Nilofer Mehta


Educational background

  • Master of Applied Computer Science, Dalhousie University
  • Bachelor of Computer Engineering with Co-op, Dalhousie University 

Current position

What are some of the things you do in your job?
I recently joined the team but I am already learning so much. The first team I joined was the services team where I worked on customized implementations for schools like UC Davis, UC Berkeley, University of New Hampshire, UT Austin, etc. I worked on custom data migration scripts for moving existing school data to our system implementation. I also helped resolve several bugs on existing system.

Very quickly I was moved to one of the core product development teams that was working on Internationalization to support additional languages such as French on the platform. I am working on interesting issues that arise with additional language encoding, user interaction with the system and touch points for language preference selection.

What are you most passionate about as it relates to what you do now?
I am really passionate about Engineering and Education. I love solving problems using technology that can improve the education experience. The Research Project I worked on for my Master's involved solving a challenging problem for children that are just learning to read and detecting problems they face as they learn. I came up with the idea to use an eye tracker and analyze reading problems. I developed a prototype using a sleek eye tracking device that would track the eye movements of the child, and assess problems based on where their eyes hovered longer, for instance. The feedback would be given in terms of pronunciation and definitions.

I love working on such problems where I can come up with innovative solutions.

How did you end up where you are today?
I decided to go for Computer Engineering not because of what I had been doing so far, but because I was curious to learn about this ubiquitous machine that has become such a daily part of our lives. I struggled a lot initially when it came to programming but through help from my instructors at DAL and friends who I worked with on projects, I started understanding how the System Architecture is designed and how I can further help build it. I had a lot of interest in Control Systems and for my co-op, I landed a job at Seaforth Energy Inc. where I worked on the Software Specification document for their AOC 15/50 Wind Turbine by understanding the PLC's Ladder Logic code for it's Control and Safety sub-system. During my undergrad, I had two other co-ops that improved my technical knowledge. Through these co-ops I got interested in Web Application development but I didn't have enough experience to build my own web apps at that point. I wanted to learn more and thus, the next step I took was to enroll in the Master's of Applied Computer Science department at Dalhousie University.

For my Master's I worked on many interesting and challenging projects which helped me gain a deeper understanding of the field. It was also a great talking point at interviews. After I graduated, I worked at a payroll company called Wagepoint as a Full Stack Developer. I helped transform their existing website to be responsive for various sized devices and screen sizes, I worked on new apps as part of the Payroll family including a Employee Benefits application. I implemented a Referral Program as well as designed a Customer Community and Marketplace. After gaining some experience with development, I got an opportunity to work on Educational Technology at Destiny Solutions.

What has Dal MACS program meant to your career? OR What are some of your fondest memories about your time in Dal’s MACS program?
I picked very interesting courses such as Advanced Topics in Natural Language Processing, Advanced DBMS, Network Security, Ubiquitous Computing, Visualization, etc. I found that if I asked for help I got it. The instructors were great and gave one on one time if required. 

I was part of Dr. Srini's Lab and under his supervision completed my Master's research. I was provided with an opportunity to work with an Industry partner and awarded an NSERC grant for the same. Working with the industry really helped push the boundaries of what I could build and I got a chance to meet and network with people that I could potentially work with in the future. 

I participated in Women in Tech Society and got to meet with several women in the industry and learn about how they've struggled and overcome various issues surrounding Women in Tech. I also participated in Startup Weekend and got my feet wet with Entrepreneurship. Our team won second place and went on to participate in Global Startup Battle which was an amazing experience where we campaigned for votes, got a lot of media exposure and with the support of the entire DAL community became finalists at Global Startup Battle.

What has really stuck with you from your time in Dal’s MACS program?
The overall experience at DAL MACS has been fantastic. I have continued to learn throughout my time here and the biggest take away for me was that I want to continue learning new things and innovate in all aspects of my career