Master Thesis in Information Sciences

As a student in Information Sciences, you can choose to have your Master project supervised by a mentor from iCIS or from OD&D. In both cases, you need to register for the Master Thesis Information Sciences - NWI-IMK013.

Note that if you choose a mentor from OD&D, you will typically have to adhere to the customs over there. The most important differences include:

  • At iCIS, you will get your Master project approved in the early beginning, with a research question and a rough research plan. At OD&D, you will get the approval about halfway, after having done an extensive literature study and having developed your research methodology.
  • At iCIS, the complete Master defense is public, at OD&D the audience will be asked to leave after the presentation, to allow the supervisors to ask questions in private.

All iCIS regulations regarding your Master project can be found here. The submission procedures as explained there, apply to everyone. There is one exception: master presentations for Information Sciences should be about 25 minutes long (not 40 minutes, as written in the iCIS regulations) and presentations are followed by about 15-30 minutes Q&A and discussion.

The 2021-2022 OD&D Master Thesis Handbook (docx, 103 kB) can be downloaded as Docx. All supervisors with their research interests and topic suggestions can be found in this document (pdf, 342 kB). In contrast to Management students, Information Sciences students are not restricted to their normal schedule for master projects, so in principle you can start at any moment. If you are interested in one of their projects, contact Armand Smits <a.smits@fm.ru.nl>. The capacity at OD&D for Information Sciences students is 10 students.

On the remainder of this page, you will find:

  • External openings
  • Useful other addresses for external master projects
  • Topics and supervisors at OD&D
  • Topics and supervisors at iCIS

(More or less) recent external openings

If you are on Facebook, you might want to join the closed group for Information Sciences at https://www.facebook.com/groups/332254873811126 for relevant announcements and opportunities.

ABN-AMRO

Received November 2021

ABN-AMRO Bank has a very active team on Data Governance and Data Management and are looking to expand their knowledge ans capabilities in this respect. You will be working with a team including a number of Radboud Master Information Sciences graduates, and with the research group of Stijn Hoppenbrouwers based at HAN UAS (including Bas Hofmans, also a MIS graduate).

The plans are still in the making but they concern, for example:

  • Theoretical and practical aspects of connecting the ABN-AMRO 'Business Domain Modeling appraoch' with semantic technology (e.g. rdf, OWL)
  • Using crowd sourcing as a vehicle to bring domain modelling to the business stakeholders, involving a highly accessible, leightweight online tool to support non-expert domain modelling
  • Dealing with various issues concerning the organization of Data Management at ABN-AMRO, including organizational setups.

We welcome interested students and can work towards a personalized assignment.”

FNWI Educational Center

Managing all information streams and keeping track of all decisions taken at different levels in the organization. Much communication still takes place via mails and attachment and it is hard to motivate people to work with new tools.

For more information, contact Vera Kamphuis <V.Kamphuis@cs.ru.nl> or Eelco Herder.

HAN-Learn-QMR-Center

Received 16 October 2020

Quality of Work and Organization when implementing ‘smart industry 4.0 technology’

The HAN-Lean-QRM-center is leading a practice oriented research project named ‘Towards the Digital Factory’ in which OD&D takes part. The technology chosen to be implemented in participating manufacturing companies is the digital twin or digital shadow. This is ICT aimed at improving the complicated planning process using virtual tools and real time, simultaneous simulation in project based and low volume-high variety operations. A number of organizations is implementing this idea, and they agreed to offer opportunities for data collection, so no need to search for an organization yourself.

Within this HAN-project 3 master thesis projects (either MIS or Bus. Adm. OD&D) can be defined around concepts like ‘organizational choice’ (the technology can be implemented the way the organization wants), optimizing quality of work and organization when implementing these technologies, the changes in work and how to deal with the inevitable (partial/integral) redesign of the Production and Control structure. The simulation of the processes will be core process oriented (the actual production of goods and services). De results of the simulation can be communicated on various hierarchical levels in an organizations, and so the allocation of formal decision making can be placed on different levels. An important part of the research project is concerning the (optimal) allocation of decision making in the organization structure. A Socio technical viewpoint is used in this, as this is related to the quality of the organization and the quality of work.

Contact: Hans Lekkerkerk (OD&D)

Tiqets

Received 5 November 2019 (outdated, kept for archival purposes)

Tiqets is one of the fastest-growing tech scale-ups in the Netherlands, and we’re hiring! iqets revolutionises the way people buy tickets to culture and attractions in cities all over the world. Our technology allows users to easily browse and book tickets to the best attractions in seconds, meaning customers can enter museums, zoos, theme parks and more, simply by showing their smartphones.

Contact details:
Jennifer Felicia (Product owner), Email: ​jennifer@tiqets.com
Yuri Mejia Miranda (Data scientist), Email: ​yuri@tiqets.com

Some more useful addresses

Topicus

Topicus (in Deventer) often has interesting master projects, usually Dutch only, though: https://www.werkenbijtopicus.nl/stages-afstuderen-bijbaan/#s=1

Info Support

Info Support is located in various cities and is very interested in Master students of Information Sciences. The working language is Dutch, but English is often possible too. A list of current topics can be found here: https://carriere.infosupport.com/student/afstudeeropdrachten/. For more information, contact Nikki Thissen (nikki@infosupport.com), their recruiter in Nijmegen.

