Dr. Guha's Thesis and Research Study Topics


Below are short descriptions of thesis/research study topics I currently have in mind. For more details please contact me by sending mail or dropping by my office.


Thesis vs. Research Study: My view of a thesis is that it should contain a significant original component and have potential for publication. Theses are for R&D-minded types or those intending to stay in academia. Others can do a thesis as well but to my mind they are better served by an RS. The expectation of an RS is not a lot of originality but a solid project. Moreover, with an RS you can broaden your background with more course credits. A non-academic employer is going to be looking at your practical skills which can be shown off with an RS as with a thesis.

Important: The CSIM Dept. has strict requirements of a thesis. It is not automatic. The student's committee has to approve after the midway presentation that the work done to date merits continuing on to become a thesis. Therefore, when I say below that something "is" a thesis a topic, it means I believe it has the potential to be. It is up to the student to realize this potential and get the committee's approval. Unfortunately, I cannnot guarantee anything on my own.


  1. Feature Extraction
    This topic is about extracting the important features of an object. See the pictures below and you get the idea. Since objects in engineering design and computer graphics are typically represented as a mesh of triangles for display on-screen, the process is often called mesh segmentation.

    Chansophea Chuon, a former student, and I already have a conference paper Surface Mesh Segmentation using Local Geometry at CGIV 09 proposing a new technique to segment meshes.

    Objective: This is a thesis topic. Specifically, the objective is to extend the conference paper improve the technique, validate with experiments and, possibly, extend the theory and make a journal submission.

    Requirement: Strong highly motivated student with good programming skills and understanding of algorithms. The CGA course is not required though it could be useful.


  2. Surface Simplification
    Objects in engineering design and computer graphics are typically represented as a mesh of triangles for display on-screen. However, the number of triangles in the originally created object is often extremely large larger than is required for display at some given resolution or too large for real-time transmission. An important step in this case is to incrementally reduce the number of triangles without losing the original shape, a process called simplification. See the pictures below and you get the idea.


    Chansophea Chuon, a former student, and I already have a conference paper Volume Cost Based Mesh Simplification at CGIV 09 proposing a new technique to simplify meshes.

    Objective: This is a thesis topic. Specifically, the objective is to extend the conference paper improve the technique, validate with experiments and, possibly, extend the theory and make a journal submission.

    Requirement: Strong highly motivated student with good programming skills and understanding of algorithms. The CGA course is not required though it could be useful.


  3. Animated Tutorials for Computer Graphics and OpenGL
    As you know animated movies and games are everywhere, particularly so nowadays with the proliferation of small mobile devices. Since interactive 3D animation is almost always created using OpenGL or Microsoft's look-alike Direct3D, there is great interest in studying these applications, both in schools (as the practical part of a Computer Graphics course) and self-learning.

    Many CG and OpenGL tutorials are to be found on the web most are written lesson sequences and a few are interactive as well. Given the nature of CG, animation and interaction would certainly seem to enhance any tutorial program. In fact, I was part of a group at UW-Milwaukee that developed the interactive and animated JPot Java Personal OpenGL Tutorial more than ten years ago. It was quite successful at that time getting more than 100,000 hits, but is outdated now. Currently, the most popular animated interactive OpenGL tutorial probably is Nate Robins' suite.

    Objective: The primary object is to develop an interactive animated tutorial for OpenGL, particularly a suite of interactive programs to teach a sequence of concepts starting from zero. Platforms for the tutorial are planned to be the traditional PC or laptop and mobile touch devices. In particular, there is likely to be high demand for learning apps for the latter.

    A secondary object which could become especially important if initial lessons are popular is to develop a suite of YouTube tutorials along the lines of the Khan Academy (a favorite of Bill Gates). This approach would obviously be non-interactive, but would require the development of software tools to enable an efficient presentation of lessons in the video medium.

    Depending on the scope of a student's contribution, this project may be a thesis or RS. It could involve more than one student as well.

    Note: A popular on-line tutorial or app is a great thing to have on your resume!

    Requirement: Creative students who like to help others learn! Teaching is (or should be:-) a highly creative activity. A good teacher person, book or software can make the difference between someone abandoning a new subject disappointed and the same person becoming interested, enthusiastic and reaching a high level of proficiency. Good knowledge of Computer Graphics and OpenGL and strong programming skills are a must.


  4. Developing Apps for Mobile Devices
    Mobile devices particularly tablets and phones with touch interfaces are ubiquitous. As you must know, apps for such devices for leisure, entertainment, learning, services, etc. are in great demand.

