About Me

Dr. Diesburg joined the Department of Computer Science at the University of Northern Iowa as an Assistant Professor in August of 2013 and became an Associate Professor in 2020. She received both her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science (2012) and M.S. degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in Information Assurance (2008) at Florida State University, and she received her B.S. in Computer Science (2004) from the University of Northern Iowa. Dr. Diesburg was awarded the designation of UNI Center for Educational Transformation Fellow for the years 2015-2017, and she was the overall winner of the 2016 Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) Women of Innovation Award in the Academic Innovation and Leadership category. More recently, Dr. Diesburg was the only 4-year college educator awarded the TAI 2022 Computer Science Educator of the Year Award and was also awarded as the 2023 Iowa Distinguished Faculty of the Year by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Her research interests address security and privacy issues in operating systems and on electronic storage, as well as methods to improve and optimize the communication pathways in the operating system between the application and storage layers. She is also interested in using emerging technologies to facilitate classroom learning and ways to engage women and underrepresented minorities in computer science. Dr. Diesburg is currently involved in a state-wide NSF-funded CS for All initiative to train Iowa teachers to prepare and teach high-quality computer science courses to Iowa students.

Download my CV here

Recent News

(Apr 2023) I have been awarded the 2023 Iowa Distinguished Faculty of the Year award from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for the work I do supporting women and minorities in the field of computer science. You can watch my short talk.

(Dec 2022) I am senior personnel on the team awarded nearly 1 million dollars from the NSF to expand computer science education for teachers in the state of Iowa. We published a SIGCSE poster about the grant architecture and lessons learned from our previous small grant. You can also watch our video.

(Nov 2022) I am the only 4-year college educator awarded the TAI Computer Science Educator of the Year Award! You can read more about the award.


Office Hours Scheduling Link

Do you need to meet with me for office hours? Please visit my office hour scheduling link to schedule a time. If none of these times work (or you do not have a UNI/Google account), please send me an email to arrange something. My office hours are through Zoom.

Courses Taught

CS 1510 Intro to Computing

Course Description: Introduction to software development through algorithmic problem solving and procedural abstraction. Programming in the small. Fundamental control structures, data modeling, and file processing. Significant emphasis on program design and style. (Fall 2013–Spring 2017, Spring 2018–Spring 2024)

CS 3140 Database Systems

Course Description: Storage of, and access to, physical databases; data models, query languages, transaction processing, and recovery techniques; object-oriented and distributed database systems; and database design. (Fall 2022, 2023)

CS 3430 Operating Systems

Course Description: History and evolution of operating systems; process and processor management; primary and auxiliary storage management; performance evaluation, security, and distributed systems issues; and case studies of modern operating systems. (Spring 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020)

CS 3470 Networking

Course Description: Network architectures and communication protocol standards. Topics include communication of digital data, data-link protocols, local-area networks, network-layer protocols, transport-layer protocols, applications, network security, and management. (Fall 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019)

CS 4400 System Admin

Course Description: Major concepts and mechanisms associated with computer system administration. Focus on issues surrounding user management, the configuration of services, and the coordination of distributed resources (Fall 2019, Spring 2020,2023, 2024)

CS 4410 System Security

Course Description: Topics include the need for security services, data integrity, network intrusion and monitoring, configuration of secure services, root kits, and buffer overflow techniques and remedies. Additional topics include enterprise-wide monitoring, honeypots, and recognizing trends in a networked environment. (Springs 2018-2024)

Flordia State University (Archival)

CIS4930 / COP5641 Linux Kernel and Device Drivers (Summer 2012 and Spring 2013)

COP 4610 Operating Systems (Spring 2011)

CGS 2060 (computer literacy for Mac lecture), closed Blackboard class (Spring 2008)

CGS 2060 (computer literacy for PC recitation), closed Blackboard class (Fall 2007)


The Laboratory of Security & Storage Technology (LOSST)
was founded in the year 2014 by Dr. Sarah Diesburg of the Computer Science Department to research computer privacy issues dealing with data and storage. Specifically, we investigate specialized forensics and anti-forensics techniques for recovering, destroying, and hiding data.

