Available master thesis projects

Below is a list of currently available master theses you can choose from.

A qualitative study of Microsoft Copilot use by computing students at NTNU

Global trends in capital investment [1], market growth and competition [2], and technology adoption [3] show that Generative AI (GenAI) tools may represent the next wave of digital transformation. These tools promise significant productivity enhancement for knowledge workers [4].

Computing students must learn to effectively use GenAI tools in their professional practice to keep abreast with the GenAI wave of digital transformation. Recent results from the Studiebarometeret 2023 survey show that most Norwegian university students in technology subjects like computing already use GenAI tools in their studies [5]. These students use GenAI tools as study partners for various tasks, including finding literature on a topic, feedback on their academic writing, or as a replacement for learning assistants in the courses [6]. The students are generally aware of the potential of GenAI tools for productivity enhancement and the dangers of not effectively using them (ibid).    

NTNU is making a GenAI tool called Microsoft Copilot available for its students [7], and the project’s information page gives instructions like “You must be critical of the answers the language model gives you” and “Do not use the language model for tasks that require integrity.” However, it is unclear how the students can think critically about the tool or how they can effectively use it in their professional practice.

In this project, we plan to study the use of Microsoft Copilot by computing students at the NTNU using qualitative research methods to gain a rich understanding of the phenomenon. The candidate will do initial literature studies on the topic and design a case study with data-collection methods like observations, interviews, and archival data. The collected data will be analyzed qualitatively to define a coherent concept explaining the practices of computing students using Copilot. The subject areas for this project include information systems, computer-supported cooperative work, and human-computer interaction.


[1] ___, “Generative AI market size worldwide from 2020 to 2030,” Statista, Feb. 9, 2024, https://www.statista.com/forecasts/1449838/generative-ai-market-size-worldwide#:~:text=The%20generative%20AI%20market%20is (accessed Mar. 15, 2024).

[2] M. Fox, “Here’s why the Magnificent 7 tech stocks will continue to outperform the S&P 493 in 2024, according to Goldman Sachs,” Business Insider, Dec. 26, 2023, Markets Insider. https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/stock-market-outlook-magnificent-7-tech-stocks-outperform-sp-493-2023-11 (accessed Mar. 15, 2024).

[3] D. Milmo, “ChatGPT reaches 100 million users two months after launch,” The Guardian, Feb. 02, 2023. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/feb/02/chatgpt-100-million-users-open-ai-fastest-growing-app (accessed Mar. 15, 2024).

[4] T. Eloundou, S. Manning, P. Mishkin, and D. Rock, “GPTs are GPTs: An early look at the labor market impact potential of large language models,” arXiv:2303.10130 [cs, econ, q-fin], Aug. 21, 2023, Available: https://arxiv.org/abs/2303.10130 (accessed Mar. 15, 2024).

[5] M. S. Hauge and K. F. Øygarden, “Studiebarometeret 2023 – Hovedtendenser,” NOKUT – Nasjonalt organ for kvalitet i utdanninga, Rapportnummer 4-2024 Feb. 2, 2024, Available: https://www.nokut.no/globalassets/studiebarometeret/2024/hoyere-utdanning/studiebarometeret-2023_hovedtendenser_4-2024.pdf (accessed Mar. 15, 2024).

[6] M. K. N. Bjerva, “Bytter ut læringsassistenten med ChatGPT,” www.universitetsavisa.no, Mar. 14, 2024. https://www.universitetsavisa.no/chat-gpt-ki-verktoy-kunstig-intelligens/bytter-ut-laeringsassistenten-med-chatgpt/399952 (accessed Mar. 15, 2024). [7] ___, “Copilot prosjekt – NTNU,” www.ntnu.no. https://www.ntnu.no/adm/it/copilot (accessed Mar. 15, 2024).

A qualitative study of data and value in Helsplattformen

In 2019, the healthcare region of Central Norway procured an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system from an American vendor (Epic Systems) to fulfill the national vision of “one citizen, one journal” [1] – the project is called Helseplattformen (HP). In 2022, HP implemented an integrated EHR system connecting primary healthcare providers in Trondheim municipality and secondary providers at St. Olav’s Hospital.

