Nishant Kumar was a gem of a person. A God gifted who believed in hard work. Nishant was born in Ranchi, a small town in Jharkhand,India. Born to his doctor parents, and the younger among his sibling, he was the favourite of all.
He had this special affection towards his mother, Dr. Manju Sinha. He was exceptionally worried about her. Since childhood he used to take care of her like a grown up guy
He did his schooling from DPS Ranchi and then completed my Bachelors of Technology in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT Delhi), where he was advised by Dr. Shweta Agrawal. He had also spent time working as a Software Engineer in the Azure Backup team of Microsoft,
He later spent two years as a Research Fellow at Microsoft Research Lab, India, where He worked in the cryptography group, on the EzPC (Easy Secure Multi-party Computation) project with Dr. Nishanth Chandran, Dr. Divya Gupta, Dr. Aseem Rastogi and Dr. Rahul Sharma.
He also joined as PhD student in the Computer Science department at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he was advised by Dr. Dakshita Khurana. His was interested in both theoretical and applied aspects of cryptography.
Prize Money of Rs. 31,000 and a trophy along with a certificate.
The award will be presented on the award ceremony day organised by Delhi Public School, Ranchi, Jharkhand.
The award will be presented to the student of DPS Ranchi, who has secured the best rank at national level in JEE Mains (IIT) Exam.
Presented By: Dr. Manju Sinha and Dr. Krishna Kumar (Parents).
with Ran Canetti, Suvradip Chakraborty, Dakshita Khurrana, Oxana Poburinnaya and Manoj Prabhakaran. (EUROCRYPT 2022)EUROCRYPT 2022
Elette Boyle, Nishanth Chandran, Niv Gilboa, Divya Gupta, Yuval Ishai, Nishant Kumar & Mayank Ratheebib
Deevashwer Rathee, Mayank Rathee, Nishant Kumar, Nishanth Chandran, Divya Gupta, Aseem Rastogi & Rahul Sharma
Shweta Agrawal, Rachit Garg, Nishant Kumar & Manoj Prabhakaran
Nishant Kumar, Mayank Rathee, Nishanth Chandran, Divya Gupta, Aseem Rastogi & Rahul Sharma
Invited to attend the 8th Heidelberg Laureate Forum, 2021.
Awarded the prestigious KVPY Fellowship Award, 2011, by Govt. of India.
My team (hyperbolicTan) secured rank 18 in ICPC Kharagpur Regionals, 2014.
Received CBSE Merit Certificate for being among the top 0.1% students in Economics in India, CBSE Board Exams, 2012.
Amongst the top 30 to qualify for RMO-2009, the first stage on the path of becoming part of India’s contingent for International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO).
CrypTFlow: Secure TensorFlow Inference, IEEE S&P, 2020
CrypTFlow2: Practical 2-Party Secure Inference, UIUC Security Seminar, October 2020
Secured all India rank of 5 and 30 in National Science Olympiad, organized by Science Olympiad Foundation in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Organizer, Crypto seminar, UIUC, Illinois, USA, August 2021 – April 2022.
Organizer, Joint crypto reading group between Microsoft Research India and IISc, Jan - April 2019.
Sub-Reviewer for ASIA cRYPT 2019, INDO CRYPT 2019, SCN 2020, INDO CRYPT 2020,
PKC 2020, CrYPTO 2021, STOC 2022, CCS 2022, CRYPTO 2022.
Co-developed CrypTFlow2: a practical protocol for secure and correct Machine Learning inference in a 2-party setting.
Designed and developed Athos, a compiler (written in Python) from TensorFlow inference code to secure MPC proto- cols. Athos compiles TensorFlow using 2 Intermediate Languages (IL) - a High-Level Intermediate Language (HLIL) and a Low-Level Intermediate Language (LLIL). Implemented several standard and non-standard optimizations on each IL during compilation. Also, designed and incorporated several optimizations in Porthos (written in C++), a 3-party computation protocol geared for ML-like applications.
I have only known Nishant on a professional level. But his almost child-like sincerity and uninhibited enthusiasm, combined with his mathematical sharpness and acumen, have touched me deeply. It was clear to me that he was a very special individual, and that he was going to go far and contribute to science and society. His untimely and tragic death is a loss to humanity.
I have first met Nishant in January 2000 at a workshop in Bangalore, just before Covid locked us all down. He was working at MSR and has just applied to graduate schools in the US. He was asking on where to go should he get accepted and wanted to tell me all about his research at MSR and other research ideas that he was thinking about. I honestly don’t remember technical details, but the one thing that clearly stuck was his contagious enthusiasm for the research he was doing. I remember thinking to myself that this uninhibited enthusiasm is a gift, and that working with him could be rewarding. I also remember wanting to tell him to hang on to this enthusiasm, but not managing to find a way to say it…
Our roads crossed again about a year ago, when Dakshita suggested that Nishant join a project that we were working on (together with Suvradip Chakraborty, Oxana Poburinnaya, and Manoj Prabhakaran) that languished a bit and needed some revitalization. I was happy for the opportunity to interact with Nishant, and indeed it has been rewarding: We have had weekly meetings where at first he was very tentative, but as he learned more about the work and the relevant literature he became more confident --- and started catching us when we were saying something wrong, or just BS’ing… soon enough he started “owning” the work and rewriting large parts of it. Throughout I was very much impressed with this sharpness, open-mindedness, and humility: He had no problem saying he did not understand, or that he didn’t know - but when he was assertive about something, he was invariably correct.
Last march, as part of our work towards finally posting our work on Eprint (it will be presented in Eurocrypt 2022) I wrote a new proof for some theorem in the paper. I was happy about the new idea, and it seems to work just fine, but I asked everyone to check the proof. In our next weekly (Monday) meeting Nishant started by saying that “the proof is very nice, but there are a couple points that I don’t understand…” …I knew I was in trouble. And indeed it soon became clear that these two points were significant gaps in the proof. We discussed these gaps and threw around ideas on how to fix, and then time was up and we said we’d continue next week. I of course kept thinking about the issues and was looking forward to telling Nishant and the others how I thought one of the issues can be resolved and discuss the other one which seemed more elusive --- but then the following Monday I opened my email to the terrible news.
The paper is not up yet (hopefully very soon) but I wanted to tell Nishant, wherever he is, that we now finally think that we got the proof right, and ask him If he could again give it a good read?
I was truly heartbroken to hear about Nishant's passing. Nishant was such a sweet guy with a smile always on his face. He had so much passion for whatever he did and especially crypto research. He was so perseverant in his efforts to do high quality research and brought so much energy and happiness to the group at MSR India during the 2 years he spent there. Such a sport too - we used to tease him about his "bee" tshirt which I see he still wore at UIUC; having him around was so much fun.
I am so sad that, due to covid, I never got a chance to see him in person before he left for the US. I feel fortunate for having known Nishant. I was looking forward to seeing amazing research outputs from him too -- and only weeks ago saw updates on his recent results.
One thing is for sure - Nishant truly touched the lives of everyone who met him. Personally, I will miss him deeply.