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Stuck on finding a research problem/thesis topic for a research-based masters degree


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I am needing some help to find directions that I can further investigate to define an adequate research problem for my master's thesis. I spent months looking over the literature in my field and while I have had some ideas, they were not sufficiently interesting to pique the interest of my supervisor. He has not yet suggested a clearer direction/topic either -- so I am trying to explore all avenues and seek ideas/suggestions for problems situated at the intersection of

  1. programming language design and performance

  2. library API design/domain specific languages and performance

  3. program analysis and performance for software development tooling

I welcome any advice on finding a topic. Unfortunately in as far as talking to my supervisor about it, I did several times but it has not improved the situation and I do not feel that further discussion will lead to a different outcome.

I feel I am receiving a lot of mixed messaging with respect to next steps and I do not know where to turn.

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@esk0 sometimes, a supervisor says "no" as a way of saying one (or more) of the following.

  • "This is a bad topic."
  • "Convince me this is a good topic."
  • "I'm not a good supervisor, so maybe make the case for doing it your way, anyways."

A question. Have you read most/all of what your supervisor (or his chief critic/rival/nemesis) has written/said?

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