Course ObjectiveThe thesis is the final stage of the MSc program in Operations Research
(OR) in which the student demonstrates her/his abilities to conduct
independent academic research on a specific topic in the field of OR.
The goals are (1) to practice the art of conducting independently
academic research; and (2) to record the results of this work in an
As part of goal (1) the student needs to formulate the research
question, to find the appropriate literature, to develop a mathematical
model of the problem, to collect data for validating and or estimating
the model, to analyse the model using acquired skills and techniques, to
implement and verify scientific computer programs, and finally to come
up with solutions that could be based on analytical, numerical, or
As part of (2) the student needs to be able to write a professional
paper that describes clearly the research questions, the research
design, the contribution of the work, the used methodology, and the
Course ContentThe thesis research is supervised by a School member. The research
starts at the beginning of the second Semester of the master program by
proposing a research topic and supervisor. It might also be possible to
choose a research topic that is suggested by a School member. These
matters are dealt with during a meeting with the thesis coordinator. In
some cases it is possible to write the thesis based on an internship.
This is assessed by the coordinator and by the supervisor.
When you know your thesis topic and thesis supervisor, you immediately
inform these to the thesis coordinator dr. A.A.N. Ridder
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and the secretary of the department mrs Hedda
Werkman (email@example.com). Also, after you have
registered for this course, check whether you are user of the Canvas
site of the thesis Operations Research. This site contains
important information on the thesis procedures, and the thesis editing
Every month a seminar (the so-called thesis seminar) is arranged for all
faculty and for all students who are engaged in producing a thesis. At
the beginning of his/her thesis research, the student gives an
introductory talk of about five minutes in which (s)he briefly accounts
the thesis statement and problem. Students whose theses have been
approved by the thesis supervisor give a final presentation lasting at
most half an hour. For each thesis presentation one student acts as
designated discussant. All students engaged in a thesis receive a
invitation to the seminars, and are expected to attend these seminars.
Since you need to give the co-reader and the opponent enough time to
read your thesis, you submit the final version at least ten days before
the presentation. However, for theses that will be presented after 10
August, you have to submit before 1 August! Submitting means that your
thesis should be final and ready to upload to the thesis database of the
university library. In case you do not meet the deadline of 1 August
and you decide to continue working for submission and presentation in
the next academic year, the grade will be capped at 6.0. You may apply
for an exemption of the grade cap when there are good reasons for the
delay. Send an email to the thesis coordinator dr. A.A.N. Ridder
(firstname.lastname@example.org) accompanied by an endorsement of your supervisor.
The following aspects are part of the assessment criteria and shall
receive due consideration.
- Research question: formulate clearly an original research problem
(maybe with subproblems).
- Positioning in literature: review relevant studies.
- Research design: address the methodological issues, the data
collection and the application of theory.
- Description and analysis of results: show understanding of the
research question and present a readable derivation of the complex
- Conclusion and discussion: succeed putting the findings in a wide
- Editorial quality: compile a sound academic paper, typeset in LaTeX.
- Degree of independence: show your own work and do not always wait for
input of your supervisor.
- Oral presentation: present the main findings of your thesis in a
structured and timely manner that is easy to follow; answer questions
well and clear.
Teaching MethodsIndividual supervision by a School member.
Method of AssessmentWritten thesis and oral presentation.
Entry RequirementsAt least two core courses should be passed
Target AudienceAll students in the MSc Operations Research program
Custom Course RegistrationParticipants should enroll in the Canvas page, and sign up via email (see above).
|Period||Ac. Year (sept)|
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||School of Business and Economics|
|Course Coordinator||dr. A.A.N. Ridder|
|Examiner||dr. A.A.N. Ridder|
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