The educational researcher Dr. Barbara E. Lovitts has written a fascinating book on coming up with criteria to evaluate doctoral dissertations. Her new book is entitled Making the Implicit Explicit: Creating Performance Expectations for the Dissertation (Sterling: Stylus, 2007) and is located in our Education Library (Sangren Hall), call number LB 2369 .L685 2007. Chapter 9 of this book looks at criteria for electrical and computer engineering dissertations. To compile her criteria for outstanding, very good, acceptable, and unacceptable dissertations, she gathered a task force of 24 engineering faculty from 6 universities to discuss what qualities they looked for. This book should be required reading and discussion material for all faculty, especially those who serve on dissertation or thesis committees.
By the way, we are fortunate to have Dr. Lovitts come to speak at Western Michigan University on Monday April 7th, 2008, from 9 a.m to 11 a.m. in the Fetzer Center. The subject of her talk is: “How Do You Know a Good Dissertation When You See One?“