Topic outline

  • CONTACT: Jorma Laaksonen

    The course can be passed fully online.  The first and only lecture on Wednesday 22.9.2021 14:15-15:00 in Zoom .

    The available topics will be published on Wednesday 22.9.2021 before the lecture. A questionnaire for selecting/announcing the topics will be made available the same time. 

    The students will carry out a small research project under the supervision of one of the researchers from the Department of Computer Science (and in some cases by researchers outside the department) in the topics from machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence. 

    The main purpose of this course is to provide you an experience to the practical research. Specifically, at the end of the course, you should be able to:

    • Focus and study deeper a research problem 
    • Search, find, and study related literature 
    • Collaborate with other researchers, be part of a research team 
    • Find out how theory works in practice 
    • Deal with uncertainty and frustration of not knowing the correct answer 
    • Communicate your results with presentations and reports 


    The number of credit units should reflect the effort in working hours so that 1 ECTS credit point matches 27 hours of work. The number of credit units is between 5 to 10,  the exact number will depend on the difficulty of the project and the workload. The number of credit units will be determined and the work will be graded by your supervisor. Grade will reflect the quality of your work and your final report. Supervisors will be asked to grade according to following distribution:

    • Grade 5 (20%)
    • Grade 4 (40%)
    • Grade 3 (25%)
    • Grade 2 (10%)
    • Grade 1 (5%)

    Please find the grading form for the supervisor below. 

    • If you have been working at the department, you can use your work to pass the course. You can use your summer projects if you have been a summer trainee somewhere else. You should discuss the details (e.g., the number of credit points) with your supervisor. Note that you should not take credit units for the same project in another course and project cannot be used as a MSc thesis project although the MSc thesis project can be continuation of the research project. 
    • If you do not have a topic already and if you are seeking for a research topics, you can select one from the list of available topics below.
    • If you already have or if you want to find or propose some other topic, you need to have or find a supervisor on your own.

    Everyone should go to Topic Selection questionnaire and tell us whether you already have a project done OR in progress OR if you need a topic by 29.9.2021

    For those who are willing to work on one of the available topics listed, we will follow a matchmaking procedure to assign project topics. 
    • Matchmaking Procedure:  we will match projects to students, while trying to satisfy their preferences.
      • you will work on a topic alone or in small project group of 2-3 people as specified by the supervisor

      • there can be more than one project for one topic if so indicated by the supervisor

       Please go to Topic Selection questionnaire and indicate topics in your order of preference by 29.9.2021
       You will be contacted ASAP by either the supervisor or Jorma.


    To pass the course, the students have to:

    • fill Topic Selection questionnaire by 29.9.2021
    • optional oral presentation: give an oral presentation to the supervisor, describing the research output and the future plan
      • the format and the content of the oral presentation will be agreed together with the supervisor, and the presentation will be held to the supervisor.

      • presentation is not mandatory, but strongly recommended.

    • compulsory final report: write a report which would resemble a scientific article. The report should contain introduction to the problem, the proposed solution and experimental results. Supervisor should provide guidance and feedback on the report
      • 5-10 pages in the format of a research paper

      • a typical report consists of abstract, introduction, motivation, problem statement, review of related work, proposed solution, implementation, empirical evaluation methodology, results, discussion, conclusions

    • send your your project report as a readable PDF file to your supervisor and ask him/her to send to Jorma the following:
      • your project report

      • assessment of your work, consisting of the proposed grade and the number of credits

      • information about your student ID at Aalto


    • CS-IT : Paniikki and Maari workstations
      • specific software can be installed, per request 
    • Arrange with your supervisor to get an account in Triton if needed


    The schedule for autumn 2021 is as follows:

    • 29.9.2021 @ 23.59 o'clock
      • fill in Topic Selection questionnaire

      • indicate if you already have a topic and/or submit your selected topics.

    • any day after 24.8.2021
      • send your project report as a readable PDF file to your supervisor and ask him/her to forward it with its assessment to Jorma.