Michael Loui

Adjunct Professor
Mailing Addresses
Office: ARMS ARMS 1331


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.


  • 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