Student FAQs

This page is dedicated to MSc students part of the Graduate School of Informatics (GSI) at the University of Amsterdam who qualify to attend either the 2020 AI Thesis Fair or general Thesis Fair. These students must be starting their thesis in 2020/2021 and belong to the following programs:

Online Thesis Fair on 26 November, 2020

MSc Information Studies (Data Science and Information Systems tracks)

MSc Software Engineering

MSc Computational Science (UvA/VU Joint Degree), Year 2+

MSc Logic, Year 2+

MSc Computer Science (VU/UvA Joint Degree), Year 2+

Important Deadlines: 

Thesis Fair RSVP due:  Sunday, 15 November at 23:00 

Thesis Fair Information Night (webinar): Friday, 6 November at 17:00 – 19:00

Recorded webinar and presentation (slides)

Project voting on DataNose starts on Friday, 6 November at 17:00 and ends on Friday, 13 November at 17:00. 

Online AI Thesis Fair on 1 October, 2020

MSc Artificial Intelligence, Year 2+ only

Important Deadlines

AI Thesis Fair Information Night (webinar):  Click here for the presentation

Student Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Thesis Fair?

The Thesis Fairs are an opportunity for students to meet with up to 10 organisations and discuss their offered projects with the hope that you will match with one of them. This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will have both events online.

There are two Fairs: AI Thesis Fair on 1 October and the general Thesis Fair on 26 November

In order to participate in the Fair you must vote for 10-15 organizations on DataNose. You vote on individual projects and then the organisation appears on your voting ranked list. This ensures you have at least 10-15 organizations that you rank.

The projects are available on DataNose and you vote for the projects you are interested in. A schedule will be generated for you based upon your ranked top 15 projects.

An Information Night is organised before each event, this year it will be a webinar. During this presentation you will receive important information on how to vote on projects, meeting etiquette, CV tips, how to use the new online event platform, etc. 

You will receive official invitations for the Fairs and the Information Nights soon.

How do I use the event platform?

We have created instructional videos and written the instructions for your convenience. You can find these videos here, or under “Students – Instructional Videos and Text for Students” on the main menu above.

The videos and text will also be on the Welcome Page of the event platform so you can watch and read them again the day of the event.

Which MSc students can participate in the Fairs?

We have two Thesis Fairs for our students in the Graduate School of Informatics (GSI) at UvA: Artificial Intelligence Thesis Fair and the general Thesis Fair. 

Only MSc AI students in Year 2+ that are starting their thesis in 2020/2021 may participate in the AI Thesis Fair on 1 October, 2020.

Only MSc Information Studies (Data Science and Information Systems tracks), Software Engineering, Logic, Computational Science, and Computer Science that are starting their thesis in 2020/2021 may participate in the general Thesis Fair on 26 November, 2020.


Can I attend both Fairs?

NO you cannot attend both Fairs as projects presented at each Fair are specific for your MSc program. Additionally external organisations will be looking for students from the programs described by the event.

How has COVID-19 affected the Thesis Fairs?

Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have to adjust the format of the events. Both the AI Thesis Fair on the 1st October 2020 and the general Thesis Fair on the 26th November 2020 will be online events. Details of the online setup will be posted on this website, by email, and will be presented in the Information Nights.

How will the online event work?

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we have decided to have both of these events online. We value the health and safety of our students and organisation representatives. A platform has specifically been created for this event that will ensure that the 10 rounds of speeddates occur as we strongly believe in the importance of one-on-one contact between student and organisation.

You will be able to access this online platform using your usual student login – a link will be provided. This platform will show you your timetable and provide you with links to the speeddating sessions. You will be able to chat with the organisations through a live chatroom and also contact the event organisers through a separate chatroom.

Where can I find offered projects?

You will be able to find offered projects from both internal research groups and external organisations on the DataNose Project Marketplace https://datanose.nl/#marketplace.

Who do I contact if I have any questions about the Thesis Fairs?

For any questions regarding the Thesis Fairs please send an email to thesisfair-IvI(at)uva.nl.



Who do I contact if I have any questions about the thesis?

You will need to contact your Thesis Coordinator unless you are a MSc AI student in which case please visit the AI Thesis student website first. If you cannot find your answers there, then contact  mscAIthesis-GSI(at)uva.nl.


What are the main differences between an internal or an external project?

Here are the main differences between an internal and external project:

Internal:

-Internal projects are from our own researchers in our Research Groups. Introduction videos for our AI Research Groups (AI Thesis Fair) and the ILLC have been created and can be found on this page. Videos for our other Research Groups (Thesis Fair) will be created and posted online as we get closer to the event. We will also have the videos presented in various online lectures and sent in the email invitations.

