I wrote a month ago that bachelor's thesis season had started at our department. No less than 70 students will write their theses during the spring, but fortunately they for the most part write in pairs.
My share of this crop of students and topics are 10 students writing 5 theses in pairs. We met today for the second time and my students' topics are as follows:
- Two pair of students write theses based on my thesis proposal about "Energy, IT and design". I wrote up the proposal two years ago, but these are the first students to have a go at it. Both deal with the same basic question; how can we (consumers) decrease our use of electricity at home through better visualization tools (vis-a-vis electricity usage) leading to altered behaviors?
- One pair of students work on evaluating current methods for making sure that social responsibility is maintained in the production of IT stuff (hardware) in Asian factories. How is social responsibility certified and guaranteed?
- One pair of students work on mapping the effects of (social) networks in their careers. They will more specifically look at students who have graduated from our engineering education in media technology during the last 10 years ago. These relationships (networks) can, but are not necessarily limited to those established during their years as students at KTH. Lastly, what role does social networking software (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook) play nowadays?
- The last pair of students will conduct a practical experiment in order to try to discern how Facebook and Google filter content depending on individual history and preferences. How does my results differ from yours when we both use the same search phrases? The inspiration comes from this TEDtalk by Eli Parisier called "Beware of online 'filter bubbles'" (Parisier has also written a book about it).
They (and to some extent I) will work with these topics during the spring (they work at half pace, e.g. 20 hours per week) and their theses will be presented at the end of the term. I will come back to this topic again before the summer and wish my students good luck in the meantime.