There are two, 3-credit Senior Thesis courses. Students may apply to one or both to complete their degree requirements.

Each Senior Thesis course requires a semester-long research project culminating in a major term paper (in addition to demos or prototypes).

This course carries the Independent Inquiry Flag. Independent Inquiry courses are designed to engage you in the process of inquiry over the course of a semester, providing you with the opportunity for independent investigation of a question, problem or other research issue related to your major. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from the independent investigation and presentation of your own work. For additional information about the IIF, please see the Independent Inquiry Flag Objectives.

What is a Senior Thesis?

As you complete your AET degree, you may have developed a specific career interest that you wish to understand in much greater depth. You will select a topic from any area pertinent to the AET degree program that is sufficiently complex to warrant an in-depth, semester-long analysis. As indicated above, this work is largely independent and self-directed.

You must first develop a proposal and then find a willing supervisor. The topic and the supervisor’s approval must be submitted to the Chair of the Department for final approval.

The outcome of the thesis will be a term paper (approximately 50 pages, including imagery and a bibliography). The thesis may be supported by examples or prototypes demonstrating the research findings.

Senior Thesis Example Topics

  • Best practices for 3D audio in immersive systems
  • Advanced algorithms for automatic scene generation
  • Evaluation of current camera-based motion tracking systems
  • Artificial intelligence applications in game interaction
  • Examining user control through touch screen interfaces
  • Replacing instructions and tutorials with intuitive design

How is a Senior Thesis different from a Senior Design Project or Game Capstone?

The Senior Thesis is a research-oriented effort, not a production project. Proposals that are largely based on the production of an art, media or entertainment object will not be considered. For game production, students should apply to the Game Capstone by contacting Dr. Paul Toprac in the Deptartment of Computer Science. For Senior Design Projects, students should contact Professor Yuliya Lanina.

How do you make this happen?

  1. The first thing you must do is craft an abstract describing the research topic, research methodologies and possible outcomes. This must be at least two full pages and include relevant support documents such as diagrams, plans, code elements and references.
  2. You will then seek a thesis supervisor. Although all AET faculty are eligible to supervise a Senior Thesis, they can decline for any number of reasons. You may not get your preferred supervisor.
  3. Next you must get a signed letter (email is acceptable) from the supervisor and send the proposal and the approval letter to Michael Baker, Interim Chair of AET, for final approval.
  4. Now you can register for Senior Thesis I or II, whichever the case may be.

Thesis Grading

  • Thesis Proposal: 10%
  • Mid-term presentation: 30%
  • Research content (including demos and/or prototypes): 40%
  • Final documentation (paper and media): 20%
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