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Institute of MathematicsFG Software und Algorithmen für die diskrete Optimierung
- For each sentence you
write, ask yourself which information is conveyed by it to the
- Do not write about what made you the most effort, as
this is usually not interesting for the reader.
- Be clear about
what (scientific) question you want to answer in your thesis, in each
chapter, and possibly in each section.
- Do not be unspecific if
you know the precise number. If you evaluate 58 instances and your
code fails to solve 6, then write it fails on 6 instances and not
"on a few".
- In general words like
“often”, “seldom”, “many”, “few”,
“usually” are not particular scientific
- If you put a
table or a diagram into your text, describe what the reader is
expected to learn from it, e.g., which statement is supported by this
or that entry of the table and why. It is not the job of the reader to
find out themselves.
- If there are strange numbers or NaNs in
your table or funny bends in your figures, explain those even if they
are not part of what you want to show. You should not leave the reader
wonder what the meaning of it is.
- All column heads, if they
are not completely obvious, should be described or defined in the
- Think about how many digits after the decimal point make
sense, i.e., convey meaning to the reader.
- Make sure your
citations are complete and correct.
- Make it is clear what you
are citing and what your contribution is. Whenever there is no
reference, you claim this as your contribution. Moreover, even if you
have thought of it yourself, still check whether there was somebody
- If you write about some problem, explain the
motivation. Why are you trying to solve this problem? In contrast to
mountains, there is an unlimited number of problems. So “it was
there” is not a good enough motivation most of the
- For citations, use at least [LH32], better cite as
Laurel and Hardy (1932), or Laurel and Hardy . Just having  is
not acceptable. (This is not an extended Abstract with a 4-page
- There are two significant points about any thesis:
(formal) correctness and scientific content. For a bachelor thesis, it
is all about correctness. Try your best. For a master thesis,
correctness regarding scientific presentation is even more critical,
though there is also some expectation on the scientific content. For a
Ph.D. thesis, correctness is taken for granted, and the vital part is
- For the notation/definition part of a
bachelor/master thesis, do not try to write this yourself. Copy, i.e.,
cite it from somewhere. First, it should be standard anyway; second,
it is often surprisingly hard to get definitions entirely correct.
There is nothing to win in this part of the thesis, only to