    Objective: The objective simply is to develop a useful app. We will target two platforms: Android and the iOS. The app may or may not have a significant graphics component. And if it's just 2D graphics which can be coded using Java or some simple API, then there's no need to apply OpenGL. However, an app with 3D graphics will typically use OpenGL ES (or its Microsoft twin).

    Apps developed could be for entertainment or learning (or maybe both). Especially, learning apps are a big open field. An intriguing possibility is to cater to our particular context, e.g., a current student is developing an app for the iPhone to help children learn Thai. I have interest in learning apps myself but students are welcome to come up with their own idea for an app based on personal interest.

    Depending on the scope of a student's contribution, this project may be a thesis or RS. It could involve more than one student as well.

    Note: A popular app is a great thing to have on your resume!

    Requirement: Motivated students with strong programming skills. The CGA course is not required though it could be useful.


  5. Clustering using Alpha Shapes
    This project is in the area of Data Mining: Chansophea Chuon, a former student, and I have an approach to apply alpha shapes, which is a construction from Computational Geometry, to the problem of clustering low-dimensional data points. Here is a preliminary draft of a possible conference paper that we have written. As you can see, as yet it contains a simple introduction to alpha shapes and not much more.

    Objective: This is a thesis topic. The object is to complete the conference paper by developing the ideas we already have, validating them with experiments, and, of course, helping write the paper itself.

    Requirement: Strong highly motivated student with good programming skills and understanding of algorithms. Knowledge of Computer Graphics or Computational Geometry is not required though could be useful.


  6. Information Retrieval and Data Mining Case Studies
    Tools that we learn in the IRDM class have various practical applications.

    Objective: The objective is to make a case study by applying IRDM techniques to a particular practical envirornment, e.g., a business or organization, to come up with useful conclusions and recommendations.

    Depending on the scope of a student's contribution, this project may be a thesis or RS. Obviously, multiple students can work on different case studies.

    Requirement: The IRDM course and access to data in a practical environment. The latter is particularly important to do a useful case study and is the responsibility of the student as I don't have access to much outside data myself.


  7. Thin-Client Desktops: A Case Study at AIT
    The IT Committee, of which I am currently chair, is considering the possibility of deploying thin (or, even, zero) client desktops in our labs and offices. A thin-client desktop is basically a box and display with just enough processing power and software to connect the user to a server which provides the main functionality. You can read about thin-client desktops in this Wikipedia article.

    Objective: This is a research study topic. The objective is to study the feasibility of thin or zero client based labs and offices in AIT, perform a cost/benefit analysis, and implement a prototype to get user feedback. Olivier Nicole who is the IT Committee technical expert has kindly agreed to help supervise the project.

    The final RS report will critically inform the IT Committee's decision if to recommend thin client infrastructure for AIT; for this reason the bulk of the work is expected to be completed over the intersem to provide significant input to the IT Committee by the beginning of the August semester.

    Requirement: Good communication and writing skills a well-written final report is an essential outcome and reasonable programming skills.


  8. Google Apps: A Case Study at AIT
    The IT Committee, of which I am currently chair, is considering the possibility of the Institute "going Google", in particular, signing AIT up for the free Google Apps for Education. You can read up about this suite of Google applications which includes communication, collaboration and security apps here.

    Objective: This is a research study topic. The objective is to study the potential utility of Google Apps in our campus, particular, how the suite can enhance individual productivity as well as play a role in bringing people together in projects, meetings and such. Olivier Nicole who is the IT Committee technical expert has kindly agreed to help supervise the project.

    The final RS report will critically inform the IT Committee's decision if to recommend going Google for AIT; for this reason the bulk of the work is expected to be completed over the intersem to provide significant input to the IT Committee by the beginning of the August semester.

    Requirement: Good communication and writing skills a well-written final report is an essential outcome and reasonable programming skills.


  9. Presentation Scheduler
    As you know, it's often hard for a student to find a slot when everyone on his/her committee is available to attend a presentation. The problem is particularly acute at the end of the semester just before graduation: individual students often rush from committee member to committee member desperately trying to find a common slot before the deadline.

    Objective: This is a research study topic. The objective is to develop a system which takes as input (a) committee members per student (b) available slots per faculty member, and produces feasible schedules for all students to present. Customization to the Department's particular needs may be an additional goal. The back-end should be a fairly straightforward matching algorithm while the front an easy-to-use Java interface.

    Requirement: Java programming skills and some amount of algorithms (the DSA course is enough but not necessary if you have not taken it then you may have to read up a bit).


  10. Topic of Your Own
    You might have an idea of your own something you are excited about and which you want to turn into a thesis/RS. I am happy to work with you but we need seriously to discuss first how I can contribute. It's best if you prepare a short write-up which we can then go over together.