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Access Computing Summer Program Internships

Apply to be one of 14 interns working on improving the lives of people with disabilities, limited access to health screening technologies, and the decline of our environment.

Now more than ever, technology is capable of addressing the issues that we face both as individuals and as a society. These problems include, but are not limited to, the lack of assistive technologies for individuals with disabilities, limited access to health screening technologies, and the decline of our environment. The Access Computing Summer Program (ACSP) brings together the next generation of global talent in computer science and related fields to develop highly impactful solutions that address these grand challenges. Students in the ACSP will be able to practice a variety of human-centered design methods to develop novel sensing techniques, user-friendly interfaces, and cutting-edge computer technologies.

This summer, the Access Computing Summer Program will be held from July 1st to September 20th, 2020. We aim to recruit fourteen full-time research interns with a background in computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, or some other equivalent discipline. Participants will join a well-defined applied research project in a team formed by two interns and one mentor. The sponsoring faculty will supplement the mentorship with periodic advising.

The Access Computing Summer Program will also include lectures on topics within ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction from academic and industry speakers. The program will also include lectures/workshops on embedded hardware, signal processing, and machine learning. Furthermore, we would organize extracurricular activities such as visiting local museums, sports, etc.

Program Dates: July 1 – September 20, 2020
Location: Seattle and/or Beijing, or remote
Application Deadline: March 20, 2020
Admissions Interview Date: March 25-30, 2020
Admissions Results Released: March 31, 2020


This program is sponsored by the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), a program founded by the University of Washington, Tsinghua University, and Microsoft to train the next leaders of innovation. Program participants will be led by numerous experts in ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction:

Example Showcase

The ACSP is broadly focused on applied computer science fields like human-computer Interaction (HCI) and ubiquitous computing (ubicomp). These domains require a wide variety of skills, including sensing, signal processing, embedded systems, and human-centered design. Examples of past projects by the advisors and mentors are listed below.

BiliScreen: Smartphone-Based Scleral Jaundice Monitoring for Liver and Pancreatic Disorders


FlexTouch: Enabling Large-Scale Interaction Sensing Beyond Touchscreens Using Conductive Materials


Seismo: Blood Pressure Monitoring using Built-in Smartphone Accelerometer and Camera


EarTouch: Facilitating Smartphone Use for Visually Impaired People in Mobile and Public Scenarios


The primary goal of the program is to have program participants be the lead author (or co-lead authors) on publications to top-tier conferences and journals in human-computer interaction and ubiquitous computing (e.g., CHI, IMWUT). The program will also provide networking opportunities so that participants can build collaborations for future projects. Exemplary participants will also be able to earn reference letters for graduate programs, internships, the GIX Dual Degree Program, and other similar careers.


Applicants must demonstrate a high level of English proficiency to participate in this program. They must also currently be pursuing a degree at an accredited post-secondary academic institution and have a background in computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, or have equivalent skills/knowledge/experience. Prior research experience is desired but not required.

Visa and travel

We are unable to sponsor travel visas to the United States. International students can work remotely with mentors. Local interns will have the option to work on-site at the Steve Ballmer Building in Bellevue, Washington. 

Potential Topics and Projects

New interfaces for accessibility

Potential projects include: 

  • Efficient text entry for people with motor impairments.
      Prerequisite Skills: Android or iOS development, statistical analysis.
    Plus: Python, experiment design, computer vision, signal processing.
  • Smart interaction interface for next-generation phones.
      Prerequisite Skills: Android or iOS development, statistical analysis.
    Plus: Python, experiment design, signal processing, machine learning.
  • Acoustic Micro-gesture Interaction.
      Prerequisite Skills: audio signal processing, machine learning, Python, statistical analysis.
    Plus: experiment design,Deep Learning (Tensorflow, Keras, PyTorch).

Sensing/interaction technologies for health and wellness

Potential projects include:

  • Audio health sensing with deep learning.
      Prerequisite Skills: Python, machine learning skills.
    Plus: Deep learning (Tensorflow or Pytorch)
  • Novel intervention technique to improve sleep quality.
      Prerequisite Skills: Android or iOS Development, Statistical Analysis.
    Plus: Experiment Design, Server Deployment
  • Continuous physiological signal monitoring.
      Prerequisite Skills: Signal processing, Machine learning.
    Plus: Experiment Design, Server Deployment, computer vision.
  • Low-power urban garden monitoring.
      Prerequisite Skills: computer vision/image processing
    Plus: hardware prototyping, Raspberry Pi
  • Rapid diagnostic test designs optimized for image processing
      Prerequisite Skills: computer vision/image processing, Android, Python
    Plus: iOS
  • On-device & real-time audio health sensing
      Prerequisite Skills: Python, Signal Processing (Audio), Machine Learning
      Plus: Deep Learning (Tensorflow, Keras, PyTorch).