Michael C. Loui is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering and University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He held the Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professorship in Engineering Education at Purdue University from 2014 to 2019. He has conducted research in computational complexity theory, in professional ethics, and in engineering education. He is a Carnegie Scholar, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education. Professor Loui was Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education from 2012 to 2017 and 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 and the B.S. at Yale University in 1975.
Michael C. Loui was born in 1955 in Philadelphia, Pa., and he grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received the B.S. in mathematics and computer science from Yale University in 1975. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he earned the S.M. in electrical engineering and computer science in 1977, and the Ph.D. in computer science in 1980, with the support of a Hertz Foundation graduate fellowship. From 1981 to 2014, he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. From 2014 to 2019, he held the Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professorship in Engineering Education at Purdue University.
At Illinois, Professor Loui regularly taught the introduction to electrical and computer engineering course for freshmen; undergraduate courses on computer hardware, systems programming, and professional ethics; and a graduate course on college teaching. He created courses on technology and society, distributed computing, formal methods, and computational complexity. He collaborated with colleagues to develop a course on digital technologies for students outside engineering and two half-hour movies that dramatize case studies in engineering ethics. He mentored students for the Leadership Certificate Program and led programs on professional ethics. He organized national workshops on teaching for new faculty in 1995 and 2000. At Purdue, Professor Loui taught graduate courses on engineering education and on academic writing.
Together with undergraduate and graduate students, Professor Loui conducted research in computational complexity theory, ethics in engineering and computing, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and engineering education. They studied optimal simulations between computational models, designed the first distributed election algorithm on complete networks, analyzed fault-tolerant consensus for shared memory systems, introduced informed consent into the theory of privacy, characterized students’ misconceptions in digital logic, assessed the outcomes of ethics instruction and peer-led team learning, and investigated the motivation and persistence of engineering students. From 2009 to 2012, he directed a summer undergraduate research program. He has supervised 23 master’s theses and 20 doctoral dissertations.
Professor Loui was Executive Editor of College Teaching from 2006 to 2012, and Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education from 2012 to 2017. He currently serves on advisory boards for other journals, for research projects, and for the Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science. He previously served on the editorial boards of Computing Reviews and Information and Computation, on two visiting committees for the National Science Foundation, and on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology. He has reviewed research and graduate programs at six universities.
From 1990 to 1991, Professor Loui directed the Theory of Computing Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. From 1996 to 2000, he was Associate Dean of the Graduate College at Illinois, with administrative responsibility for all graduate academic programs on campus, and he was the campus’s research integrity officer for two years. At the Graduate College, he simplified the course approval procedure and started cross-training and annual performance reviews of the staff.
In 1995, Professor Loui won the campus’s Luckman Undergraduate Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2013, the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring. In 2001, he was named a University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar. In 2003, he was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; in 2006, Fellow of the IEEE; and in 2018, Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education.
From 2002 to 2014, Professor Loui directed the children’s choir at the local Unitarian Universalist Church. He and his wife have two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and one grandchild.
Full Curriculum Vitae
- Personal History for ASEE in the Engineering and Technology History Wiki
- Michael C. Loui was born in Philadelphia, Pa., but grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. Since Honolulu was not conducive for someone who wanted to become a scholar, he escaped to the East Coast for college and graduate school. After two summer internships in industry, he has never again worked in the real world. In 1981, Michael joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He taught and created courses in electrical and computer engineering that were far outside his expertise; fortunately, the students generally knew even less than he did. Collaborating with undergraduate and graduate students, he conducted mathematical research in theory of computing, interpretive research in professional ethics, and social science research in engineering education. He served for one year as a federal bureaucrat at the National Science Foundation and for four years as a campus bureaucrat as Associate Dean of the Graduate College at Illinois. In six years as Executive Editor of College Teaching and five years as Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, he rejected manuscripts from thousands of authors. He served for twelve years as the volunteer director of the children’s choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, with no background or training in choral conducting. Upon retiring from the University of Illinois in 2014, he commuted weekly to Purdue University, where held the Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professorship in Engineering Education. In 2019, he retired from regular classroom teaching, partly because it was interfering with his professional travel. Michael and his wife Cindy have two adult sons, one daughter-in-law, and one adorable grandchild.
Selected Awards and Honors
- Faculty Excellence Award for Leadership in Service, College of Engineering, Purdue University, 2019
Announcement | Testimonials
- Fellow, American Society for Engineering Education, 2018
- Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013
- William & Patricia Stacy Engineering Ethics Lectures, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Kentucky, 2011, 2012
- Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010
- King Broadrick-Allen Award, Campus Honors Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009
- Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2006
- Visiting Scholar, Western Carolina University, 2006
- Carnegie Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2003
News story | Carnegie Foundation press release
- 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
- Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984
- Link to photo (12 MB)