The HP project promised to provide values for several stakeholders [2,3], including 1) value for citizens: better healthcare services, improving patient participation in healthcare services, digital home monitoring; 2) value for healthcare workers: more secure access to high-quality health information, resulting in ease of use for healthcare workers in care planning, diagnosis, and treatment; 3) value for the healthcare system: standardized interaction between primary and secondary healthcare, reducing unwanted variation in patient outcomes; and 4) value for management: better management information for resource planning, resulting in reduced cost and increased efficiency of healthcare services.

Despite spending 3.7-5.1 billion NOK on the HP project [4], it cannot be considered a success. General practitioners have refused to adopt the HP system because of its inefficiency [5]. Healthcare professionals complained about severe errors in the HP system with consequences for patient safety [6]. A recent investigation by the Norwegian National Audit Office found that the HP system is complex and unclear, which may result in additional burdens for healthcare professionals [7].

In 2023, a master’s student from our research group studied the use of the HP system by Emergency Room (ER) physicians in Trondheim [8, 9]. The preliminary results show that a) The HP system contains too much clinically irrelevant data, like detailed notes and documents, and the presentation of this data may not be adapted for the ER setting; b) The ER physicians need to gain an overview of patient data quickly, and the HP system does not appear to support them in doing so, which may lead to perceived information overload for them.

In this project, we plan to do a follow-up study of the use of the HP system by healthcare professionals in their practices by building on the earlier results [8]. This study uses qualitative research methods to address questions like why we have too much data in the HP system, who provides it and why, who uses it, and for what purposes and what values are achieved (see, e.g., [10,11] for theoretical discussions). The candidate will do initial literature studies on the topic and design a case study with data-collection methods like observations, interviews, and archival data. The collected data will be analyzed qualitatively to define a coherent concept explaining the role of data and its value in healthcare professionals’ use of the HP system. The subject areas for this project include information systems, computer-supported cooperative work, and human-computer interaction.


[1] Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet. “Meld. St. 9 (2012–2013): Én innbygger – én journal,” 2012, https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/meld-st-9-20122013/id708609

[2] Helseplattformen AS, Effektmål—Hva skal Helseplattformen gi oss?, October 24, 2019, https://www.helseplattformen.no/om-oss/prosjektet/effektmal/ (accessed Mar. 20, 2024).

[3] Helseplattformen AS “Gevinstmål,” February 16, 2021,  https://www.helseplattformen.no/om-oss/prosjektet/gevinstmal (accessed Mar. 20, 2024).

[4] H. C. Ekroll, “Skulle koste 3,7 milliarder. Regningen bikker 4 milliarder før systemet er 30 prosent innført,” www.aftenposten.no, May 16, 2023. https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/Xbp0Vx/skulle-koste-37-milliarder-regningen-bikker-4-milliarder-foer-systemet-er-30-prosent-innfoert (accessed Mar. 20, 2024).

‌[5] T. Støbakk, C. A. Dahl and H. Skjesol, “Fastleger nekter å ta i bruk Helseplattformen: – Ikke nå, og ikke i fremtiden,” adressa.no, Oct. 20, 2023. https://www.adressa.no/nyheter/trondelag/i/O8dMxV/fastleger-nekter-aa-ta-i-bruk-helseplattformen-ikke-naa-og-ikke-i-fremtiden  (accessed Mar. 20, 2024).

[6] M. Engstrøm, “Helseplattformen – en IT-skandale i Midt-Norge,” Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening, Jan. 2023, DOI: https://doi.org/10.4045/tidsskr.23.0016.

‌[7] J. Børstad, “Helseplattformen får kritikk: – Fungerer klart dårligst,” NRK, Nov. 21, 2023. https://www.nrk.no/trondelag/riksrevisjonen_-helseplattformen-fungerer-ikke-som-den-skal-1.16646077 (accessed Mar. 20, 2024).

[8] M. O. Heggelund, “Information sharing across instances—A case study of implementing an EHR in an emergency room,” 2023, Masters Thesis, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), https://hdl.handle.net/11250/3091566.

[9] M. O. Heggelund, S. S. Hussain and B. A. Farshchian, “Information overload – A case study of using an integrated electronic health record system in the emergency room,” 2024, [under review].

[10] M. Jones, “What we talk about when we talk about (big) data,” The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 3–16, Mar. 2019, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsis.2018.10.005. [11] C. Alaimo, J. Kallinikos, and A. Aaltonen, “Data and value,” Handbook of Digital Innovation, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 162-178, Jul. 2020, DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788119986.00022.‌