Special Problem and Thesis
When you are in your 4th year you will start either a Special Problem (SP) or Thesis.
What is the difference between Special Problem (SP, CMSC 190) and Thesis (CMSC 200)?
Both SPs and theses apply the concepts that students have learned throughout their stay in the university to solve a particular problem. SP topics generally deal with developing applications – “I want to solve problem Y using solution X.”
Thesis topics attempt to answer a good research question that is not yet fully explored – “What will happen if I try X approach to solve Y problem?” Usually, the results are compared against existing solutions especially if the thesis’ method is not new.
Thesis (6 units) generally has more weight than SPs (3 units), which means that thesis topics generally have a wider scope and require more work and research than SPs. Take note that if you choose to do a Special Problem, you should have taken an Internship during the prior midyear.
Prior to starting your SP/Thesis, make sure that your adviser approves the topic you wish to pursue and can help you with it. You may also opt to switch to a different adviser who specializes in that topic.
All research output in the Institute must follow the IEEE Journal format (template can be downloaded below).