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  1. [Context and motivation] Role-playing offers experiential learning through the simulation of real-world scenarios; for this reason, it is widely used in software engineering education. In Requirements Engineering, role-playing is a popular way to provide students hands-on experience with requirements elicitation interviews. [Problem] However, managing a role-playing activity to simulate requirements elicitation interviews in a class is time-consuming, as it often requires pairing students with student assistants or fellow classmates who act as either customers or requirements analysts as well as creating and maintaining the interview schedules between the actors. To make the adoption of role-playing activities in a class feasible, there is a need to develop a solution to reduce instructors’ workload. [Principal ideas] To solve this problem we propose the use of VIrtual CustOmer (VICO), an intent-based, multimodal, conversational agent. VICO offers an interview experience comparable to talking to a human and provides a transcript of the interview annotated with the mistakes students made in it. The adoption of VICO will eliminate the need to schedule interviews as the students can interact with it in their free time. Moreover, the transcript of the interview allows students to evaluate their performance to refine and improve their interviewing skills. [Contribution] Inmore »this research preview, we show the architecture of VICO and how it can be developed using existing technologies, we provide an online rule-based initial prototype and show the practicality and applicability of this tool through an exploratory study.« less
  2. Abstract

    Nuclear astrophysics is a field at the intersection of nuclear physics and astrophysics, which seeks to understand the nuclear engines of astronomical objects and the origin of the chemical elements. This white paper summarizes progress and status of the field, the new open questions that have emerged, and the tremendous scientific opportunities that have opened up with major advances in capabilities across an ever growing number of disciplines and subfields that need to be integrated. We take a holistic view of the field discussing the unique challenges and opportunities in nuclear astrophysics in regards to science, diversity, education, and the interdisciplinarity and breadth of the field. Clearly nuclear astrophysics is a dynamic field with a bright future that is entering a new era of discovery opportunities.