Robert Sloan is the head of the computer science department as well as a professor. Born in Buffalo, New York, he completed his undergraduate work in mathematics at Yale University and received his master’s degree in 1986 and his PhD in 1989, both in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Beginning in January 2001, he served for two years as the program director of the Theory of Computing Program at the National Science Foundation, managing the multi-million-dollar program through two funding cycles. Today, he is a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.
Dr. Sloan’s scholarly work in computer science is presently divided between two areas. One area is problems near the boundary of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, including learning, knowledge representation, and commonsense reasoning. The other is computer security and privacy public policy, an area in which he collaborates closely with Professor Richard Warner of Chicago-Kent Law School. Together they wrote the book Unauthorized Access: The Crisis in Online Privacy and Security, which was published by CRC Press in 2013. In the past, Dr. Sloan also has published in cryptography and in technical areas of computer security, primarily access control.
As department head, Dr. Sloan oversees curriculum development in computer science, ensuring that UIC students receive the education they need to compete and succeed in industry and academia. He has helped the department to keep pace with unchecked growth in student interest, and he has played a significant role in recruiting a large group of new faculty—13 new members in fall 2018 alone. Dr. Sloan engages with a wide range of corporate and academic partners and works actively to secure external funding for computer science initiatives at UIC.