Rules for Systems Science Students Regarding Doing a

Project (Thesis) and Taking SySc 7090 (SySc 8000)


Some rules have been established in order to enforce a higher standard of quality.


            First, after you initially sign up for SySc 7090 (8000), a written statement of your intended research and project (thesis) is needed, which is to be turned in within one week after the semester in which you first enroll in SySc 7090 (8000) commences.  This can be a short (a page or less) statement, and it is not a contract in that it can be expanded, modified, and changed over time (with your major professor's permission). This statement must also include your email address, so your major professor can get in touch with you if need be; and you are expected to check your email regularly to see if any messages have been sent to you.


            Second, you must inform your instructor as to whom else you want on your committee.  This means within the first semester that you are working under your major professor.  This, too, is not contractual in that your committee can change, and the committee membership will be negotiated between you and your major professor.


            Third, your major professor and you must agree at the time of your written statement on the nature and scope of the project (thesis) that you will do.  This professor is interested in fuzzy sets, in information retrieval (especially textual, but am willing to consider images and other media), in genetic algorithms (especially as applied to retrieval), and in rough sets (especially fuzzy ones as applied to retrieval).  This professor is also willing to consider other related topics such as hypermedia, data mining, and web search engines.  You will be expected to concentrate on such topics if you plan to work under this professor.


            In terms of quality, the originality of your project (thesis) must be considered.  You will need to do more than just a standard database project, even if it is distributing to allow users to query a database on another machine, even if adding a front end (GUI) and/or the ability to access the database from the World Wide Web (WWW).  Such projects now are at best worth an independent study.  If you insist on such a project (thesis), you must select another major professor, but this professor can be of some help in finding such a professor.  However, if you can convince this professor, and it will not be easy to do, that there is something novel and original about your proposed project (thesis), and this must be more than just a change of application, perhaps we can discuss and negotiate your choice of research topic.


Incidentally, there are all sorts of wonderful ideas for projects (theses) running around that this professor will accept easily.  These include making a database out of some very large text files for use in information retrieval or modifying some fuzzy clustering algorithms to work on such files; visualization for retrieval systems; adding intelligence (e.g., data mining via rough sets) for retrieval based on knowledge of the users; data encryption or data compression; neural nets for retrieval; natural language processing for indexing and/or query processing; retrieval applied to software reuse; web retrieval and applying bibliometric laws to retrieval.


            Fourth, you are required to contact your major professor, at least once every other month once you start working under that professor, to tell of your progress to date.  You should also come to discuss any problems that you are experiencing (especially in terms of your research) and/or any ideas for expanding or modifying your research.


Fifth, a progress report, if you have not progressed to the point of taking your final oral examination, is due by the last day of classes in the semester in which you are taking this course.


            Sixth, you must follow the Program guidelines for scheduling your final oral examination in which you will defend your project (thesis).  This includes sending a petition to the Graduate School for your final oral at least three weeks in advance, after you find a time suitable to all members of your advisory committee.  This also includes sending a notification via email to Lynette, the Departmental secretary (  This notification must include an abstract of your project (thesis), as well as your name, the title of project (thesis), the names of your committee members, and the date and time and place of your examination.  This notification must be given to Lynette at least three working days in advance of your examination.  Moreover, your project report (thesis) must be submitted to your advisory committee members at least three working days in advance of your examination.  You can schedule the Department Conference Room (Coates 297) with Lynette, too, if you do it early.  In addition, you cannot have your oral examination before you take and pass the Comprehensive Examination.  Failure to follow these guidelines will result in delaying your oral examination.


Finally, failure to adhere to all of the rules outlined above, as well as any rules of the Systems Science Program, the Graduate School, and LSU, can have serious adverse effects upon your final grade in this course.


            If you have any questions or concerns over this matter, please feel free to contact this professor.


Donald H.  Kraft                            |            Professor

Department of Computer Science |            Phone: (225) 578-2253

298 Coates Hall                                     |            Fax:   (225) 578-1465

Louisiana State University                     |            Email:

Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4020 USA     |            URL: