Private AI Bootcamp

Private AI Bootcamp


The Private AI Bootcamp offered by Microsoft Research (MSR) focuses on tutorials of building privacy-preserving machine learning services and applications with homomorphic encryption (HE). Around 30 PhD students will be invited to gather at the Microsoft Research Lab in Redmond on Dec 2nd – 4th, 2019. The program contents are specifically designed for training. Participants will master the use of HE, the Microsoft SEAL library, and the methodology behind building privacy-preserving machine learning solutions. As a project as well as a competition, students will work in teams, design and pitch a novel technology built upon what they have learnt during the bootcamp, and receive feedback and scores from experts. There is a secret prize for the winning team. There are also social events where all participants will have a chance to meet and network with other PhD students and experts from MSR.


  • Focus on building applications with FHE and using development tools.
  • Trainings offered by top researchers in the field and developers of Microsoft SEAL.
  • Work in groups and pitch your innovation to invited Microsoft researchers and expert university faculty members serving as judges. The winning group will be announced and pitch to industrial representatives in the following workshop.

Required action items

  • Attendees are required to arrive 12/1 and depart after 5pm on 12/4. If you are not able to stay for the duration of the event, please email with your reasoning and we will review.
  • Please email a single one minute self-introduction slide, saved in PDF format, for final acceptance into this workshop. Please use this template as a guide.

Competition rules

  • All participants form teams of 3-4 members. Each team will pitch a novel project or idea related to privacy-preserving machine learning (PPML) powered by Homomorphic Encryption (HE), based on what they have learned during the bootcamp. For example, it can be an IoT device, an extension to a software, a cloud-based service, etc. Don’t be shy on imagination. Groups are assigned in consideration of diversity in research background.
  • Four researchers from Microsoft Research will serve as judges, ask questions, provide feedback, and score every team. Be prepared for tough questions related to security, practicality, foreseeable challenges, competitive solutions, business impact, etc. This is a harder presentation than the usual tech pitch from young start-ups, since our judges do understand technical details.
  • The pitch should cover the design of a prototype. It is encouraged but not required to present a live demo or a proof-of-concept (POC). Implementing a POC can reveal unexpected technical difficulties that might have been overlooked by you but caught by the judges.
  • The scoring is based on four pillars: novelty, feasibility, security, and impact. There is a finer partitioning of scores for each pillar. As a team, a perfect pitch has an original idea that truly solves a privacy problem in people’s life, is realizable by your design, is constructed bulletproof for the protection that you claim to provide with, and offers game-changing features that alternative solutions do not.


Microsoft’s Event Code of Conduct

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. This includes events Microsoft hosts and participates in, where we seek to create a respectful, friendly, and inclusive experience for all participants. As such, we do not tolerate harassing or disrespectful behavior, messages, images, or interactions by any event participant, in any form, at any aspect of the program including business and social activities, regardless of location. We do not tolerate any behavior that is degrading to any gender, race, sexual orientation or disability, or any behavior that would violate Microsoft’s Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy, Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, or Standards of Business Conduct. In short, the entire experience at the venue must meet our culture standards. We encourage everyone to assist in creating a welcoming and safe environment. Please report any concerns, harassing behavior, or suspicious or disruptive activity to venue staff, the event host or owner, or event staff. Microsoft reserves the right to refuse admittance to or remove any person from company-sponsored events at any time in its sole discretion.


Monday, December 2

Time (PDT) Session Speaker Location
8:00 AM–9:00 AM Breakfast 41/Townsend
9:00 AM–9:30 AM Welcome Keynote Kristin Lauter, Microsoft Research 41/Townsend
9:30 AM–10:00 AM Keynote Sreekanth Kannepalli, Microsoft Research 41/Townsend
10:00 AM–10:30 AM Group assignments & Intro Slides Wei Dai, Microsoft Research 41/Townsend
10:30 AM-11:15 AM Privacy Preserving Machine Learning in Security: A Real-world Example and Challenges Arun Gururajan 41/Townsend
11:15 AM–12:00 PM Intro to Homomorphic Encryption Wei Dai, Microsoft Research 41/Townsend
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Lunch 41/Townsend
1:00 PM–2:00 PM Microsoft SEAL Kim Laine, Microsoft Research 41/Townsend
2:00 PM–2:15 PM Break 41/Townsend
2:15 PM–3:15 PM Introduction to CKKS Yongsoo Song, Microsoft Research 41/Townsend
3:15 PM–3:30 PM Break 41/Townsend
3:30 PM–4:30 PM Techniques in PPML Hao Chen 41/Townsend
4:30 PM–5:00 PM Competition Rules Q&A 41/Townsend
6:00 PM–8:00 PM Dinner at Purple Café in Bellevue, WA 41/Townsend

Tuesday, December 3

Time (PDT) Session Speaker Location
8:00 AM–9:00 AM Breakfast 41/Townsend
9:00 AM–10:00 AM Lifting The Lid on ML Steve Rowe, Eric Olson 41/Townsend
10:00 AM–10:45 AM Building Applications with Microsoft SEAL Wei Dai 41/Townsend
10:45 AM–11:00 AM Break 41/Townsend
11:00 AM–11:30 AM Brainstorming Session 41/Townsend
11:30 AM–12:00 PM Q&A 41/Townsend
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Lunch 41/Townsend
1:00 PM–2:00 PM Brainstorm on Problem, Solution, and Advatage; Q&A 41/Townsend
2:00 PM–2:30 PM Address Common Issues 41/Townsend
2:30 PM–2:45 PM Break 41/Townsend
2:45 PM–3:45 PM Brainstorm on Feasibility & Realization of Your Idea 41/Townsend
3:45 PM–4:30 PM Describe Ideas in Two Pages 41/Townsend
4:30 PM–5:00 PM Check Ideas with Mentors 41/Townsend

Wednesday, December 4

Time (PDT) Session Location
8:00 AM–9:00 AM Breakfast and social 41/Townsend
9:00 AM–9:15 AM Review competition rules 41/Townsend
9:15 AM–10:00 AM Brainstorm on Road Blockers; Q&A 41/Townsend
10:00 AM–10:45 AM Imagine Competitors andS Strategies; Q&A 41/Townsend
10:45 AM–11:00 AM Break 41/Townsend
11:00 AM–12:00 PM Prepare for presentation or demo 41/Townsend
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Lunch 41/Townsend
1:00 PM–2:15 PM Competition: Teams 1-4 41/Townsend
2:15 PM–2:30 PM Break 41/Townsend
2:30 PM–3:45 PM Competition: Teams 5-8 41/Townsend
3:45 PM–4:00 PM Break 41/Townsend
4:00 PM–5:00 PM Winner announcement and wrap-up 41/Townsend



Hao ChenHao Chen
Microsoft Research Redmond


Hao Chen is a researcher at MSR Redmond working in the cryptography group. His research focuses on constructions, applications and cryptanalysis of fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) schemes. He obtained a PhD degree in mathematics in 2016 from University of Washington.

Wei DaiWei Dai
Microsoft Research Redmond


Wei Dai is a senior research SDE in the Cryptography and Privacy Research group at Microsoft Research. His research interests are cryptography, privacy, and high-performance computing, with a focus on homomorphic encryption and hardware acceleration. He received a PhD degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2019 and a BS degree from Fudan University in 2012.

Arun GururajanArun Gururajan


Arun Gururajan is currently a principal data scientist working on Machine Learning for cybersecurity applications at Microsoft. His MS (2003) and PhD (2008) focused on developing computer vision algorithms for industrial and biomedical applications. Arun has published several peer reviewed articles in leading journals and conferences and has filed multiple patents. He has served as an invited faculty for the European Commission’s Vision and Robotics program and has lectured extensively within and outside the United States.

Sreekanth KannepalliSreekanth Kannepalli
Microsoft Research Redmond


Sreekanth Kannepalli is the head of engineering for Foundry99, a startup incubation group within Microsoft Research. He manages product development and engineering for various startup like efforts in Microsoft Research. One of his focus is around privacy in AI and application Homomorphic Encryption, and related technologies, to real-life scenarios.

Kim LaineKim Laine
Microsoft Research Redmond


Kim Laine is a senior researcher in the Cryptography and Privacy Research Group at Microsoft Research, Redmond. He holds a PhD in mathematics from UC Berkeley and has been working at MSR for the past four years on applied cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies. Kim leads the development of the homomorphic encryption library “Microsoft SEAL” and is one of the co-organizers of the standardization effort for homomorphic encryption.

Kristin LauterKristin Lauter
Microsoft Research Redmond


Kristin Lauter is a mathematician and cryptographer whose research areas are number theory, algebraic geometry, and applications to cryptography. She is particularly known for her work on homomorphic encryption, elliptic curve cryptography, and for introducing supersingular isogeny graphs as a hard problem into cryptography. She is a Principal Researcher and Partner Research Manager of the Cryptography and Privacy Group at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington. She served as President of the Association for Women in Mathematics from 2015 –2017. She has published more than 100 papers and holds more than 50 patents.

