Java for Java

Junior Rishi Sura-Collins developed a digital PomfretCard in his Advanced Computer Coding class. 

Many iPhone users easily store and access important information such as credit cards, boarding passes, and store rewards cards in their Apple Wallet. And thanks to Rishi Sura-Collins ’23, Pomfret students soon can store their PomfretCard — which works like a debit card on the Hilltop — in their Apple Wallet to quickly purchase snacks and coffee from the Tuck Shop and apparel in the School Store.  

Prior to coming to Pomfret, Rishi had been interested in computers and computer coding. He has taken advanced computer coding classes since the winter term of his sophomore year. When designing his fall signature assessment, he had a desire to create an application that would benefit the community. After noticing the barcode on his PomfretCard, Rishi got the idea of adding it to his Apple Wallet.

"I challenged my Advanced Coding students to tackle something useful and practical, and I appreciate Rishi's initiative to generate code that immediately impacts our students’ lives," said Josh Lake, head of the Science Department. "He worked with many adults across campus to make his software project connect with the campus hardware.”

Through lots of trial and error and research of Javascript code found on GitHub — a collaborative, online community used by coders — Rishi is in the final stages of adding his PomfretCard to his Apple Wallet. Soon he will be able to purchase his favorite bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel at the Tuck Shop without ever having to pull out his PomfretCard. 

His code will be beta tested by students. Once deployed, when a student enters the Olmsted Student Union (OSU) with their phone's location service turned on, their PomfretCard barcode will appear on their home screen. This feature is activated through the use of geographic coordinates specific to the OSU and can be displayed whether their phone is in light or dark mode. And like magic, after a student leaves their barcode will disappear from the home screen. 

“I was nervous to send an email to the student body to get some interested beta testers,” said Rishi. “But it has been so well received; I have more than thirty students interested in helping me test it out.”

After a successful beta test and working out all the kinks, Rishi would like to expand the digital PomfretCard to Android users, and even beyond the Hilltop to other independent schools. “Having the support of the community is great! People I don’t even know are reaching out to me and saying how cool this is," he's said. "It’s a real confidence booster!"


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