COVID-19 Update

Special Message About FabLearn Cancellation and Move to October 10-11 due to COVID-19

July 15, 2020

While we had hoped to gather together in NYC this fall for a postponed, but in-person, FabLearn 2020, due to the unstable and shifting COVID-19 scenario worldwide, and the ongoing regulations forbidding large gatherings at Columbia University, FabLearn NYC 2020 will be held online on Oct 9-11. All papers, posters, and workshops will still be published. We are currently working with our track chairs on how we can provide a compelling and engaging format for this unique hands-on conference and will keep the community informed. All registrations will be refunded, and a new registration process will be announced. Stay tuned, and see you in virtual New York in October!


March 9, 2020

Dear FabLearn Community,

For the past few weeks, we have been actively monitoring the situation around the Coronavirus/COVID-19. We have had multiple conversations with the President’s Office at Teachers College, Columbia University, discussed options with others currently hosting conferences, and have done extensive research about precautions and safety.

Over the weekend, the Governor of New York declared a State of Emergency, two US universities moved all instruction online, and a member of the Columbia community has been quarantined as a result of exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result of this, the university suspended all face to face classes until March 22nd, and large events at Columbia University will not be allowed for several weeks. Therefore, hosting FabLearn on April 4-5 will not be possible.

Thus, we have decided to:

  1. Move the conference to October 10-11 2020.
  2. We are hoping to keep the same conference program, which would mean including the same papers, posters, panels, etc. If you need to change flights, you can use this new date, but evidently, at this point, there is so much uncertainty that we cannot guarantee anything 100%.
  3. Offer a full refund to all participants that request one. If you intend to join us for the conference in October, you can also stay registered. If you would like a refund, please email
  4. Publish the proceedings shortly before the conference. We will extend the deadline for camera-ready papers to July 31st, giving you more time to update and improve your papers. We will publish the proceedings by September.
  5. FabLearn will issue an official letter to all participants to be used for airline cancellations, reimbursements, etc. Please email if you need one. We have information that many airlines are waiving change fees.

We are sorry that we are unable to see you all in New York this April. However, we hope that we will see you in October instead! Please let us know if you have any questions.  

Stay safe, and do what you can to help those who need it.


Paulo Blikstein, Leah Buechley, and Nathan Holbert
FabLearn 2020 Conference Co-chairs



  1. What is the new date for FabLearn 2020? October 10-11 2020
  2. Is FabLearn reimbursing registration fees? Yes. We will offer a full refund to all participants that request one. If you intend to join us for the conference in October, you can also stay registered.
  3. When is the new deadline for camera-ready paper? July 31st. Please note that to be included in the ACM proceedings, full and short paper authors will still be required to register for the October conference. The registration deadline for inclusion in the conference proceedings will also be July 31st.
  4. What happens if I cannot come to FabLearn in October? What happens to my paper? To be included in the ACM proceedings, full and short paper authors will need to register for and attend the October conference. For papers in other categories, we will be developing a procedure to address this concern. Please email us if you have specific issues or questions.
  5. Is FabLearn reimbursing flights, hotels, etc? We cannot reimburse or offset the cost of canceled flights, hotels, or any other expenses except for the conference registration. But we know that most airlines are waiving change fees. Keep in mind that even if your flight is not refundable, you can cancel the flight and keep a credit with the airlines for up to a year. Then you can use that credit towards new travel later (often for the same destination.) Make sure you discuss this option with the airlines when you talk to them. As you know, airlines can be tricky to offer refunds or move flights, so make sure you explain to them the reason for your changed travel plans. If you need a letter from us about the cancellation, please email