-To view only internal UvA projects on the Project Marketplace, you can either sort alphabetically and find all projects from organisations that start with “University of Amsterdam” followed by the Research Group’s name (i.e. University of Amsterdam: ILPS). Or you can filter (on the top left) by Organisation Name and type in “University of Amsterdam”, click “Apply Filter”, and all internal projects will be listed without any external projects visible. 

-You will work directly towards contributing towards ongoing research within the university.

-This is not an internship experience, more academic and less industry applicable.

-It is a very good idea to take an internal project if you are interested in going for a PhD, as you will most likely be working closely with researchers, postdocs and PhDs.

-No stipends.

-Level of knowledge of the supervisors will be more in depth and these are research projects that the researchers are dedicated their lives to (it is their own research).

External:

-These are more of an internship/experience style project.

-You have to deliver a 48EC thesis but will also have to navigate the professional world (work environment, colleagues, office life, etc.).

-You will have industry networking opportunities and hands on professional experience.

-There is a potential monthly stipend (this depends upon the organisation and is not guaranteed).

-You will not only be working on your thesis but doing work for the external organisation.

What are the Information Nights?

A few weeks before the Fair there will be an Information Night webinar. Typically this is called a Pizza Night where we invite students from the relevant program(s) on a Friday evening in one of the large lecture halls. Pizza is served and we present what to expect for the Thesis Fair, how to prepare, how to vote, and details about the thesis itself. Then there is time for questions. 

This year, due to the pandemic, we are doing these events online in webinar format.

The Thesis Fair Information Night will be on Friday, 6 November at 17:00 – 19:30. This is by invitation only and RSVP is required to attend. The invitations will be sent on Wednesday, 28 October and RSVP is due on Thursday, 5 November at 12:00. Only students starting their thesis in 2020/2021 from the following programs are allowed to RSVP and attend this event: MSc Information Studies (data science and information systems tracks), Software Engineering, Computational Science, Logic, and Computer Science. If you are not one of these students, you will unfortunately not receive the webinar link.

Attendees will receive a €15 Thuisbezorgd (food delivery) voucher so that all attendees can order food and we can eat together virtually. We hope to maintain the spirit of the past Pizza Nights by providing this shared online food experience. 

How does voting for projects/organisations work for the Thesis Fairs?

The AI Thesis Fair and general Thesis Fair are an opportunity for you to meet with up to 10 organisations and discuss their offered projects with the hope that you will match with one of them.

In order to create these individualized schedules based upon every participating students’ interests, we need to know what projects and which organisations you are interested in. This is where voting comes into play. Starting from the Information Night, for a full week, voting will be open to participating students on DataNose.

6 November, starting at 17:00 – 13 November, ending at 17:00: Thesis Fair voting is open on DataNose

In order to participate in the Fair you must vote for 10-15 organisations on DataNose. You vote on individual multiple projects and then the organisation appears on your voting ranked list, this means that you must vote for many projects from 10-15 different organisations. This ensures you have at least 10-15 organisations that you rank.

The projects are available on DataNose and you vote for the projects you are interested in. A schedule will be generated for you based upon your ranked top 15 projects. Please note that there is a chance you will not be able to meet with some of your top organisations if they are overly popular. You will also be likely scheduled to meet with organisations you initially did not vote for. Go into each speeddate with an open mind, many successful and interesting projects have come out of such speeddates.

Once voting closes it is no longer possible to register more votes. 

Can I attend if I have missed the voting?

NO you cannot attend if you did not vote. You need to RSVP for Fair and vote for projects, RSVP and voting ends on 13 November at 17:00. Voting is how students register their attendance for the Fair, there is no other way to register for the event


What are the speeddating sessions? And how do I prepare for the speeddating sessions?

The speeddating sessions are your opportunity to meet with the organisations that you voted for in a one-on-one setting. There are 10 speeddates, each round is 10 minutes long. You will have 4 minutes between your sessions. This year all sessions will be conducted online via videoconferencing, we have built a unique online platform for this. 

To prepare for the speeddating sessions you should:

-Check each organisation’s website

-Google the interviewers (if names are provided) and view their LinkedIn profile

-Prepare specific as well as open questions:

-About the projects

-About the company

-About the work environment

How should I prepare for my speeddates?

Please have your CV complete and sent to the Thesis Fair team a week before the event itself. We will send reminders once voting ends.

