Here are a few hints, based on many years of experience of semester, Master's (diploma) and pre-doc projects.
The choice of your project is very important: you are going to work for several months on it.
Therefore, try to collect the information you need to assess whether a given proposal is well suited: discuss it with the tutor; read the related literature; try to connect it with the courses you have already taken and the ones you will take during the semester (if any).
Please note that the working language is English: your report and your presentation will be in that language. Consider improving your knowledge of English if necessary (this is one of the best time investments you can make).
Once you have chosen your project and once your tutor has agreed, do register your project enrollment at the administration of the Section.
Make sure that you have fully understood the framework of the project: What is the problem to be solved? What are the current solutions? Has LCA already produced some of them? Why is your tutor interested in this topic? Did he /she already publish something on it?
Make sure that you have fully understood what you are expected to do; rephrase it in your own words and present it to your tutor.
Try to start your project as quickly as you can: the end of the period will be busy (exams, unexpected problems,...).
You are encouraged to write your report in Latex, but this is not mandatory.
In many cases, students focus so much on the technical issues that they have no time to write their report and prepare their presentation. This is very regrettable, as the project is assessed on what is delivered.
Try therefore to secure time for these aspects. Provide your tutor with an early version of your report. Likewise, rehearse your presentation in front of your tutor.
JP Hubaux, May 2005