Fishing for a CS Masters Thesis Topic

Mikael Kindborg mikael.kindborg at
Wed Jun 13 19:28:45 UTC 2007


If you are interested in visual programming I have two suggestions!

(1) Explore how behaviours represented as "contextual signs" can be
used to program objects in Croquet. Contextual signs are graphical
and/or textual signs that are directly attached to an object. This
concept comes from comics, where for instance voice balloons, speed
lines, and sounding symbols (onomatopoetic symbols) are examples of
contextual signs. Here are two papers on this topic:

For full references go here:

The current system we are working is called "Magic Words" and is available here:

(2) Explore how "comic strip programming" could be used in Etoys
and/or Croquet. Here is a recent paper that describes the idea:

Best regads, Micke

2007/6/13, Robert Stehwien <rstehwien at>:
> I've been primarily a Windows C++ developer for 12 years with a little
> Java, Perl, Python, and lately Ruby along the way.  I've never looked
> at line of Smalltalk until recently.  But that all changed when I
> decided to get a Masters in CS and since a PhD isn't out of the
> question write a thesis.
> When asked by a co-worker what my thesis topic would be, I said "maybe
> something with peer-to-peer, gaming, collaborative environments, 3D,
> education, visual programming, interaction design, or languages" (big
> list I know but somewhat ordered).  I started digging around and
> noticed a pattern... Smalltalk, Squeak, Croquet, and Seaside kept
> coming up (although it took a little while to notice the mouse icon
> and 3d bunny.
> So I've ordered the book "Object Land", downloaded all the free books
> and Squeak (ordered the DVD too), and joined the list.  But I'm still
> having trouble narrowing down a thesis topic to present to my adviser
> (for adjustment I'm sure).
> Anyone have any suggestions for a thesis topic?  Maybe there is some
> part of Squeak that the community would like
> documented/researched/implemented.  P2P gaming/collaboration using
> Croquet sound interesting (Croquet has a great deal of potential), but
> I'm pretty open for suggestions.
> Thanks,
> Robert
> PS: As a working C++ developer it will take a while for me to finish
> the thesis and my masters.

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