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  1. null (Ed.)
    Program synthesis is now a reality, and we are approaching the point where domain-specific synthesizers can now handle problems of practical sizes. Moreover, some of these tools are finding adoption in industry. However, for synthesis to become a mainstream technique adopted at large by programmers as well as by end-users, we need to design programmable synthesis frameworks that (i) are not tailored to specific domains or languages, (ii) enable one to specify synthesis problems with a variety of qualitative and quantitative objectives in mind, and (iii) come equipped with theoretical as well as practical guarantees. We report on our work on designing such frameworks and on building synthesis engines that can handle program-synthesis problems describable in such frameworks, and describe open challenges and opportunities. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
  3. null (Ed.)
    Computer science class enrollments have rapidly risen in the past decade. With current class sizes, standard approaches to grading and providing personalized feedback are no longer possible and new techniques become both feasible and necessary. In this paper, we present the third version of Automata Tutor, a tool for helping teachers and students in large courses on automata and formal languages. The second version of Automata Tutor supported automatic grading and feedback for finite-automata constructions and has already been used by thousands of users in dozens of countries. This new version of Automata Tutor supports automated grading and feedback generation for a greatly extended variety of new problems, including problems that ask students to create regular expressions, context-free grammars, pushdown automata and Turing machines corresponding to a given description, and problems about converting between equivalent models - e.g., from regular expressions to nondeterministic finite automata. Moreover, for several problems, this new version also enables teachers and students to automatically generate new problem instances. We also present the results of a survey run on a class of 950 students, which shows very positive results about the usability and usefulness of the tool. 
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