Michael Loui

Visiting Professor
Mailing Addresses


Recently retired, Michael C. Loui was the Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University from 2014 to 2019. He was previously Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published articles in computational complexity theory, in professional ethics, and in engineering education research. He currently serves on the Advisory Group for the Online Ethics Center at the National Academy of Engineering. He is a Carnegie Scholar, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education. Professor Loui was the editor of the Journal of Engineering Education from 2012 to 2017 and the executive editor of College Teaching from 2006 to 2012. He was Associate Dean of the Graduate College at Illinois from 1996 to 2000. He directed the theory of computing program at the National Science Foundation from 1990 to 1991. He earned the Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980.


Urbana, IL


Ph.D., Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1980
S.M., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1977
B.S., Mathematics and Computer Science, Yale University, 1975

Research Interests

Together with undergraduate and graduate students, I have conducted research in computational complexity theory, ethics in engineering and computing, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and engineering education. We have developed optimal on-line simulations between computational models, designed the first distributed election algorithm on complete networks, analyzed fault-tolerant consensus protocols for shared memory systems, introduced informed consent into the theory of privacy, categorized students’ misconceptions in digital logic, and assessed the outcomes of ethics instruction and peer-led team learning. Recently we have we have identified special responsibilities of developers and users of computational models in research, we have measured the effect of structured pairing in laboratories on students’ confidence and attitudes, and we have proposed a new model of research mentoring. Currently we are investigating the role of grit in the persistence of engineering students, and we are studying the emotions that students experience in an introductory computer programming course.

Selected Publications

  • Fila, N. D., & Loui, M. C. (2014). Structured pairing in a first-year electrical and computer engineering laboratory: The effects on student retention, attitudes, and teamwork. International Journal of Engineering Education, 30(4), 848-861.

  • Herman, G. L., Zilles, C., & Loui, M. C. (2012). Flip-flops in students’ conceptions of state. IEEE Transactions on Education, 55(1), 88-98. doi: 10.1109/TE.2011.2140372

  • Loui, M. C. (2009). What can students learn in an extended role-play simulation on technology and society? Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 29(1), 37-47. doi: 10.1177/0270467608328710

  • Revelo, R. A., & Loui, M. C. (2016). A developmental model of research mentoring. College Teaching, 64(3), 119-129. doi: 10.1080/87567555.2015.1125839.

Awards, Honors, Achievements, & Memberships

  • Fellow, American Society for Engineering Education, 2018
  • Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2006
  • Carnegie Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2003
  • University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001
  • Luckman Undergraduate Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995
  • Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award, American Society for Engineering Education, 1985


  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Associate Dean of the Graduate College, 1996-2000; Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 1991-2014; Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 1986-91; Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, 1982-86; Visiting Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, 1981-82
  • National Science Foundation: Program Director, Theory of Computing Program, 1990-91

Fun Facts

Volunteer director of the children’s choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, 2002-14