Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

Homomorphic encryption team

Microsoft SEAL open source homomorphic encryption library gets even better for .NET developers!

Since its open-source release on December 3rd 2018, Microsoft SEAL has become one of the world’s most popular homomorphic encryption libraries and has been adopted by security and privacy professionals world-wide in both academia and industry. Thanks to the fact that it is written in standard C++ with no external dependencies, Microsoft SEAL empowers a broad spectrum of users and use-cases to protect private data in storage and computation scenarios. Today, we are announcing the…

February 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

What are the biases in my data?

One challenge with AI algorithmic fairness is that one usually has to know the potential group(s) that an algorithm might discriminate against in the first place. However, in joint work with Maria De-Arteaga, Nathaniel Swinger, Tom Heffernan, and Max Leiserson, we automatically enumerate groups of people that may be discriminated against alongside potential biases. We do this using word embedding, a popular AI tool for processing language. This proves useful for detecting age, gender, religious,…

February 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

Everything you always wanted to know about extreme classification (but were afraid to ask)

Varma’s team published a paper that exploded the number of choices that could be considered from a search engine from five thousand to ten million. This changed the nature of the game and led to the establishment of a new research area in machine learning called extreme classification. Extreme classification deals with multi-class and multi-label problems involving an extremely large number of choices. Since then, extreme classification has opened a new paradigm for ranking and…

February 2019

Microsoft Research Blog

A Deep Learning Theory: Global minima and over-parameterization

One empirical finding in deep learning is that simple methods such as stochastic gradient descent (SGD) have a remarkable ability to fit training data. From a capacity perspective, this may not be surprising— modern neural networks are heavily over-parameterized, with the number of parameters much larger than the number of training samples. In principle, there exist parameters to achieve 100% accuracy. Yet, from a theory perspective, why and how SGD finds global minima over the…

December 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Group of guys standing around talking

Fast, accurate, stable and tiny – Breathing life into IoT devices with an innovative algorithmic approach

In the larger quest to make the Internet of Things (IoT) a reality for people everywhere, building devices that can be both ultrafunctional and beneficent isn’t a simple matter. Particularly in the arena of resource-constrained, real-time scenarios, the hurdles are significant. The challenges for devices that require quick responsiveness—say, smart implants that warn of impending epileptic seizures or smart spectacles providing navigation for low-vision people—are multifold.

December 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Unlikely research area reveals surprising twist in non-smooth optimization

Unlikely research area reveals surprising twist in non-smooth optimization

Modern machine learning is characterized by two key features: high-dimensional models and very large datasets. Each of these features presents its own unique challenges, from basic issues such as storing and accessing all of the data to more intricate mathematical quests such as finding good algorithms to search through the high-dimensional space of models. In our recent work, which we’re happy to announce received a best paper award at this year’s Conference on Neural Information…

December 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

New perspectives on contextual bandit

What is the common denominator between the following situations: a doctor choosing among different drugs for a sequence of patients; a website selecting ads for its visitors based on the information it has about them; and a travel agency making recommendations to its customers for their next vacation? All can be viewed as instances of an abstract mathematical problem known as contextual multi-armed bandit. In the last decade, this problem has been a focus of…

July 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Second homomorphic encryption standardization workshop delivers the goods

What an exciting two days at the Second Homomorphic Encryption Standardization Workshop at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More than 70 participants from 10 countries gathered together for two intense days of panels, discussions and planning and walked away with a significant milestone: the first draft standard for homomorphic encryption, Homomorphic Encryption Standard Section 1.0 and Homomorphic Encryption Standard Section 2.0. HES 1.0 standardizes the encryption schemes and HES 2.0 recommends parameter choices to achieve security.…

April 2018

Microsoft Research Blog

Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant program

Dissertation Grant Winners Announced

Support for under-represented Ph.D. students in computer sciences By Lynn Parker, Writer, Microsoft The Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant program offers financial support to selected doctoral students from groups that are under-represented in the field of computing in the form of grants to complete their dissertations. The grants were announced today, so I sat down with Dr. Meredith (Merrie) Ringel Morris, chair of the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant program and a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research,…

June 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Microsoft Research PhD fellowships provide financial support to promising researchers

By Jim Pinkelman, Senior Director, Microsoft Research Since 2008, Microsoft Research has been awarding two-year PhD fellowships to computer science and related researchers at leading universities in the United States and Canada. These awards are designed to help promising young researchers focus on their studies, not their finances! This year’s program provides fellowships to 10, second- or third-year PhD students who are studying computer science, electrical engineering or mathematics. Recipients receive full tuition for their…

February 2017

Microsoft Research Blog

Summer school data science research could trigger real world changes

By John Kaiser, Writer, Microsoft Research Microsoft Research hosted its third annual Data Science Summer School in New York City as a diverse group of undergraduate students deployed some of the latest data crunching techniques on millions of rows of anonymized data in an effort to uncover useful information. “We’re really hoping to give them a flavor of solving a research problem that hasn’t yet been solved,” said Jake Hofman, one of several Microsoft Research…

August 2016

Microsoft Research Blog

Microsoft researchers enable secure data exchange in the cloud

By John Roach, Writer, Microsoft Research In the future, machine learning algorithms may examine our genomes to determine our susceptibility to maladies such as heart disease and cancer. Between now and then, computer scientists need to train the algorithms on genetic data, bundles of which are increasingly stored encrypted and secure in the cloud along with financial records, vacation photos and other bits and bytes of digitized information. And there the data sits, full of…

August 2016

Microsoft Research Blog