Prof. Bauchau explaining the goal of the master thesis proposal

JI’s master students presented their thesis proposals on July 13. Twenty-two graduate students of the Class of 2011 participated in this historic event.

Prof. Olivier Bauchau, JI’s Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Chair of the Graduate Committee, described the goal of the master thesis proposals. He pointed out that the purpose of these presentations is for faculty members to evaluate students’ progress in their master thesis re research.

Each master student presented his/her research proposal to his/her master thesis committee, which consisted of three faculty members. Two additional faculty members were also in attendance for each of the presentation. All JI master students were invited to attend the presentations. The event took the entire day, from8:30 to 16:40,with three sessions running in parallel.

A student defending his thesis proposal

Each student was given 20 minutes to present his/her thesis proposal. This presentation includes a description of the research topic, a survey of the relevant literature, the motivation for the work, the proposed approach, and a list of the tasks to be completed before the thesis defense. During the next 10 minutes, students answered questions from the audience at large. Finally, the last 20 minutes were devoted to a closed-door session between the student and faculty members.

During lunch, students and faculty members exchanged ideas about the presentations and performance of the students. After careful deliberation of the faculty, 95% of the graduate students passed their master thesis proposal. Prof. Bauchau was satisfied with the students’ performance. He commented that these presentations show that JI’s graduate students have a solid foundation and are well prepared for their research. He warned, however, that the next six months will be challenging for all students, who must now complete all the tasks they have proposed before defending their master theses.