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FAQ for Theses Writing

There are no fixed format requirement for Bachelor's and Master's Theses in the Computational Data Analytics Group of Prof. Fürnkranz. Feel free to be creative, but it is certainly useful to orient yourself on already completed theses. In the following, you find a few useful hints, some of which are, however, specific to our group.

Target Audience

You do not write your thesis for your supervisor, but for the public. Many things that are clear to your supervisor and to you, should therefore nevertheless be explained in the thesis. Rule of thumb: Everything that can be generally expected to be known by a Bachelor in Computer Science, you do not need to explain (analogously for Master theses). Knowledge that you have obtained during the work, or in special elective lectures should also be explained in the thesis.


You can write your thesis either in German or English. In particular if you are aiming for a scientific career, we encourage you to write it in English (which also facilitates a potential publication), but the final decision is yours.

Word Processing

Word, Open Office, LaTeX, or something else? Use whatever you like best. We encourage you to learn to work with LaTeX, as the initial learning period is short, and there are many suitable templates. Changing from one template to another is very smooth and unproblematic. If you feel more comfortable with Word, Open Office or similar, you can also work with that.

In any case, please always send final or preliminary versions in PDF!


There are many templates for theses. Choose one that you like. However, the cover sheet must conform to the regularizations of JKU. In general, we prefer versions with a normal-sized font (ca. 11pt) much more readable than versions with a small font. Also take a look at other theses at JKU.


Generally, there is no minimum or maximum length. Typically, we expect about 40 pages for a Bachelor's Thesis and 80 pages for a Master's Thesis, but this of course depends on the formatting of the work, etc. It is the contents of the work that will be judged, after all. One can say nothing on many pages, or a lot on very few pages.

Tables and Figures

Tables and Figures (aka floats) must always be numbered. Next to the number is a so-called caption, i.e., a short explanation of the figure, which should clarify its role also to the quick reader who is only skimming through the thesis. Every float must also be referenced and explained in detail in the main text of the thesis. In particular for tables or figures with experimental results or similar, it is very important to clearly explain to the reader from which entries which conclusions can be drawn.

Floats should be made as vector graphics wherever possible. Try to avoid bitmap formats (such as, e.g., screenshots). If it is unavoidable, make sure the resolution is good enough so that no individual pixels are visible.


The bibliography at the end of the thesis only works can be included that are mentioned and cited somewhere in the text of the thesis.

References must always be complete, i.e., contain all information that allow a library to identify the work. That are, e.g.,

  • Books: author, title, publisher, publication year, possibly ISBN.
  • Journal Articles: author, title, journal name, volume, number, page numbers, publication year, possibly DOI.
  • Articles in Conference Proceedings: author, title, complete title of proceedings (not only an abbreviation), publication year, possibly also editor of proceedings, page numbers, publication years, DOI.

Avoid the citation of technical reports (e.g., ArXiv) as much as possible. Always check first whether the report has not been published later on. Not allowed are references that consist, e.g., only of author, title, and year.

If you work with LaTeX, we recommend the use of BibTeX, and in particular the natbib-package. For completing your references, you can access literature databases such as DBLP, opens an external URL in a new window (which, however, often have to be post-processed, e.g., replacing an abbreviation with the full conference name).

Source Code

Programming is (for works in this group) typically not the immediate goal of the work. What is interesting is what you do with the program (e.g., comparing different learning algorithms). You can refer to implementation details in your thesis, but they are typically not essential. Longer listings may be attached in an appendix (but better be turned in on CD/DVD or be made available on github or similar). Publication as open source is generally supported.


Relevant for grading is primarily your written thesis. Even if you had to program some code, or conduct thousands of experiments, after all it only counts what you write about it in your thesis.


We generally wish to make theses that are conducted in our group available to the scientific community, and they will be generalla available on-line. If you do not with to do so, please let us know early on.