I have been postponing graduating from my Masters degree in Computer Science at the Sofia University for a few years, but the deadline is close and the first thing for me to do is to come up with a decent idea. My Masters is in "Distributed Systems and Mobile Technologies" but the thesis may have little to do with this area. Nevertheless I find it to be a very interesting and hot field and actually I consider doing something with web services using .NET.
When I first thought about a thesis idea 2 years ago, I considered creating a GIS application, probably using ESRI web services. Now there are other options as Map Point (and Virtual Earth) and Google Maps, both of which have publics APIs.
But last week I ran into Amazon contest where one must build "an innovative and entrepreneurial application using Visual Studio 2005 with Amazon Web Services". There criteria points are creativity, AWS integration, commercial appeal, fit and polish. I made a quick search and found a lot of tutorials and sample code so there is enough info to get started. The technological problems are that I've not used web services before and I try to restrain from doing ASP.NET solution and tend to bring AWS to the desktop. But the real problem is that I have no idea what to do with AWS yet. Well, I have to figure this out soon because the applications are submitted until the end of the year. I don't really think I can do something to win the great prize but why not try to kill two rabbits with one shot. In fact there are even more rabbits here than the thesis and the contest. Two of those are hand-on experience with web services and VS.NET 2005, both of which seem pretty interesting.