Systems for Next generation of Intelligent networkS (SyNthesIs)
was founded in 2020 at UNI. We develop real-world systems to solve the exciting next-gen problems with innovative and ingenious methods. Our interests span wireless networks, mobile computing, machine learning, smart spaces, and the larger Internet-of-Things.

The Learning Laboratory for Applied Manipulative Applications (LLAMA) - Historical
was founded in 2015 by Dr. Adam Feldhaus and Dr. Sarah Diesburg through a series of grants from the UNI Center for Educational Transformation. We are creating an environment where students use motion-sensing input devices to interact with mathematics manipulatives in an engaging environment.

Selected Publications and Papers

My Google Scholar profile can be found here.


(Aug 2022) I started an inter-departmental project with UNI Information Security to bring real-world computer science and data science projects to our students using large network data sets. If you are an interested student, please check out this link: Net-Data at UNI.

(Apr 2021) Our short demo paper titled BubbleNet: Towards developing an IoT-based Physically Distant Classroom For Personal Bubbles has been accedpted into IEEE ICDCS 2021. You can listen to our short video trailer!

(Oct 2020) Our research paper titled An Auxiliary Storage Data Path Toolkit has been accepted into The Elsevier Journal of Systems Architecture.

(Apr 2020) The Board of Regents confirmed my promotion and tenure to Associate Professor of Computer Science at UNI!

(Mar 2020) Even though SIGCSE 2020 was canceled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew Berns and I created a poster for a new file systems teaching tool. Check out the 1-page ACM abstract on Fileshark: A Graphical File System Visualization Tool.

(Nov 2019) Our research paper titled An Exploration of Targeted Provenance for Reliability has been accepted into the The 35th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC 2020)!

(June 2019) My colleagues and I welcome our second cohort of teachers onboard our state-wide program to provide computer science teacher training to the state of Iowa based on our NSF CSforAll RPP grant! More information can be found on our CS Education homepage.

(Nov 2018) Ben Schafer and I are honored to be giving a presentation to the Board of Regents over our recent NSF grant and the state of computer science education in Iowa.

(Oct 2018) We are hiring! Check out our department advertisement.

(May 2018) My colleagues and I received an NSF CSforAll RPP Grant to train Iowa in-service teachers to teach computer science courses! More information can be found on our CS Education homepage here: https://csed.uni.edu/

(May 2018) Our paper over ubiquitious touch projection technology in the elementary classroom has been accepted into the SIGCHI Interaction Design and Children conference. Thank you to the CS undergraduate students that worked with us to make this research possible.

(April 2018) My updated chapter on networking and distributed systems is now in the 10th edition of the textbook Operating Systems Concepts!

(Jan 2018) I'm excited to be teaching a new version of the UNI System Security projects course!

(Aug 2017) I am now a program committee member for STAST 2017 and SIGCSE 2018.

(July 2017) Dr. Mark Fienup and I are co-authors on a work-in-progress paper on NAND flash forensics being presented this month at PDPTA '17.

(Aug 2016) My long journal article, TureErase: Leveraging an Auxiliary Data Path for Per-file Secure Deletion, has been accepted into ACM Transactions on Storage.

(Nov 2016) My full-length paper about perceptions of deletion has been accepted to the 6th Workshop on Socio-Technical Aspects in Security and Trust and will be published with the published with the ACM International Conference Proceedings Series!

(May 2015) Dr. Ben Schafer and I received an NCWIT EngageCSEdu Engagement Excellence Award for our work designing engaging laboratory exercises for CS 1510 Introduction to Computing. Read more at the NCWIT award page.

(Feb 2014) Here is a link to a talk about my secure deletion research: When Delete Means Delete: Secure Deletion of Files on Electronic Media .