Michael Purcell

Senior Fellow and ASD Co-Lab Fellow

Picture of Michael Purcell

CSIT Building 108, Office N314


Software Innovation Institute
Data Science

Google Scholar


My current research is focused primarily on questions related to data privacy and secure multiparty computation. I am particularly interested in the intersection of these two areas. Recently, I have been working on designing and analysing protocols that allow multiple parties to efficiently compute and release statistics derived from sensitive information and that provide provable privacy guarantees.

I am also working on several projects focused translating technologies that currently exist primarily in the academic literature into practical products that can be used in government and industrial applications. In particular, I am interested in developing tools that will make it possible for government agencies to use differential privacy to quantify the risk of privacy breaches associated with the data that they make publicly available.


For a list of my research publications, see my Google Scholar profile


I received my Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Utah in 2010. After graduating, I left academia and worked as an applied research mathematician for the U.S. Government for ten years. In 2020 I changed gears again and returned to academia when I joined the Australian National University. I am currently a member of the Software Innovation Institute where I work as a senior research translation engineer. My research interests include cryptology, data privacy, and machine learning.

Activities & Awards

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The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

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