedule your thesis proposal:
Check with your thesis committee members to determine possible dates.
- ***Thesis Committee: The student's advisor chairs the thesis committee. All other committee members, including the external member, should be agreed upon before the thesis proposal presentation. Members of the student's committee must accept the responsibility of meeting with the student regularly to ensure that the research is progressing in the right direction.
- Please refer to your faculty members’ assistant to help secure a room for the date and time (schedule a room that holds around 15-20 for 2 hrs). Please let Connie know once this has been scheduled– Possible rooms to schedule are: (GHC 4405, GHC 6115, GHC 8102, GHC 6501.)
Two Weeks Prior:
- Please send your completed proposal to your committee for review.
- Determine if you will need any AV equipment prior to your proposal. Below are a few ways to enable collaboration between yourself and your committee member(s) that may not be able to attend in person.
- We can support up to 2 external parties on our phone systems. You can sign out the conference phone in Chris Dalansky’s office (WEH 5113) and he will walk you through the steps of connecting all of the parties
- If there are more than 2 external parties then we will need to utilize a conference bridge system.
- 3. If there are more than 2 external parties but they are a local call, the university has a conference bridge service available. We do not provide a 1-800 number though, so that is why I suggest this option only for local external parties. See http://www.cmu.edu/computing/network/phone/fac-staff/conference.html for more details.
- If there is only 1 external party, and they have access to a system that will support the H.323 protocol, we can wheel our videoconference machine from 5120 Wean to another location. Please plan to test this prior to the conference because it is possible that our system may not get a network connection in another building.
- If there are 2 or more external parties, we will either need to coordinate with one of the far end systems (assuming they support multi-site calling), use Skype, or work with media tech on campus to rent one of their systems. There will be a charge to rent through media tech.
- Skype is an option and we have an ISR departmental Skype account that will allow multi-site video. We also have some usb web cameras that can be used for slightly better video quality.
One Week Prior:
Send to Connie Herold (cherold [at] cs [dot] cmu [dot] edu) the following information in a word document or email: