A Contributor’s Story with Scott Moses Sunarto

The “Contributor’s Story” series is designed to give our key open source contributors and community members a face and voice, an overview of the projects they’re working on, and the successes and challenges contributors face in development.

In this blog post, we will be speaking to Scott Moses Sunarto, a CrypTen employee who works on secure protocols as part of the Major League Hacking (MLH) scholarship.

“I would like to share the joy of blockchain development and show how cool the technology can be!”

CrypTen is an open source tensor library for privacy conscious machine learning (PPML), mainly led by FAIR and based on PyTorch. CrypTen aims to accelerate research into encrypted techniques and the delivery of machine learning. As part of the larger mission around PPML, the library also supports OSS libraries developed by the community in the area of ​​PPML and combined learning such as CrypTen.

Scott’s MLH pod was tasked with actively adding secure protocol implementations using Message Authentication Codes (MACs) to support applications that require active security, thereby broadening the scope for us and the community to explore.

Here are some of Scott’s thoughts throughout the process of completing this task.

Tell us a little about yourself and your current experience in the MLH scholarship.

I am a sophomore at Diablo Valley College studying electrical engineering and computer science. In the past I have mainly worked on projects in the field of crypto blockchain and participated in several Major League Hacking hackathons (and luckily won!).

Afterwards, through my involvement in the hackathon scene, I heard about the MLH Fellowship and continued to apply.

Where did you first find out about open source? How did you come to use / contribute something?

I won open source by entering and winning a global open source software development competition called Google Code-in. After winning Google Code-in, I spent some time mentoring various open source outreach programs like Google Code-in and Summer of Code.

Describe the project you are currently working on.

I am currently working on CrypTen, a data protection ML framework. It provides an abstraction layer that makes it easier for machine learning researchers to secure ML under data protection law without having to rely on a lot of cryptography knowledge.

CrypTen is based on PyTorch and thus lowers the barrier for machine learning researchers by integrating with PyTorch.

How did you initially go about approaching the problem?

Based on the task assigned, I would first try to break the problem down into bite-sized tasks. Then I would talk to my partner about how we want to divide the work. If the task requires any confusion or clarification, we will communicate with the supervisor in our weekly sync to clarify.

What obstacles or problems have you faced in your post so far?

The biggest challenge was to control the cryptographic concept used throughout the project. However, it was extremely helpful to have an active supervisor to help us familiarize ourselves with these concepts.

What is the current state of development?

We have pushed the development process strongly and solved several problems with increasing complexity. In the next few weeks we will begin completing the projects to ensure that they can be neatly integrated into the upstream.

What have you learned about the project, development or open source so far?

I learned a lot about good coding practices, working in teams, and many new concepts in cryptography and data protection.

What advice would you give future contributors to the open source project?

Find a mentor who is an active supervisor or an avid contributor to open source in general.

We’d like to thank Scott for her continued contributions to the Facebook open source ecosystem. You can follow Scott’s work on Twitter, GitHub, and LinkedIn.

To learn more about Facebook open source, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for relevant updates, and visit the CrypTen website and GitHub to learn how to get started.

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