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TU Berlin

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Specialized Studies Phase (1st - 3rd Semester)
The specialized studies phase equips students with specialized knowledge in computer science. It builds on the foundations laid during the Bachelor’s programme, extending and further developing the knowledge and skills acquired there. During this phase, students select a specialty area, from which the subject of the Master’s thesis should also be taken. The specialty areas in the Master’s programme are geared to the challenges facing computer science as a discipline in the coming decades. Four specialty areas are offered:
1. System Engineering
Even before the emergence of the Internet, mastering the complexity of IT systems was a major challenge. The interplay of concurrent hardware and software processes and the resulting enormous state space has preoccupied computer scientists for decades. Hierarchization, layering, decentralization, modularization, object, aspect and service orientation and component-basedness are concepts characterizing the approaches to mastering complexity. A number of calculi, methods, languages and tools have been developed to automate or at least support the design process. And yet we have to admit that the complexity of the systems we use is growing faster than our ability to master it – and this applies all the more as previously isolated systems are networked ever more closely.
This specialty area comprises modules dealing with the design of systems of masterable complexity from different perspectives of computer science.
Individual topics are: distributed/parallel systems, software engineering, programming languages and systems, component technology, model-driven development, grid computing, peer-to-peer systems, performance analysis/modelling, computer architecture and computer technology.

2. Reliable Systems
The more information technology penetrates our everyday lives, the more dependent we become on the smooth functioning of its systems. Incorrect or incomplete specifications, programming and user errors, exploitable weaknesses, delays and failures can cause malfunctions, sometimes with disastrous consequences. The specialty area addresses the question: How can we build systems that are safer and more reliable than those currently available?
Individual topics are: safety and security, reliability, fault tolerance, real-time behaviour, specification, correctness, verification, testing, model building.

3. Intelligent Systems
A classical computer science subject is the automatic processing of information with the long-term goal of developing “intelligent” machines capable of perception, association, assessment and decision-making. Technical systems with these capabilities are used to support, relieve and sometimes even replace humans being in their work.
The relationship between humans and computers is thus not just a question of user interface design but also a matter of responsibility. To what extent do human beings remain a crucial and integral part of the resulting causal chains and to what extent are they bypassed? How do we shape a world in which humans are excluded from many processes because they are too slow or because we wish to avoid bothering them or because machines are better at keeping track of things?
The specialty area deals with technologies that raise these questions and also attempts to illuminate their social, economic, legal, ethical and political dimensions.
Individual topics are: information systems, data mining, statistical methods, artificial intelligence, neural computing, visualization, image processing, voice processing, robotics, autonomous systems, human-computer interaction, expert systems, agent technology, ambient intelligence, computer science and society, information law and the ethical responsibility of the engineer.

4. Communication-Based Systems
The growing integration of information and communication technology is producing a multitude of new services and applications. Providing such services and applications via a large number heterogeneous media – any time, any place, wired or wireless and tailored to the user’s current needs – requires an integrated approach bringing together a large number of research areas that were previously considered separately. The specialty area Communication-Based Systems therefore encompasses all layers that help provide new types of I+C applications, from communications to different protocols for specific media and network types to integrating middleware layers and corresponding applications. This also includes tools for designing and modelling such systems.
Individual topics are: signal processing, coding, protocols, mobile communications, ad hoc networks, sensor networks, Internet technology, middleware, multimedia, network security.

Application-Oriented Studies (1st - 3rd Semester)

Students are expected to continue studying their application-oriented subject from the Bachelor’s programme. The same standard subjects are offered.

General Studies (1st - 3rd Semester)
This section of the programme is intended to give students a broader scientific education and enable them to acquire other knowledge that will be useful in their future careers or for their academic qualification. The modules can be chosen freely from the courses offered by universities in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Master's Thesis  (4th Semester)
To complete the programme, students are required to write a Master’s thesis demonstrating their ability to successfully apply the scientific methods of their field of study to a concrete problem. They have a period of six months to complete the thesis (full-time). In addition to submitting the written thesis, students are required to given an oral defence of their work, which all Faculty members may attend. Master’s theses are generally integrated into the groups’ research projects. Affiliated research institutes also offer attractive topics of relevance to current research.

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