Open Topics

We offer two types of thesis:

  • Occasionally we advertise specific topics. These already have relatively clearly defined goals and scope and are particularly closely integrated into the supervisor's research. There is of course still some flexibility for the individual elaboration of the thesis. These are particularly suitable for students who want a clearly defined direction for their final thesis
  • More often, thesis topics develop through discussion between students and supervisors. This type of thesis is particularly suitable for students who already have an initial idea for a thesis in mind or who would like to develop it more freely. Still, it is of course important to consult with the supervisor to ensure that the thesis fits into the research area.

The descriptions of the topics and research area are usually written in English, the possible languages of supervision and writing are indicated for each topic.

If you are interested in one or more of the topics/research areas, please write us an email as described on the Final Theses page.


Specific topics

Currently, we do not have any concrete topics on offer.

Research Areas

Visibility of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. Nevertheless, people still don't notice their interaction with AI and often express their fear of a future ruled by it. This resulted from AI having very wide expectations, ranging from simple automation to mind-blowing autonomous agents with self-learning superpowers.  Consequently, a B.Sc. or M.Sc. theses in this field focus on discovering possible factors that influence AI visibility (e.g., AI appearance, AI personality, task of AI, etc.). This can be done through conducting semi-structured interviews with AI-users, or evaluating the effect of AI visibility increase on AI transparency, and people trust towards it. Prior knowledge in human-computer interaction, e.g., from Interactive Systems or HCI courses, would be beneficial. Depending on the topic, experience with software development and/or qualitative methods may be useful.

Supervisor: Saja Aljuneidi
Language: English
Capacities: From October

Social Interaction in Virtual Reality

In our society - not just in times of a pandemic - many people suffer from loneliness, taking its toll on their physical and mental well-being. Engaging in social interactions using upcoming Virtual Reality (VR) platforms could counteract this. To increase the feeling of social connectedness perceived within these applications, we are researching which factors can be used to increase intimacy and so-called social presence among users. Consequently, a BSc or MSc thesis in this field often involves implementing a multi-user VR environment with which a certain factor, e.g. user representation, can be evaluated in terms of their influence on social presence. Prior knowledge in human-computer interaction and VR development, e.g. from AR/VR lab or lecture, are beneficial.

Supervisor: Simon Kimmel
Language: German / English
Capacities: From Feb '23

Interaction between Humans and AI Systems

We are researching different interaction possibilities in human-AI collaboration situations. In particular, we are interested in the concept of Human-AI Co-Creativity in the area of images and (digitized) art. For example, a BSc could involve development of a graphical user interface assisting users in cropping/editing personal pictures w.r.t. region of interest and rule of thirds. A MSc, for instance, could involve conducting semi-structured interviews with AI artists and subsequently implementing a (e.g. reinforcement learning) tool, which is able to enhance personal preferences of artists and suggest new types of human-AI co-creativity support types. Prior experience in Media Processing and/or Human-Computer Interaction from HCI courses would be beneficial.

Supervisor: Ani Withöft
Language: German / English
Capacities: From September

Acceptance and interaction of automated vehicles with humans

We are investigating how the interaction between humans and automated vehicles will be realized in the future. We focus on exploring mental models towards automated vehicles and how we can improve communication between humans and automated vehicles via interface designs. For instance, a BSc or MSc candidate can prototype interfaces for external communication and test it on real size vehicles or build virtual streets in VR and test encounters of automated vehicles and humans in various traffic scenarios. Prior experience in AR/VR or prototyping would be beneficial.

Supervisor: Hatice Şahin Ippoliti
Language: English
Capacities: Open

Soft Tangible Interaction in Smart Homes

We are researching how actuated soft materials can enhance everyday objects around the home and turn them into alternative smart home controls. We are looking for technical as well as theoretical solutions and approaches on both BSc and MSc levels:

Technical: Design and fabricate an enhanced everyday household item and evaluate its use and design process through observational and system usability studies. The object can exhibit shape-changing traits or can use touch and other sensors to give it a secondary function while remaining relevant for its primary function, e.g. a coffee mug that can be used to control the lighting but remains functional as a coffee mug.

Theoretical: Conduct a series of observational studies (qualitative and quantitative) on how people interact with objects in their living rooms, what objects they touch, why they touch them and how they imagine these objects to be used as alternative smart home controls.

Supervisor: Michael Chamunorwa
Language: English
Capacities: Open

Smart Home Ecosystems

Our research focuses on how users setup, develop and customise their smart homes. Specifically, we study how various devices are interconnected within the home, probe users' strategies to debug and configure smart home ecosystems, and design and develop particular systems (software and hardware artefacts). For example, a BSc or MSc thesis may approach understanding a new dimension of interaction within smart home; develop (and evaluate) new smart home technology software/hardware artefact; or focus on proposing and evaluating new approach to problems within the smart home ecosystem. Prior experience in HCI and user-centered design would be an asset. Depending on the topic, experience with software/hardware tinkering and/or qualitative methods may prove useful.

Supervisor: Mikołaj P. Woźniak
Language: English
Capacities: From Jun '23

Gaze Tracking in Reading

We are researching how gaze data can be used to support the reading learning process. In particular, we are interested in examining a user's gaze behaviour in real time and using it as implicit input. For example, a BSc or MSc could involve investigating real-time gaze data in other contexts or developing new types of reading learning support. Prior experience in human-computer interaction, e.g. from Interactive Systems or HCI courses, would be beneficial.

Supervisor: Tobias Lunte
Language: German / English
Capacities : MSc Open, BSc from June

Sustainable Human-Computer Interaction

Today, 65 million people - 80% of the German population - regularly shop online. Germany does not only have the most internet users in Europe, but also the greatest potential to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. A whopping 12% of annual GHG emissions in Germany can be attributed to online commerce. Sustainable consumption however, could reduce these emissions by half! Many people want to shop more sustainably but lack the knowledge and skills to do so. In Sustainable HCI, we investigate how to best support consumers to shop more sustainably. A BSc or MSc thesis could, for example, include development and evaluation of new interventions aimed at promoting sustainable shopping behaviour.

Supervisor: Gözel Shakeri
Language: German / English
Capacities: Open

Individual Topics

We sometimes also supervise theses that fit the umbrella of Human-Computer Interaction or Media Processing in general but don’t fall into any of our current research topics. If you already have a specific project or research question that you are highly interested in, you are welcome to submit it for consideration.
Please be advised that these applications are decided on a case-by-case basis and acceptance rates are low. We recommend applying to at least one other topic or research area from our departmant in parallel to not lose time in case of rejection (if any are of interest).

Supervisor: to be determined
Language: to be determined
Capacities: Open, but rare

(Changed: 13 Jul 2023)  | 
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