Bachelor and Master Theses

We permanently offer proposals for bachelor and master thesis projects in all areas across our research activities (see our research areas page) and related subjects which cover most topics in Virtual Reality and Scientific Visualization. The thesis topics are usually specified in cooperation with one of our research assistants and/or Prof. Kuhlen taking into account the student's individual interests and his/her previous knowledge as well as the current research agenda of the Virtual Reality group (e.g. in terms of ongoing academic or industrial cooperations). So if you are interested in a thesis project in Virtual Reality, please contact us. In order to guarantee a successful completion of the thesis, we usually expect our student to have

  • taken the "Basic Techniques in Computer Graphics" lecture if you are a bachelor student
  • taken the “Virtual Reality” lecture if you are a master student
  • a good working knowledge of C++
  • or an equivalent qualification.
Below you find a (non-complete) list of currently open theses and the respective supervisors to contact.


Bachelor Thesis: Lip Sync in Unreal Engine 4

Computer-controlled, embodied, intelligent virtual agents are increasingly often embedded in various applications to enliven the virtual sceneries. Thereby, conversational virtual agents are of prime importance. To this end, adequate mimics and lip sync is required to show realistic and plausible talking characters. The goal of this bachelor thesis is to enable an effective however easy-to-integrate lip sync in our Unreal projects for text-to-speech input as well as recorded speech.

Prerequisites

  • Programming experience with C++ and Unreal Engine 4
  • Knowledge of reinforcement learning is desirable
  • Basic Knowledge of Computer Graphics (i.e., transformations, geometries, lights, cameras, …)
  • Ability to self-reliant prioritize and manage assigned tasks within a given timeframe
  • Open and transparent communication skills to ensure that we are on the same page


Contact:
Jonathan Wendt, M.Sc.


Master Thesis: Meaningful and Self-Reliant Spare Time Activities of Virtual Agents

Computer-controlled, embodied, intelligent virtual agents are increasingly common in various applications to enliven scenes turning them into plausible and convincing sceneries. Besides interacting with the human user(s), the intelligent agents are supposed to spend their spare times self-reliant with suitable and application-specific activities. The goal of this master thesis is to design an Unreal Plugin to easily configure these spare time activities for an arbitrary scene and a given number of virtual agents.

Prerequisites

  • Programming experience with C++ and Unreal Engine 4
  • Knowledge of reinforcement learning is desirable
  • Basic Knowledge of Computer Graphics (i.e., transformations, geometries, lights, cameras, …)
  • Ability to self-reliant prioritize and manage assigned tasks within a given timeframe
  • Open and transparent communication skills to ensure that we are on the same page


Contact:
Andrea Bönsch, M. Sc.
Jonathan Wendt, M.Sc.


Bachelor Thesis: Joining Social Groups of Conversational Virtual Agents

A social group is defined as a group of virtual agent(s) and human user(s) standing or moving together while plausible and direct interactions between the group members take place. The focus of this bachelor thesis is to design and implement meaningful behaviors of social groups standing in an arbitrary architectural scene, deepened in a conversation. When being approached by one to five human users, the group constellations (including body posture, gazing, etc.) should be updated to include the users into the social group. On a user’s departure, the group constellation should be updated again, to close the freed space.

Prerequisites

  • Programming experience with C++ and Unreal Engine 4
  • Knowledge of reinforcement learning is desirable
  • Basic Knowledge of Computer Graphics (i.e., transformations, geometries, lights, cameras, …)
  • Ability to self-reliant prioritize and manage assigned tasks within a given timeframe
  • Open and transparent communication skills to ensure that we are on the same page
Photo: ©Ennis et al. Seeing is Believing: Body Motion Dominates in Multisensory Conversations. In: ACM Transactions on Graphics, 29(4), pp. 1-9, 2010

Contact:
Andrea Bönsch, M. Sc.


Bachelor Thesis: Integrating Human Users into Crowd Simulations

Computer-controlled, embodied, and intelligent virtual agents are increasingly often embedded in various applications to enliven the virtual sceneries. Here, crowd simulations focusing mainly on agent-agent-dynamics and agent-agent-interactions are common. The goal of this bachelor thesis is to implement two existing crowd simulations, while human user(s) have to be actively integrated: the virtual agents of the crowd have to react reasonably to the presence of human users by, e.g., actively avoiding collisions, establishing eye contact during the approaching phases, or deciding depending on the current situation if they cross between several users or walk around them. In addition, human users should be able to manipulate the scene by adding or deleting primitive barriers or flow lines to actively alter the agent flow in the crowd simulation.

Prerequisites

  • Programming experience with C++ and Unreal Engine 4
  • Knowledge of reinforcement learning is desirable
  • Basic Knowledge of Computer Graphics (i.e., transformations, geometries, lights, cameras, …)
  • Ability to self-reliant prioritize and manage assigned tasks within a given timeframe
  • Open and transparent communication skills to ensure that we are on the same page
Photo: ©Kyriakou et al.: Interaction with Virtual Crowds in Immersive and Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality Systems. In: Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, 28:5, 2017

Contact:
Andrea Bönsch, M. Sc.


Bachelor Thesis: Supporting Scene Exploration in the Realm of Social Virtual Reality

Experiencing a specific virtual world for the very first time requires suitable exploring strategies to quickly visit and remember all locations of interest. One option is to embed a computer-controlled, embodied, intelligent, and conversational virtual agent taking over the role of a virtual guide. The goal of this bachelor thesis to design the behavior such a virtual guide. Thereby, aspects, i.e., maintaining personal space, establishing eye contact, leading versus walking side-by-side, and more have to be adequately considered. In addition, strategies avoiding losing contact with the human user should be integrated.

Prerequisites

  • Programming experience with C++ and Unreal Engine 4
  • Knowledge of reinforcement learning is desirable
  • Basic Knowledge of Computer Graphics (i.e., transformations, geometries, lights, cameras, …)
  • Ability to self-reliant prioritize and manage assigned tasks within a given timeframe
  • Open and transparent communication skills to ensure that we are on the same page


Contact:
Andrea Bönsch, M. Sc.


Master Thesis: Smart Devices in a Prototyping Environment

Multiple sensors and data sources exist in the area of prototypical manufacturing and assembly of micro-components. These have to be closely observed by users while using actuators. (E.g. multiple cameras, computer vision features, positioning data and surveillance of environment factors while assembling laser optics) By using smart devices like data-goggles (Google Glass, Microsoft HoloLens, etc.) these pieces of information should be displayed to the user in context-sensitive way via extended reality and appropriate visualizations.

Remark: This thesis is supervised by Fraunhofer IPT in close cooperation with us. More information (in German) about the application process can be found here IPT Master thesis.

Contact:
Arno Schmetz
Martin Bellgardt, M. Sc.


Master Thesis: Generating co-verbal Gestures for a Virtual Human using Recurrent Neural Networks

Virtual Humans can be embedded into virtual environments to guide the user through scenes and teach or point out interesting areas. Thereby their behavior has a large influence on the authenticity of the virtual environment and the immersion of a user. One important aspect to this behavior is their movement during speech: co-verbal gestures. The goal of this thesis is to design, develop and test a system to generate authentic co-verbal gestures using RNNs, e.g., Long-Short-Term-Memory (LSTM) networks. Training data for these networks will be provided. The system should become part of an already existing larger software suite to embed believable Virtual Humans into our framework.

Prerequisites: Good programming skills in C++; knowledge of Machine Learning Techniques is desirable

Photo: ©USC Institute for Creative Technologies

Contact:
Jonathan Wendt, M.Sc.


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