Deloitte

A long list of thesis topics at Deloitte can be found here: https://werkenbijdeloitte.nl/cyber-graduate

OD&D Supervisors and topics of interest

See the Master Thesis Handbook (link can be found above).

iCIS Supervisors and their topics of interest

In more or less random order, most recent updates listed first.

Eelco Herder

Eelco Herder's research interests focus on the fine balance between the benefits of personalization and perceived and actual risks associated with privacy matters. His research background is centered around the areas Personalization and Recommendation, User Modeling, Web Science and Human-Computer Interaction. Research topics include user awareness on privacy matters in social media, user responses to potential privacy breaches, and privacy-aware personalization.

Eelco is happy to discuss research projects on one of these topics. Contact him at eelcoherder@cs.ru.nl. More information can be found on his personal website: www.eelcoherder.com.

Stijn Hoppenbrouwers

Would you be interested in doing a master thesis project in my direction, then you are suggested to make an appointment with me to find a topic for your thesis. I do not have a (restrictive) list of topics, we will find a topic during that meeting that suits our both interests.

Hanna Schraffenberger

Digital Identities, IRMA, Black Patterns, Human-Computer Interaction - see her publication list.

Gunes Acar

He conducts large-scale empirical studies of security and privacy threats​ from websites​​, mobile apps​ and IoT devices​, with a special emphasis on novel ​online tracking​ mechanisms. I also study anonymous communication​ networks such as Tor, and investigate deceptive and manipulative (dark) design patterns. https://gunesacar.net/

Peter Achten

No concrete project proposals here, but in general I'm interested in usability studies. During the past decade, we have been working on a new programming paradigm, Task Oriented Programming, that integrates functional programming concepts with process algebraic style concepts and workflow concepts. It can be interesting to do case studies how well these formalisms relate to more traditional business modeling formalisms, such as UML or workflows, or develop tools for it.

Bart Jacobs

  • privacy and identity management, in particular attribute-based
  • authentication and signing
  • intelligence, esp. from a historical perspective

Djoerd Hiemstra

  • Ranked federated search for the Clarin Virtual Language Observatory. How to model ranking, and how does it improve the quality (and efficiency) of Clarin’s content search engine?
  • Federated crawling for the Open Search Foundation. Can we use techniques from information retrieval or machine learning to improve the open source federated virtual assistant Stanford’s Almond?
  • Federated learning for the Personal Health Train
  • Transitioning the RU to self-hosted, federated, solutions (Information Sciences): For, for instance, self-hosted web analytics, social networking, or video streaming: What are the user requirements? What solutions meet these requirements? What are additional benefits (for instance more autonomy for employees and students)? How to show this with a proof-of-concept.

Daniel Strüber

Pain points of developing machine-learning-enabled software. Machine learning (ML) techniques are now widely used in industry and open-source projects. While developers benefit from dedicated tool support for data exploration (notebooks), the situation is different when they proceed to develop actual software systems with ML components, where they have to rely on decade-old tools that were not designed with ML in mind. The goal of this study is to identify pain points and opportunities for possible remedies in developing machine-learning-enabled software, in the context of an interview study with developers.

Bernard van Gastel (iHub)

  • The effects of digitalization for illiterates and technology illiterates
  • Digital voting for cities, towns and organizations.

Erik Poll

People at Centerdata working on the LISS panel data are concerned about the identifiability of respondents on the basis of the collected data (responses to questionnaires) and what they could do detect and prevent this. A more practical and technical question is if the name and address information that they have hidden on their system might be hacked.

Erik Poll (erikpoll@cs.ru.nl) will put you in contact with Prof. Ronald Leenes of Tilburg University. The PhD thesis Measuring and Predicting Anonymity by Matthijs Koot at the UVA could provide suggestions on how to tackle this.

Marko van Eekelen

Perform a requirement analysis for the so-called Smart (digital) electricity meters being introduced across the country. Why are these needed, and by whom?

Mireille Hildebrand

Possible master thesis topics, only for students who successfully completed the course LiC

Hieronder twee mogelijke onderwerpen (alleen open voor studenten die LiC met goed gevolg hebben afgerond). Vanwege mijn parttime aanstelling graag altijd een tweede - technische, of informatiekundige - begeleider (waarmee ik niet doel op de tweede lezer die pas aan het eind van het traject meeleest):

Learning Analytics

Blackboard provides proprietary software for higher education institutions. It has teamed up with IBM to enjoy IBM's cloud services and to connect Blackboard's data troves with Watson's AI. We may expect that much of the data it collects will be used to train algorithms for learning analytics. Based on an extensive literature review on 'learning analytics', the relevant data protection law and/or studies regarding the potential impact on individual students, you will assess the legal and/or the ethical implications of using ML on student data in BB.

