Project Hokulani cohort 2

Seven high school students created a mobile app to track expenses as part of an internship with Project Hōkūlani at the Center on Disability Studies (CDS) in the College of Education. A Native Hawaiian Education Act grant project, Hōkūlani supports Native Hawaiian and other high school students to enter postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields through a culturally responsive, strength- and work-based enrichment program.

In just two weeks over the summer, the student interns built a mobile application named RESHEIPT at the UH Laboratory of Applications in Informatics and Analytics. Designed to gather expenses one receipt at a time, they created the app using ChatGPT under the guidance of Assistant Professor Mahdi Belcaid (Information and Computer Sciences, Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, Hawaiʻi Data Science Institute) and Akib Sadmanee, a research graduate assistant with Pacific Ocean Science and Technology.

“The group wanted to include artificial intelligence (AI) in their computer studies, and the app delivers just that,” said CDS Assistant Specialist Lisa Galloway. “The app allows users to scan their receipts, providing them with an itemized overview of their transactions. AI comes in when users are processing and itemizing their receipts with ChatGPT.”

Students used ChatGPT to complete tasks that would have traditionally required much more time from machine learning experts or programmers. They also learned how to use no-code platforms, including Amazon Web Services, to construct the features of the app, such as authentication and storage.

“This product highlights the impact of AI and specifically large language models on technology,” said Belcaid. “If high school students can develop such a complex application in just 40 hours—much of which was devoted to education rather than coding—imagine the technological possibilities that await us as ChatGPT and similar technologies continue to mature over the next two to three years.”

This second cohort of students was paid $1,000 stipends for 48 hours of work at the computer lab. Since the project began, 66 interns throughout the state have participated at various STEM sites. In 2022–23, sites included three on Lāna‘i: the Four Seasons Observatory at Mānele, Venture Physiotherapy in Lāna‘i City, and the Lāna‘i Limu Restoration Project. On other islands, new sites included Nā Waʻa Mauō, Terraformation, and Iwikua.

Learn how the RESHEIPT app works here:
Read about Project Hōkūlani news and updates here:

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