In order to prepare for your speeddates we recommend that you that you do the following:

-Treat each speeddate like a job interview and be prepared to discuss the projects and research areas

-Wear professional clothes and have a clean/tidy appearance. Even though it is an online event we strongly recommend that your whole outfit is professional, you never know if you will need to stand up or not. 

-Prepare questions and do your research for each organisation you meet with – know what the organisation does and their mission

-Maintain eye contact if possible

-Be confident but not cocky, listen to their questions and be sure to answer them

-Be respectful

-Tell them which program you are in and how long your thesis is, they will need to know how long they will host you. This is not applicable for our MSc AI students as all attending organisations will know these details. 

Remember: Even if you do not do a project with an organisation, there is a chance you will meet or work with some of these people in the future. Do not burn any bridges!

What should I do during the speeddating sessions?

Here is what you should do during the speeddating sessions:

-Introduce yourself and state when you would begin and for how long

-Refer to the representative by name

-Take notes and create questions referring to what the representative has said

-Ask your prepared questions and ask open questions

-Check that your ideas and assumptions of the organisation are correct

-Check that your ideas and interpretations of the project(s) are correct

-Agree upon further contact and method of contact

What should my CV include?

Basic information 

-Clear photo of your face (this helps the representatives to remember you from your meeting)

-First and surname

-LinkedIn

-Github

-Website

-Email

-Mobile number

-Address

Program name and how long your thesis is:

9 months, November 2020 – June 2021

6 months, January 2021 – June 2021

3 months, April 2021 – June 2021

Include the following descriptions:

Profile: Describe your skills, expertise and ambition in 2-3 sentences each

Education: Which schools you have attended

Work experience: Short sentences with job description and competencies

Chosen set of courses and research areas of interest

Internships and volunteering

I am not interested in an organisation that I have a scheduled session with, do I have to attend that meeting?

YES! You will also be likely scheduled to meet with organisations you initially did not vote for. Go into each speeddate with an open mind, many successful and interesting projects have come out of such speeddates. You have to attend every meeting on your schedule.

It is also disrespectful and unprofessional to not show up, keep in mind that you may come across that organisation and those professionals in your career. It is best to maintain positive experiences and not burn any bridges.

The only exception is if you have moral or ethical issues with the organisation, please see the next question for more information.

But what if I am assigned to a speeddate with an organisation that I have ethical issues with?

We recommend that you go unless you have strong ethical and/or moral issues with that particular organisation. If that is the case, you are not obligated to attend but please notify us of this as soon as you receive your schedule.

What should I do after the Thesis Fair?

After the Thesis Fair, we would recommend that you follow up by:

-Do you have enough information? If not, then do some research.

-Email or call the companies of your preference. Use the agreed upon contact method.

-Make an appointment to meet at their office so you can visit the organisation and see the workspace, experience the atmosphere and meet the employees. If this is not possible due to COVID-19, then arrange a video appointment with the organisation.

What happens if I cannot attend the Thesis Fair?

If you cannot attend the Fair you can still view all projects on the Thesis Marketplace on DataNose. If you find a project you are interested in, then contact the organisation’s contact person on the project page directly. Their name is a clickable email link.

What if I can no longer attend the Thesis Fair after I have voted or I have to cancel last minute?

If you have already voted and you know you cannot attend the Fair please contact us immediately at  thesisfair-IvI(at)uva.nl. If you are ill or cannot attend last minute due to other circumstances, please contact us immediately. 

This will enable us to find different students to fill the timeslot or, if it is last minute, inform the organisation of your absence. 

Can I attend the Fair even if I missed the sign up?

NO, as stated above it is not possible to attend the Thesis Fair without voting. You need to  RSVP for Fair and vote for projects, RSVP and voting closes on 13 November at 17:00.


What happens if the event is cancelled last minute?

If we have to cancel the event unexpectedly due to technical difficulties or other reasons we will inform you ASAP. We have created a backup platform that will still allow the event to go on even if the primary platform goes down. 

Alternatively we will still ensure that you are in touch with the organisations you voted for and still have the opportunity to meet with them.

Not thesis related – I have a specific idea that I would like to pursue (e.g. by launching a startup or finding a company to sponsor it), what are my options?

You can try to find a company sponsor yourself or you can get in touch with the AI Startup Lab at ACE, which provides a platform for students who want to apply their ideas beyond research (and if your idea does not involve AI, they can point you to the relevant people at ACE). The Lab’s corporate partners sponsor developments of a proof-of-concept (PoC) and provide real-life experience by supporting students along the way.

You can find out more information about ACE and the AI Startup Lab under our Partnerships page.