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NSCC Applied Research

Using data to optimize operations

Woman researcher looking at two monitors showing complex data.
Applied Research's new Information Technology Research Scientist, Trishla Shah.

Meet NSCC’s new research scientist

A lover of numbers, travel and design, if NSCC’s new data expert is not talking cyber security, she’s likely whipping up traditional dishes from her native India or planning her next trip.

The College is thrilled to welcome Trishla Shah, NSCC’s fifth research scientist and only one that specializes in the field of information technology (IT). Curious by nature, Trishla enjoys digging into data to improve efficiencies and find unique solutions to help industry maximize operations. Trishla recalls two pinnacle experiences that introduced her to the world of research that led her down this career path:

“During my graduate studies, I worked on a project to improve security in satellite and cellular applications. I came up with a new protocol for generating sets of pseudo-random numbers, which help protect against cyber-attacks. This project taught me how to think outside of the box and gained enormous attention; it won me the National and Promising Young Researcher of India by Springer."

A few years later, shortly after I had begun my PhD at Dalhousie University, Security Research Labs invited me to participate in a month-long hackathon with more than 100 students from around the globe. I was one of four finalists, which was pretty amazing, but more importantly I learned the power of collaboration and how to be resourceful. I left that hackathon knowing that research was what I wanted to focus my career on.”

IT innovation – health and community

Interested in using her skill set to develop and promote technologies that benefit human health and community, Trishla’s keen to continue supporting the healthcare system. Past work in this field, includes a project for Nxtgen Care, where she analysed data to solve time critical problems and improve resource management, as well as an android application for Alzheimer’s patients.

“The intention was to make patients more independent from human caregivers and provide care at the precise time, calculated to the seconds,” says Trishla. “The results and the need for such an application to support Alzheimer’s patients are good examples of how IT innovation can be used to make a difference and improve peoples’ lives.

Data – the new IT currency

What drew Trishla to the position at NSCC was that it’s ‘applied research.’ Meaning, she’ll be working with companies to help solve their real-world data challenges, rather than theoretical projects:

“Data is the new currency in IT. Be it in any domain – energy, agriculture, all businesses need core data analysis and predictions that help guide them in making important decisions related to their work. And it’s not just mining knowledge out of the data, it’s equally important to keep your data secure.

I’ve worked on several projects that have studied the risks associated with mobile payment applications. As this form of payment becomes more popular so do the security concerns. It’s something all retail payment systems continuously need to monitor and work to protect.”

Trishla looks forward to collaborating with other NSCC research scientists and sees opportunities to create larger scale applied research projects by combining their skill sets.

Creativity and ingenuity

One of few women in her field, Trishla encourages more young women to follow the path of IT and data science. In fact, she thinks women are the perfect candidates:

“I’m always surprised there’s not more women in IT. Many of us are born with natural multi-tasking skills. IT is a great place to apply that, whether it’s developing a product, managing a project or teaching.

It’s also a field you can apply creativity. I love to cook, and recently redid my garden; I put a lot of time and effort into the small details. The result is a beautiful and unique space. In a strange way, the world of IT innovation is similar. It’s a place that when you put your creativity into it, you will excel and get results.”

Working with Trishla

A big supporter of student success, Trishla plans to use her years of experience teaching at universities to engage with faculty and students at the College. Her door is open to anyone at NSCC who’s interested in learning about the latest tools and technologies in data science or working together on industry projects.

If you’re a start-up or an organization looking for IT research support in machine learning, business intelligence, cloud computing, credit card security, risk assessment, or mitigation techniques, contact