Dissertation Guide

Welcome to the Dissertation Guide.

This guide is accurate as of September 19th, 2022. Please feel free to modify this file (and the date!!) to reflect the most up-to-date policy.


A template of the dissertation can be found here: https://github.com/ScazLab/dissertation_template

A dissertation usually constitutes the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1: the introduction chapter. It usually have the following structure:
    • Introduce the topic or the problem. Why it is an important topic.
    • What are the challenges to solve the problem. Some may beyond the scope of your work, but that is fine. It is not quite practical to solve every single problem in a dissertation. The ones that are beyond your work can be the future directions.
    • One paragraph on each work that you would like to include in the dissertation, and summarize them in a way that connects to the challenges.
    • Your contributions.
    • You may also introduce some common terminologies somewhere.
  • Chapter 2: a literature review. This is the most time-consuming part of the dissertation. Unlike chapter 1, this chapter does not really have a fixed structure to follow.
  • Chapter 3 - n: Each chapter is one of your previous work. You can include any work that you are an author (doesn’t need to be the first author), as long as the theme fits and makes the entire dissertation a coherent story. You do need to modify your previous work to fit the dissertation, this includes:
    • Add a start and an end paragraph to show that the chapter fits the dissertation.
    • Update the terminology so that the terms used in the entire dissertation are consistent.
    • The figures may need to modified to fit the current layout. The figures for publications, especially for conference publications, are usually too small.
  • The last chapter: Summarize the work, disscuss the contributions and limitations, as well as future directions or open challenges.

Dissertations from previous lab members can be found here: https://scazlab.yale.edu/dissertations. These are great examples to learn from!


Notifications should be sent to the department 30 days and 7 days before the defense date. More information can be found under Computer Science Dissertation Defense and Submittal at: https://cpsc.yale.edu/academics/graduate-program/doctor-philosophy/cs-student-milestones. You should get Scaz’s approval to set the date. The classroom can be booked via the department website (https://cpsc.yale.edu/internal-cs-only -> AKW Online Room Reservations).

The notification is the dissertation emails that you may have seen. Here is a template if you need it:

Subject line: Dissertation Defense: YOUR NAME, DATE, TIME Send to: phd@cs.yale.edu, department-cs@cs.yale.edu, faculty-cs@cs.yale.edu, and whoever is on your committee. Make sure you send the email via the yale account, otherwise the first three may not work.

Main body of the email

DISSERTATION DEFENSE ===================

Student: YOUR NAME

Dissertation Title: THE TITLE


Advisor: Brian Scassellati


Abstract: The abstract

At your defense, make sure you have your committee sign the Computer Science Defense Form at https://cpsc.yale.edu/academics/graduate-program/doctor-philosophy/cs-student-milestones, and send it to the department registrar.


The submission of the dissertation is usually after the defense, where you will receive many nice feedback. The dissertation is submitted via the DPRS system (https://dissertation.yale.edu/dprs/ (click Degree Petition and Dissertation Submission), the website where you complete the yearly reports) after your committee approve it, normally after your defense. Here is more information about submitting the dissertation (https://registrar.yale.edu/students/dissertation-submission), and an accompanying video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWkE4JrYRPo. You don’t need to submit a physical copy. You also need to fill in the Notification of Readers and wait for the approval from DGS.

In DPRS, if you plan to complete the GSAS Exit Survey, the survey can be found (after you click the link and log in) your initial on the top right corner -> Surveys -> Yale Graduate School: Exit Survey.

The dissertation should be submitted before the deadline. Your committee members will then have one month to provide a report. The report does not need to be submitted prior to the deadline.


Information in this paragraph is for references ONLY! Please confirm with the department registrar or related department. If you plan to submit your dissertation in the middle of a term, you do not need to make any changes. However, if, for example, you plan to submit it in the next semester (e.g., submit in September), then you might want to consider whether you want to register for the next semester. You can choose not to register at all. Or you can choose to register with the dissertation completion status. This status will grant you permission to continue to access buildings, VPNs etc, which will not be provided if you choose not to register. This status, however, does not give you medical insurance (Note: the medical insurance ends in end of July, rather than end of August if you do not register the fall term. If you visit Yale Health in August, you might be charged retropectively!) and may discontinue your visa (please consult with OISS).


Hello Stretch Setup Guide

Setup Guide for the Stretch Robot with basic ROS commands Continue reading

Azure Kinect Setup and Startup Guide

Published on August 31, 2020

Kinect2 Setup Guide

Published on July 14, 2020