The Bachelor of Science programme Econometrics and Operations Research ends with a bachelor thesis. In the process of writing this thesis the student has to show that
(s)he has obtained the knowledge, skills and attitude of an academic bachelor. The required level is described in appendix 1.2 of the Teaching and Examination Regulations of the programme.
This manual explains the procedure to register for the bachelor thesis, sets the rules for the selection of the topic and supervisor, lays out guidelines for the actual work and describes the criteria on which the thesis is graded. The grade is determined by the supervisor and a second assessor who will be appointed by the thesis coordinator by the end of the semester.
In addition to this manual, information about deadlines, topics, etc. will be made available in the Nestor/Brightspace community EOR(AS). Also, an FAQ is published there, please read that document before emailing the supervisor of coordinator.
Before starting the Bachelor’s thesis the following conditions have to be met: The student has passed the Propaedeutic Phase, and has obtained at least 120 EC from the Bachelor Programme (including all 60 from the first year), and the Board of Examiners has approved of the specific programme of the student.
In general it is a good idea to plan to write the thesis at the very end of the programme, so for students studying according to the programme, in the last semester of the third year.
Before the start of the semester in which the thesis is scheduled the following steps have to be taken:
Registering in Progresswww for the course Bachelor Thesis Econometrics (EBB925A10). Within 24 hours it should appear in the course list on Nestor.
The thesis coordinator will send at the beginning of the semester a list of possible topics to all students who are registered in Nestor. Indicate your preferences as soon as possible (you can pick 3 to 9 ordered choices).
In the first week of the semester (1.1 or 2.1) there will be a meeting to discuss procedures, deadlines and the topics for the thesis. The meeting will be on the schedule for the third year of EOR. After this meeting the coordinator allocates the topics and appoints a supervisor, and notifies both student and supervisor of this decision. In this the coordinator will try to respect the stated preferences. Providing the coordinator with requested information in a timely matter leads to a better tuning of the thesis to these preferences.
The responsibility to establish contact lies with the student! In the first appointment the precise subject of the thesis is determined, and the time schedule is set in line with the overall schedule of the programme (to be found on Nestor).
Realizing that supervisors may have other obligations besides supervising a thesis, it is important to specify clearly in which periods the supervisor will be away for a longer period. The responsibility for getting this information lies with the student.Planning In the first meeting with your supervisor take the following decisions:
1.The topic of the thesis
2.Outline of the problem
It will facilitate the discussion if the student has considered these three questions before the appointment. In the time schedule at least the following dates are specified:
- The date on which a written problem statement is handed in together with an outline of the thesis (a documented table of contents), and a setup for the translation of the problem into a mathematical model, and a formulation of the mathematical questions that will provide an answer for the problem statement
- The date on which the supervisor will comment on this (within 10 working days)
- The date that a first version of the thesis is handed in
- The date on which the supervisor will comment on the first version (within 10 working days)
- The date for the final version
The programme has specified deadlines for these steps. The specific deadlines for the current semester are specified on Nestor.
If the supervisor and second assessor judge that the final version is insufficient but repairable in limited time, the student has one opportunity to improve this final version before a second deadline. The reparation can only lead to a grade of 6 or lower.The process
The thesis is a written report of a scientific investigation carried out by the student.
Before the start read the following guidelines and keep them in mind during the process.
Try to phrase the problem as concise as possible. Formulate questions that arise from the problem formulation before the start. Make a list of questions to be answered in the thesis, and update this list regularly.
During the research the student may want to discuss intermediate results with the supervisor (but see also the item 10 of the assessment form). The student will get better feedback from the supervisor if (s)he will have time to prepare by reading the problem, or part of the thesis. Make sure that all material to be read reaches supervisor some days before any appointment, so that there is time to read and think about the problem.
The length of the thesis has to be approximately 15 pages, excluding tables, figures and appendices.
Choose a title that covers the contents, make it concise.
Make sure that the setup of the document makes sense, for a reader the logical line of the arguments has to be clear. In general the following structure is appropriate:
1.Introduction, in which the area of research is described, the important notions are defined and the research question is formulated verbally. An overview of relevant literature can also be included.
2.Problem Formulation. Pose or derive the (mathematical) model for the problem and formulate the mathematical questions that will provide the answers for the original problem.
3.The main body of the paper to present the line of reasoning, the method used,the data and the derivation of the results.
4.A conclusion to answer the questions posed in the beginning, to comment on the outcome, and to indicate lines of research following from the paper.
5.A list of references ordered alphabetically by the last name of the first author.
References contain the name(s) of the author(s) (with initials or first names,but without scientific titles), the title of the work, and where and when it is published.
Generally it is good practice to start a paper with an abstract that contains a brief outline of the paper. Based on this readers can decide whether they are interested in the full paper.
Write clearly, keep the sentences short, and the style concise. Avoid common place remarks. Spell check the document carefully, not only automatically, but also manually and visually.Technical requirements
The thesis is written in LaTeX. The thesis will be scanned by a plagiarism scanner.
Read the regulations on plagiarism in the study guide carefully before writing the thesis. A copy of the thesis will be filed in the digital archive of the faculty.
The thesis will consist of:
A title page, containing the title of the thesis (which will not be ‘Bachelor Thesis Econometrics’, but a title which describes the content), the name of the author and the date on which the final version has been written.
The second page (back page of the title page) contains on the first line the sentence:
‘Bachelor’s Thesis Econometrics and Operations Research’, on the second line:
‘Supervisor: <name of your supervisor>’ and on the third line ‘Second assessor: <name of your second assessor>’.
The third page starts with the title and the author, followed by the abstract, and the content of the thesis on consecutively numbered pages. After list of references some appendices may be added containing for instance listings of programs written for this problem, tables, graphs or output of programs that will clarify the arguments.
In LATEX use bibstyle rug-econometrics or the bibstyle plain for references.
References are numbered alphabetically in the order of the last name of the first author. References to the same author are ordered according to the last name of the second author etc. If the author(s) are identical the references are ordered by date.
References contain author(s) (without titles, but including initials or first names) and title of the work. For a book also mention the publisher, and year of appearance. For an article name also the journal, the volume number, the year in parenthesis and the page numbers. For other references make sure that the source is tractable for the reader.
Refer in the text by quoting the author(s) (last name(s) only, if there are more than three authors, give only the name of the first author and add e.a.) and number in the list (LATEX will give the number automatically if you use the \cite command).
Avoid the use of footnotes as much as possible. Using footnotes, number them consecutively through the whole thesis.
In assessing the work the supervisor and second assessor will consider the criteria as specified in the assessment form. Not all aspects have the same weight, and depending on the specific content or form of the thesis, some criteria may not be relevant.
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