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2021 Access Computing Summer Program

Apply to be one of 16 interns working on improving the lives of people with disabilities and limited access to health screening technologies.

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, etc. 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 June 21st to September 20th, 2021. We aim to recruit up to sixteen full-time participants 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 two mentors. 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, machine learning, and paper reading/writing skills.

Program Dates: June 21 – September 20, 2021
Location: Remote
Application Deadline: April 4, 2021
Admissions Interview Date: April 9-14, 2021
Admissions Results Released: April 15, 2021
Preparation Time: April 20, 2021 – June 20, 2021


This program is sponsored by the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), 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:

2020 Access Computing Summer Program

Last year’s program had over 100 applications from 8 countries and 41 universities. We recruited 25 participants who were engaged in 10+ innovative projects. The ACSP  had 8 paper submissions to top-tier conferences/journals in the areas of HCI and ubicomp. 3 papers were accepted by ACM CHI 2021 or IMWUT.

Example Showcase

Access Computing is broadly focused on human-centered applications of computer science, particularly human-computer interaction (HCI) and ubiquitous computing (ubicomp). These domains require a wide variety of skills, including some combination of applied sensing, signal processing, machine learning, computer vision, embedded systems, and human-centered design. Examples of past projects by ACSP mentors and students are listed below.


Facilitating Text Entry on Smartphones with QWERTY Keyboard for Users with Parkinson’s Disease (Accepted by ACM CHI 2021, completed during ACSP 2020)


SplitSR: An End-to-End Approach to Super-Resolution on Mobile Devices (Accepted by IMWUT 2021, completed during ACSP 2020)

HulaMove: Using Commodity IMU for Waist Interaction (Accepted by ACM CHI 2021, completed during ACSP 2020)


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



The ACSP offers a number of benefits and opportunities for participants, including:

  1. Highly impactful projects for health, accessibility, human-computer interaction, etc. 
  2. Networking and connections for future collaborations. 
  3. Lectures to develop graduate research skills like related work search, paper writing, and paper reviewing.
  4. Potential publications at top-tier conferences or journals (e.g., CHI, IMWUT, ASSETS). 
  5. Potential career benefits such as reference letters, internships, and referrals to  the GIX Dual Degree Program. 


Applicants must be highly proficient in English to participate in this program. They must also currently be pursuing a degree at an accredited postsecondary academic institution in any of the following fields: computer science, electrical engineering, and/or industrial engineering. Prior research experience is desired but not required.

Visa and travel

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACSP 2021 will be held remotely. We will be unable to sponsor travel visas to the United States.

2021 Topics and Projects

  • Mobile Interaction
    1. A novel persuasive technology to reduce phone overuse and bedtime procrastination for users
      Required Skills: Android development, user study design
      Desired Skills: Experience in running longitudinal in-the-wild user studies
    2. Improved Smartphone Typing Accuracy Using Motion Data
      Required Skills: Android development, Python, machine learning
      Desired Skills: Bayesian statistics
  • Smart Wearables
    1. Pointing selection of IoT devices based on Next Generation of Bluetooth
      Required Skills: embedded system development, signal processing
      Desired Skills: RF circuits, antenna design
    2. Privacy-Preserving Activity Recognition on Smart Glasses
      Required Skills: Python, deep learning
      Desired Skills: Android development
  • Interactive AR/VR
    1. Novel Gaze-based Input Technique for HMDs
      Required Skills: Unity, user study design
      Desired Skills: Computer vision
    2. Virtual Reality system to facilitate rehabilitation
      Required Skills: Unity, Python
      Desired Skills: statistical modelling
    3. A new type of pen-like AR/VR controller for precision tasks in spatial computing
      Required skills: Unity, computer vision, user study design
      Bonus skills: AR/VR development, motion capture (Vicon system or similar), interaction design, embedded systems
  • Remote (Contactless) Physiological Sensing
    1. An Open-Sourced Deep Learning Toolkit for Remote Physiological Sensing
      Required Skills: Python, machine learning, deep learning
      Desired Skills: C#, C++
    2. Novel Deep Learning Systems for Remote Physiological Sensing
      Required Skills: Python, machine learning, deep learning
      Desired Skills: On-device machine learning, and network acceleration

Apply now

    If you have problem submitting the application, please send an email to with all the answers and your CV.

    Contact Us

    If you have any questions, please send inquiries to and with the tag [ACSP] in the subject line.