Eric OlsonEric Olson
Microsoft Research Redmond


Eric is a Data Science Lead on the Developer Platform team within Azure Cosine (Core OS and Intelligent Edge) group. His current team focuses on providing business insights to inform new product decisions by using A/B experimentation, user research, machine learning and statistics to better understand the needs and behaviors of developers. During his 19 years at Microsoft, he has worked on many areas of the mail client, the web browser and developer platform teams in various roles including Test Engineer, Test Lead, Program Manager and Data Scientist. Eric holds a BS and PhD in Chemical Engineering and previously worked in chemical process research & development. For fun, Eric enjoys cooking, especially baking, travelling, learning new languages and music.

Steve RoweSteve Rowe
Microsoft Research Redmond


Steve is a Data Science/Engineering Manager in the Core Data team in Cosine (Core OS & Intelligent Edge) team. His current focus utilizing data telemetry to understand the state of the Windows ecosystem and identify areas that need attention. He has been in the data space for 5 years. He has been at Microsoft 22 years, also working on multimedia and developer APIs. Steve holds a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Yongsoo SongYongsoo Song
Microsoft Research Redmond


Yongsoo Song is a senior researcher in the Cryptography Research Group at Microsoft Research Redmond. His research focus is on security, privacy, and advanced cryptography. Currently he is interested in design, optimization, and applications of cryptographic primitives for secure computation including Homomorphic Encryption. He obtained BS and PhD degrees in mathematical sciences from Seoul National University, Korea, in 2012 and 2018, respectively. He was a postdoctoral researcher at UC San Diego prior to joining Microsoft.

Details & logistics


  • The event hotel is the Hyatt Bellevue in Bellevue, WA
  • Check in December 1, 2019
  • Check out December 5, 2019
  • For any hotel needs, please contact the hotel directly at (425) 698-4244 and reference booking number: 27085288.

Offsite dinner:

Microsoft will be hosting an offsite dinner at the Purple Café in Bellevue on Monday, December 2nd. Please ensure you are on the bus back to the hotel after the event has concluded and arrange for ride shares or a group walk to the dinner. Dinner is walking distance from the hotel – about a 9-minute walk. Dinner begins promptly at 6 PM.

Ground transportation:

Microsoft has arranged for a bus service, MTR Western, to pick-up and drop-off attendees during the three days of the bootcamp.

Pick-up location: Please exit the building through the Evergreen Foyer to NE 10th Street, where the buses will be waiting for attendees – see below image. If you have any problems finding the pick-up spot, please ask any of the front desk associates and they will guide you out.

Exterior of the Hyatt Bellevue Hotel

Travel times will be provided per the schedule below:

  • Monday, December 2nd:
    • 8:00 AM – Pick-up time at the front of the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue
    • 8:30 AM – Drop-off at Microsoft Building 41
    • 5:00 PM – Pick-up time at the front of Microsoft Building 41
    • 5:30 PM – Drop-off at Hyatt Hotel for guest needs prior to dinner
  • Tuesday, December 3rd:
    • 8:00 AM – Pick-up time at the front of the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue
    • 8:30 AM – Drop-off at Microsoft Building 41
    • 5:00 PM – Pick-up time at the front of Microsoft Building 41
    • 5:30 PM – Drop-off at Hyatt Hotel
  • Wednesday, December 4th:
    • 8:00 AM – Pick-up time at the front of the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue
    • 8:30 AM – Drop-off at Microsoft Building 41
    • 5:00 PM – Pick-up time at the front of Microsoft Building 41
    • 5:30 PM – Drop-off at Hyatt Hotel

Workshop location:

Microsoft Building 41
15571 NE 31st St, Redmond, WA 98052

Dress code: Please dress casually and comfortably. You do not have to wear a coat or tie.

Emergency contacts:

  • For any travel logistic needs, please contact or call 425-897-7450 (option 3, then option 1). Let the travel agent know that you have booked your ‘gratis’ trip through MS Research with your booking ID #. Calls can only be completed during normal business hours: Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 6 PM (Pacific Standard Time)
  • For any logistic emergencies, please contact Jinoos Safavian at (425) 705-0785 or if you have an emergency while you are in Redmond.
  • Please send any event questions to