Study Abroad Series: 59 Thesis Defense

At BTH, for software engineering field, each year there were thesis defense 3-4 times. From my experience, usually each time there would be 4-5 groups giving presentations.

I had attended several thesis presentations both at BTH and FUB. At FUB, there were about 10 teachers sitting in a row and asking questions during the thesis defense, while at BTH there was only one examiner. Well, for me, the thesis defense at BTH looked scarier. I had never seen students answering the examiner’s questions fluently. I had heard that the examiner knew everything in software engineering field.

Anyway, at BTH, in thesis defense, there were students acting as ‘opponents’. The opponent would read the thesis, ask critical questions, and write an opponent-report to the author of the thesis after the presentation. It was a compulsory for students to oppose a thesis and be opposed by other students.

It was quite normal that students would send an email to their opponents in order to prepare questions before the exam. Well, I did not do so. At that time I had been working with my thesis for 9 months. It was my thesis; I believed that I was the one who knew it most. I would just do my best. I did not think that I had to redo the thesis again just because I could not answer some questions.StudyAbroadDefense01

Before the presentation, I told my advisor that I was scared of the examiner’s questions; I had never seen students answering them fluently. My advisor told me back that she also wanted to know the questions.

I had a presentation in the morning. Lucky me! On that day the examiner disappeared. The teacher who always asked students difficult questions could not come. It was the first time that I did not see him in the thesis defense. Usually he was the only one who acted as ‘examiner’. Anyway, on that day the examiner was a lady teacher, and she was very nice.

Another luck was the opponent did not prepare himself to be an opponent. He just read my thesis, and made questions while I was giving a presentation. The examiner told him that his questions needed improvement.

All in all, there were some questions that I could not answer well. Anyway, I was quite satisfied with the result.

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