Master Theses and their associated projects are an extremely important part of the master.
The master thesis is worth 20 ECTS which represents 33% of the total 60 ECTS to be achieved to get the masters degree.
Students must invest a minimum of 650 hours of work in their project.

The master thesis and the project bring together all the knowledge acquired during CSIM.
Students must develop some sort of artifact, pose a hypothesis and either prove it true or refute it.
It is a perfect mix of hands-on design, construction and deployment of the artifact with scientifically sound methods to support, justify and evaluate everything.

CSIM students choose their master thesis from a broad list of proposals that the research groups prepare (around 40-50 different proposals every year).
The project proposals cover the breadth of topics exposed in CSIM and, therefore, students always find something fun, motivating and interesting.

Students are immersed in the research groups that host their master thesis project.
This immersion not only places students in a rich research environment with other master students, PhD students, post-docs and senior researchers, but also gives them acces to unique infrastructure that is not easy to find elsewhere.


A typical structure of the final report of the thesis would be the following:

  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • Introduction
    • Problem statement
    • State of the art
  • Methods
  • Design & Development criteria and strategies
  • Experimental design and set-up
  • Procedures used to obtain data and results
  • Key results obtained in the study
  • How did the results address the problem defined
  • What are the problems faced by the study
  • Validity of the results
  • Relevance with respect to state of the art
  • Future steps
  • Results
  • Discussion & Conclusion


The schedule associated to the steps followed in a master thesis are approximately as follows:

  • Mid-October: Open house sessions from all the research groups related to our master
  • End of October: List of project proposals i published. Students start to talk to supervisors and groups
  • Early November: Students chose projects (their 5 top in preference)
  • Mid November: Projects are assigned to students. Students start their master thesis project
  • End of January: Students deliver their state of the art
  • March: Students make their mid-way presentations before an assessment board. Students receive feedback on their progress and suggestions to improve and succesfully finalise.
  • April: Students should have done their experimental work
  • May: Students perform their statistical analysis and evaluations.
  • June: Students correct any misalignments or extra needs and start writing their master thesis report.
  • First week of July: Students deliver their final master thesis report and make their defense before an evaluation board to get their final grade.

Example Theses

We include some of the top theses from the past years as a reference of topics and correctness in executing and reporting the master thesis project (in chronologic order, hence not grade order).


Title Student Year Doc
Motion-Based Navigation Interaction Performance in Visual Search Task
Using mobile augmented reality as a control mode for motion-based navigation in a large two-dimensional information space
Stefan Acin 2013-14 PDF Download Icon
Interactive Visualization of Complex Networks Dynamics: A Neuroscience Test Case
Layout of a Simulated Environment Based on Connectome Dataset
David Cabrera Dalmazzo  2013-14 PDF Download Icon
Combining participatory design methods and formative assessment strategies to improve design and evaluation of Full-Body Interaction Learning Environments  Marie-Monique Schaper  2013-14 PDF Download Icon
Complex Network Analysis
Applications To Human Brain Functional Networks 
Hoang Le 2012-13 PDF Download Icon
Sonification of large datasets generated from neuroscience in the eXperience Induction Machine  Panagiota Papachristodoulou  2012-13 PDF Download Icon
Creativity Studies on the Reactable online community 
Assessing the validity of distributed creativity models in an online community of creators 
Arthur Pointeau  2012-13 PDF Download Icon
Wearable Devices Supporting Collaboration in the Classroom
Testing the Signal Orchestration System within the context of a Jigsaw activity in an authentic face-to-face setting 
Mara Balestrini  2011-12 PDF Download Icon
Playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with the iCub Robot
Can we enable human engagement with a humanoid robot through game playing? 
Maria Pilar Guerra Arias  2011-12 PDF Download Icon
InsectArcade: A hybrid mixed reality insect-robot system for the study of insect multi-modal navigation  Diogo Pata 2011-12 PDF Download Icon


Example Publications

The following publications are the direct result of part of the work for the master theses of our students. Many of these publications have been achieved while still in the master, while some are the result of having finished the master and being able to disseminate full results. As it may be seen these works have been published in top journals or presented at first class conferences in their fields.

List of publications from 2009

Title Student Year Doc
Topology of brain functional networks
Hoang Le has been selected for a PhD position at Caltech, CA, USA given his work at CSIM/SPECS
Hoang Le 2013  
Intensive language-action therapy in VR for a rehabilitation gaming system
The study received a nomination for Best Paper Award at the ICDVRAT 2014 conference
Klaudia Grechuta 2014 PDF Download Icon

Social integration of stroke patients through the multiplayer rehabilitation gaming system
The study was conducted in collaboration with clinicians and won the best paper award at "Game Days 2014", 4th Int Conf on Serious Games, Darmstadt, Germany

Martina Maier 2014 PDF Download Icon
Insect-like odor classification and locallization on an autonomous robot
Awarded as best poster at Living Machines 2012
L. Lopez-Serrano,
V. Vouloutsi
2012 PDF Download Icon


Some of the works by CSIM students lead to installations, kiosks or exhibits in public events, exhibitions or museum interactive exhibits. Below you may see some examples.

Here: Bergen-Belsen, Space of Memory

SPECS has developed these installations in the framework of the European project  CEEDS (FP7, ICT Future and Emerging Technologies, 258749-CEEDS) the aim of which is to develop an application that will optimize the acquisition, storage and presentation of data that represents key aspects of the historical relevance such as the holocaust including its archaeological, social, cultural, psychological, medical aspects.

A number of master students have collaborated in different aspects of this project.

NanoZoom for Technorevolution Exhibition, La Caixa Foundation

CMTech has designed an interactive exhibit a full-blown exhibition for the CosmoCaixa Science Mueseum in Barcelona. The exhibition follows the success of its smaller version which was a moving exhibition in a trailer container. It deals with Converging Technologies: nanotecnology; la biotecnology, ICT (information and communication technologies), cognitive science and neuroscience. The trailer has travelled all around Spain.

The exhibit that CMTech has developed gives the users a better notion of how small the nano scale actually is by using full-body interaction. The interactive experience is the result of the master thesis of the alumna Natalia Rodríguez.


Interactive Slide

The Interactive Slide (UPF Patent) is a large inflatable slide that is augmented with interactive technology. The current configuration has a sliding surface 4 meters wide and 3 meters long, which acts also as an image projection screen. A computer vision system detects the movements, actions and attitudes of children to allow them to play with an interactive experience on the sliding surface of the slide. Myriad games and educational experiences may be designed and developed for the surface of the slide without having to change the underlying infrastructure.

This Exergaming platform is an ongoing research by the CMTech group and a number of students have worked on its development. The work has been exhibited in events such as: EuroScience Open Forum 2008International Conference on Interaction Design and Children IDC2010, or theCosmoCaixa Science Museum in Barcelona.



NanoCancer for Technorevolution Trailer, La Caixa Foundation

CMTech has designed an interactive exhibit for a travelling exhibition (mounted in a trailer container) that deals with Converging Technologies: nanotecnology; la biotecnology, ICT (information and communication technologies), cognitive science and neuroscience. The trailer has travelled all around Spain.

The exhibit that CMTech has developed explains how nanotechnology can help in the development of drugs that can attack a cancer tumor in an more optimal manner. The interactive experience is the result of the master thesis of the alumna Sílvia Alcaraz.