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Project and dissertation

In the third term, students do their final project and write a dissertation. We run three different types of projects in MISCADA:

  • Research-led projects in the respective specialisation areas
    (such as “apply your HPC skills to a particular astrophysics simulation” or “use machine learning for a particular problem from financial mathematics”)
  • Research-led projects in the methodological core disciplines
    (such as “extend a particular statistical technique” or “prototype a challenging algorithm with a new supercomputing API”)
  • Projects in collaboration with industry partners (typically in R&D),  with joint academic and industry supervision.

Examples for successful projects and other activities can be found under the rubric success stories.

All information below is for your information only. Please do not worry or start activities re the project before you join the course. You will need to the few months of taught content to understand what projects can, in theory, cover, and you will have enough time to decide what route you want to go down and what you want to do actually for your dissertation after the first term has completed.


The workflow how projects are managed changes slightly from year to year, but in principle it follows the following steps:

  • We launch a call for projects early in term 2. That is, academics put their project proposals into a database.
  • If an industry partner proposes a project, we analyse this project (does it meet our standards?), pair the industry partner up with one academic, and then put it into our database. Industry projects thus always have one designated academic supervisor.
  • Students can propose academic projects themselves as well. In this case, we again show them around to the other academics. If the project meets our standards, then an academic who is interested in the student’s proposal puts the project into the database and serves as supervisor for this project.
  • Students sign up for projects from the database with their preferences (if they have proposed something themselves, then the preference should be clear).
  • We pair up academic supervisors and students – trying to meet the students’ preferences.

Can I bring in “my” company?

Every year, a couple of students wants to do projects in collaboration with a company for which they have worked before as interns. In principle, we try to support this. For us, this is like any other company that approaches us to host a dissertation: we analyse the project to ensure that it meets our academic criteria (it should go beyond sole code monkeying or plain data crunching) and then pair the company brought in by the student up with a colleague who supervises the project from MISCADA’s point of view.

So if you have a project in mind, you have to find someone at the company who would be willing to supervise you, and you have to write us a brief description what this project is about. We try to find a good academic peer, and then this academic peer will sort out with your industry supervisor whether this is a well-suited MISCADA project.