DPIA

under the General Data Protection Regulation (applicable from May 2018) companies and government agencies are liable for infringements of data protection rights and obligations. If a high risk is expected for fundamental rights and freedoms, due to the processing of personal data, a Data Protection Impact Assessment must be conducted, and tools for Data Protection by Default and Design must be implemented to mitigate these risks. Choose an application that is part of the Internet of Things, check existing templates for DPIAs and develop a template that is tuned to test the potential risks of the application in terms of infringements of data protection legislation.

Email address: M.Hildebrandt@cs.ru.nl

Jaap-Henk Hoepman

(copy of http://www.cs.ru.nl/~jhh/education.html)

I'm happy to supervise any students wishing to graduate in the area of privacy, identity management, applied cryptography. I maintain a separate page with student guides.

Open assignments

Please contact me to discuss a suitable project. External projects are certainly a possibility. The following list of project summaries give you an idea of the kind of assignments that are currently open.

UbiKiMa

UbiKiMa is a ubiquitous key management app for Android. It is a password manager for existing websites, but also allows public key based authentication on websites that support it. The app is still a rough prototype, that could be polished considerably. Also the underlying protocols could do with an analysis and probably some improvements. I am looking for a student that can do all of this...

Efficient implementations of Attribute Based Credentials

Out group has implemented Idemix credentials on smart cards in the Irma project. We are developing a new cryptographic scheme for such attribute based credentials that promise to be much more efficient while being also much more secure. The goal of this assignment is to implement the proposed scheme and analyse it.

Privacy Coach

Think of ways how you can use a mobile device to protect your privacy... Strengthening the binding between people and their on-line credentials. Within the IRMA project, we are developing a platform for attribute based credentials, where the credentials are stored on a smart card. Credentials are personal, and it should be impossible to use the credential of someone else (your older brother for instance) to buy age restricted material online. Currently, we use PIN codes to prevent this. But this is weak if your brother is happy to share his PIN with you. Goal of this project is to study ways to bind credentials to individuals, and to think of new ways to make this binding stronger.

Privacy by design

Investigate the concept of privacy design patterns: what should such a pattern contain, what patterns have been described so far, for which privacy design problems are design patterns mostly missing. Define a your own set of privacy design patterns.

Contact: jhh@cs.ru.nl

Arjen de Vries

Blendle offers the opportunity to to state-of-the-art and challenging master thesis projects. Blendle is filtering a large and constant stream of all sorts of data flowing in: new articles, new recommendations from our editors, new users, traces of users interacting with the platform... And that's not even all of it. They have more than 1 million users, over 3 million news items and close to a billion events.

Blendle offers a dynamic and informal working environment. As an intern, you will be part of the team. You are supposed to work independently and ask for help when you need it.

Are you interested, then please send your letter of interest to Anne Schuth anneschuth@blendle.com OR Daan Odijk daan@blendle.com to be invited for a internship interview. Are you interested, then write a motivation Blendle has an interview process for internships.

Author pages

Everything by and about an author on a single page, this could be their home on Blendle and the first stop for fans. This project is about understanding what information we have about authors and how authors would use such a page.

AI Editors

Our poor editors wake up at 5am and have about 2 hours to select the best articles of the day to recommend in our newsletter. In this project, you get to work with our editorial team to understand how they curate Blendle content and develop ways to make their life easier. A first exploratory analysis of building classifiers for their activities shows that we can support, but certainly not replace them. An automated approach could be used for preselection of articles for the editors or as complementary automated recommendations

Email address: arjen@acm.org.

Tom Heskes, Elena Marchiori

If you are interested in a Data Science related topic, feel free to get in touch. You can find examples of master topics that we typically supervise on http://www.ru.nl/datascience/education/student_projects/.

Erik Barendsen, Sjaak Smetsers

Theme: Computing Education (copy of http://www.mbsd.cs.ru.nl/Teaching#CE)

In this theme we investigate teaching and learning aspects of computing science (in Dutch: 'vakdidactiek informatica'). The topic is regarded in a broad sense, including digital literacy, for example. Our projects are carried out in various contexts, ranging from secondary education (schools) to higher education (universities). We collaborate with researchers in other Dutch universities (including OU, RUG, TU/e, TUD) and with groups abroad. We list some example projects below. (Contact Erik Barendsen or Sjaak Smetsers)

Programming education

Programming is considered a difficult skill, and many researchers have studied learning difficulties and possible instruction strategies. Current research activities focus on: learning object oriented programming, tools for visualization, and feed-back on code quality.

Digital literacy and computational thinking

Digital literacy involves knowledge, attitude, skills and behavior, see for example a recent advice by the Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW). There is consensus about the importance of digital literacy in present-day society, but too little is known about adequate ways to develop it. An important aspect of digital literacy is computational thinking, a set of analytical skills necessary to recognize computing aspects in real-life problems, reformulating those problems in terms of information processing, and solving them with use of computers.

Development and testing of teaching materials

There is a great need for development and improvement of teaching modules, especially for secondary education. The department has already contributed to modules about cyber security, robotics, object oriented programming, and model checking.