Any extended research project requires time, careful planning, commitment, conscientious attention to both detail and overview, and flexibility. Your CIS senior thesis is no exception. To encourage you to work as effectively as possible on your thesis, follow these general guidelines, must-meet deadlines, and suggestions:
First two weeks of the Fall semester:
Syllabus, status update, revised outline due Friday of the third week of the semester - 12:00 noon.
Meet separately with the CIS Director and your advisors to discuss thesis plans and anticipated needs. In consultation with advisors, develop a weekly syllabus (no more than two pages) for your work this semester. Revisit and revise your junior outline notes from May, and in a second document, explain what you have accomplished, what is yet to be done, and revise the thesis outline from May. (no more than four pages total). Submit copies of the syllabus, the status update and revised outline (no more than six pages total) as a PDF via email to your advisers, the CIS Director, and the CIS Program Assistant by Friday of the third week of the semester, at noon. Email stating that "On my honor, I have met with all of my advisors and discussed my syllabus, status update, and new outline with them" is sufficient.
Friday before Thanksgiving week:
Annotated bibliography (or literature review) due by 12pm to advisors and Director, PDF via email only. See examples from previous years here.
Reading Day - 12:00 noon:
Thesis Outline due to advisors and Director, PDF via email only. This is a final, binding outline. See examples from previous years here.
First week of the Spring semester:
Spring syllabus due by Friday of the first week of the semester - 12:00 noon.
Meet separately with director and advisors to review thesis progress; in consultation with advisors, develop a weekly syllabus for your work this semester. Copies of that in PDF via email to advisors, director, and Carrie Mahoney by Friday of the first week of the semester at noon. Email stating that "On my honor, I have met with all of my advisors and discussed my syllabus, status update, and new outline with them" is sufficient.
Friday before spring break - 12:00 noon:
All students submit complete first full draft of thesis by 12 noon to advisors and director; submit electronically only unless an advisor requests hard copy in advance.
Revising in close work with advisors.
First Friday in April - 12:00 noon
Deadline for finished theses and establishment of date for oral defense, hard copy and electronically (as pdf) to advisors and two hard copies and electronically (as pdf) to director.
Second Week of April:
Formal public presentations with posters and handouts. Monday and Wednesday April 15 adn 17, 6-9 pm.
Third and Fourth Weeks of April:
Thesis defenses. Advisors, director, and a member of the CIS FAC and the student for an hour-long defense in the director's office.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013:
Center Banquet for seniors and their advisers, FAC members, Dean of the Faculty.
7:00 pm (location TBD - Carolina Inn or Lilly Gallery)
Thesis due dates are not negotiable; please do not ask for extensions. Late work will be penalized.
At certain points during the fall and spring semesters, the Director will schedule as part of CIS 495 and 496 mandatory meetings or workshops for all CIS seniors, one usually at some point during the first weekend of the fall semester. Experience suggests that the most effective plan for writing a successful thesis includes regular (weekly or bi-weekly) meetings between student and advisors throughout the year. Students should submit any written work several days before each meeting so that advisors will have time to formulate comments and questions. Success in adhering to this schedule will be considered in assigning grades for CIS 495 and 496.
The first draft deadline is critical. By this time, you should have finished a draft that is complete enough to submit for credit, thereby allowing several weeks in which to revise the work critically and carefully. These extra weeks will permit ample time for revision, the most important part of the writing process and what determines the ultimate success of the thesis.