Identify a thesis advisor and a thesis topic
- During your Junior year, talk to the Honors Computer Science or Computer Engineering advisor for your program about your interests. They can help you identify potential thesis advisors. Also, review faculty websites to identify faculty who are doing research that interests you. Make an appointment with one or more faculty and tell them you are interested in Honors Research. Find out what topics they are interested in and whether they are willing to be a faculty mentor for you. Your Honors thesis advisor should be someone who is a full-time faculty member in your program.
- In consultation with your advisor, choose a thesis topic that is of interest to both of you. You want to work on something that you will enjoy, and in which your advisor has some expertise. Meet with your advisor on a frequent basis.
- In consultation with your advisor, choose a thesis committee, which will consist of three members: your advisor, the honors director of your computer science or computer engineering program, and another faculty member (who can be any full-time faculty member). Visit these faculty, tell them about your proposed research, and request them to serve on your thesis committee. Line up your committee a month or more before you plan to complete and defend your thesis.
- You may need to start your research in your junior year or work on it over the summer. At the very least, try to complete most of your research the semester before graduation. This will give you the entire semester of graduation to work on the thesis (and interview for jobs). Note that the Honors College research grants are a useful segue to involving a student in research that may lead to a thesis. Also note that the thesis does not have to be completed in the final semester before graduation - it can be done before that, as early as the junior year and possibly in coordination with an honors college research grant.
- No particular format is specified for an undergraduate Honors thesis. If you are principal author on a published paper, that may be a sufficient format - talk to your thesis advisor and the computer science or computer engineering advisor.
- A useful guideline on thesis format is to follow the same format required for the Master's degree as specified by the Graduate School.
Alternatively, at a minimum, your thesis should conform to the following guidelines:
- Margins: Left 1 inch, Right 1 inch, Top 1 inch, Bottom 1 inch
- At least 12 point font
- Number pages consecutively and consistently
- Thesis title page and signature page must conform to Honors College guidelines
- Supply references formatted in the IEEE or other standard Bibliography style
- Neatness is essential. Proofread carefully.
The College of Engineering requires a student to:
- Submit an honors advising form prior to reaching 100 hours. This form is available on the undergraduate page of the college of engineering website. The purpose of the form is to make sure the Honors student is preparing to get to work earnestly on his/her Honors thesis, which cannot wait until the last minute.
- Complete an Honors College Graduation Certification form prior to one week before Dead Day of your last semester.
- Submit your thesis at least one week before Dead Day of your graduating term. You may submit your thesis at any point prior to this deadline. Instructions for submitting your thesis are available here.
- Note: Be sure to review your thesis with your adviser before submitting it to your committee for a final review. After your adviser has reviewed your thesis, then, at least one week before you actually defend, give a copy of your thesis to your thesis defense committee for review. Your thesis defense usually lasts 30 - 60 minutes. Schedule your defense with the CSCE departmental office. After your defense, you may need a few days or more to make corrections before you can submit your thesis to the Honors College, so plan ahead.
- Once you have defended, consider publishing your thesis or a paper based on it in a national or regional conference or in Inquiry, the University of Arkansas Undergraduate Research Journal.
CSCE Honor Program Advisors
Honors Computer Science Advisor - Dr. Matt Patitz
Honors Computer Engineering Advisor - Dr. Pat Parkerson