SESA '16 Call for Participation

SESA '16 will be held on December 6, 2016, and will be co-located with LISA16, which takes place December 4–9, 2016, at the Sheraton Boston.

Important Dates

  • Early proposals deadline*: Monday, September 19, 2016, 11:59 p.m. PST
  • Notification to early proposal submitters: Monday, October 3, 2016
  • Standard proposals deadline*: Monday, October 17, 2016, 11:59 p.m. PDT
  • Notification to standard proposal submitters: Monday, October 31, 2016

* For early proposals that are declined, the standard deadline provides the opportunity to submit revised proposals.

Download Call for Papers PDF

Program Committee

Program Co-Chairs

Kyrre Begnum, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Charles Border, Rochester Institute of Technology

Program Committee

Melissa Danforth, California State University, Bakersfield
Æleen Frisch, Exponential Consulting
Guy Hembroff, Michigan Technological University
Erik Hjelmås, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Scott Orr, Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis
Andrew Seely, University of Maryland University College (UMUC)
Niels Sijm, University of Amsterdam
Stephen Smoogen, Red Hat
Steve VanDevender, University of Oregon
Charles Wiseman, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Erez Zadok, Stony Brook University


SESA will bring together university educators to share best practices and support the creation and advancement of high-quality system administration degree programs and curricula. LISA is the premier conference for IT operations, where systems engineers, operations professionals, and academic researchers share real-world knowledge about designing, building, and maintaining the critical systems of our interconnected world.

Proposals We Are Seeking


25-minute talks with an additional 5 minutes for Q&A.

Potential Topics:

  • Developing Course Materials: have you developed a new course that you think is very topical or interesting? We would love to hear about it.
  • The future of education in system administration programs: System administration education has not been widely accepted by traditional computing programs in either the US or Europe. Why do you think this is the case and what can we do about it? To expand we need to "sell" both our academic colleagues and the college-going public that system administration education is a useful thing to pursue and a valid addition to our academic computing program portfolios. Do you have any ideas how we might go about pursuing this? We would love to hear about them.
  • Lab environments: System administration educators are hands-on kinds of people and we are always looking for a way to create lab environments that can best support our academic program goals. With the field of system administration changing so rapidly, what impact will this have on the labs that support our classes? Should we head for the clouds? Or can we build a private, local environment that can support our needs? Got any ideas? We would love to hear about them.

Submissions should consist of the following:
 • Abstract
 • Introduction
 • Outline of talk
 • Conclusion with next steps

Lightning Talks

5-minute presentations designed to briefly outline an issue and a potential solution. Submissions should consist of a one paragraph abstract.


During lunch we are planning on assisting likeminded "birds" to flock together at a table and informally discuss a topic of mutual interest. We will solicit more ideas for this during our morning session, but if you have an idea you would like us to know about we would love to hear about it. Submissions should consist of a one paragraph abstract.


The Journal of Education in System Administration (JESA) and the Summit for Education in System Administration (SESA) are independent of each other in the sense that submissions to one do not have to be published in the other to be accepted. However, as a young organization with substantial overlap between the Editorial Board of JESA and the Program Committee of SESA, our plan is to use SESA submissions as a source for invited articles for JESA. We are hopeful that by providing authors access to both a printed journal and an academic presentation venue offered in conjunction with one of the most popular and respected industry conferences in our field we will be able achieve a synergy that encourages authors to submit their best, most creative, and challenging work.

Proposal Submission Guidelines

All proposals should be submitted via e-mail to

Because SESA accepts proposals from academics across many different disciplines, we wish to be flexible about formatting requirements, you're welcome to adopt the APA style or whatever other standard your academic area prefers.

Simultaneous submission of the same work to multiple venues, submission of previously published work, or plagiarism constitutes dishonesty or fraud. USENIX, like other scientific and technical conferences and journals, prohibits these practices and may take action against authors who have committed them. See the USENIX Conference Submissions Policy for details.

Authors uncertain whether their submission meets USENIX's guidelines should contact the chief editors, or the USENIX office,

Proposals accompanied by nondisclosure agreement forms will not be considered. Accepted submissions will be treated as confidential prior to publication on the USENIX SESA Web site; rejected submissions will be permanently treated as confidential.

Authors will be notified on the dates described above. Each accepted proposal may be assigned a member of the program committee to act as its shepherd through the presentation at the summit. The assigned member will act as a conduit for feedback from the full program committee to the authors.

All SESA presentations will be disseminated online, free of charge, to all readers. If you need to embargo your final presentation for some reason, please notify Questions about submissions may be sent to the program committee,