Vancouver Summer Program: Integrated Sciences

Explore game theory and symmetry with some of UBC’s best science professors. Join the Vancouver Summer Program with UBC Integrated Sciences.

The Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) is a four-week academic program offered by UBC for students from cooperating universities. It gives undergraduate students the opportunity to learn from world-class professors, while exploring Canadian society and culture through interactive lectures, social activities, and intercultural workshops.

The 2022 VSP for UBC Integrated Sciences consists of two packages of two courses, each consisting of approximately 39 hours of class time, equivalent to six credits. Courses are directed and taught by UBC faculty members and overseen by Professor Lee A. Groat, award winning scientist and teacher. Classes are interactive and may include group discussions, guest lecturers, research projects, laboratory experimentation, daytrips, and visits to research facilities. Course credit will be granted at the discretion of the participating universities.

The program includes a city tour, welcome and farewell lunches, and many social activities in the evenings and during weekends. Activities may include museum visits, outdoor activities such as canoeing and cycling, with plenty of opportunity to explore sites of interest in Vancouver.

Program Overview Handout

VIDEO: 

 

Package A: Game Theory and Symmetry (2 Offerings JUNE and JULY 2022)

Game Theory

Game theory is the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers. As such it is applicable to a wide range of behavioral relations, and is now an umbrella term for the science of logical decision making in computers and organisms. Game theory has been widely recognized as an important tool in many fields including computer science, biology, economics, political science and psychology. In this course we will consider representations of games (normal, extensive, and characteristic-function forms), game types (cooperative/non-cooperative, symmetric/asymmetric, zero-sum/non zero-sum, simultaneous/sequential, etc.), history, awards, and game theory in popular culture.

Symmetry

The mathematic definition of symmetry is that an object is invariant to various transformations; including reflection, rotation, or scaling. Mathematical symmetry may be observed with respect to spatial relationships, through geometric transformations and other kinds of functional transformations, with respect to the passage of time, as an aspect of abstract objects, theoretic models, music, and language. Symmetry in everyday language refers to a sense of harmonious proportion and balance. In this course we investigate symmetry and asymmetry in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology, and in the arts, specifically architecture, fine art, and music. These courses are equivalent to the UBC Science credit courses: ISCI 312, ISCI 344.  

 

Package B: Systems and Sustainability – Vancouver (JULY 2022)

The Vancouver Environment

Scientists agree that solutions to complex global challenges such as environmental sustainability require “systems thinking” or the process of understanding how components influence one another within a whole. In these courses, which are modeled on successful field courses we teach in Iceland and Hawaii, we approach the Vancouver region as a system, and consider the effects of inputs such as climate change on that system. In Course A we study the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere of the Vancouver System through lectures by experts in their fields and numerous field trips around the Lower Mainland. By the end of this course the students will know more about the Vancouver System than most residents and will be able to identify systems where they reside and travel.

The Vancouver Anthrosphere

Scientists agree that solutions to complex global challenges such as environmental sustainability require “systems thinking” or the process of understanding how components influence one another within a whole. In these courses, which are modeled on successful field courses we teach in Iceland and Hawaii, we approach the Vancouver region as a system, and consider the effects of inputs such as climate change on that system. In Course B we study the anthrosphere of the Vancouver region, that part of the environment that is made or modified by humans for use in human activities and human habitats, through lectures by experts in their fields and numerous field trips around the Lower Mainland. By the end of this course the students will know more about the Vancouver System than most residents and will be able to identify systems where they reside and travel.

Duration and dates

The summer program will run two four-week offerings:

We expect to run the program in Summer 2022.

Program size

 The minimum group size is 24.

Accommodation

Participants will be housed in UBC residences on campus with easy access to classes, libraries, sport facilities and transportation. Students will stay in shared suites that include four to six single bedrooms, an in-suite bathroom with a shower and toilet, a lounge area with a television, and a fully-equipped kitchenette. High-speed wired internet is included. The residences are secure and have a 24-hour front reception desk. Groups are supported by residence staff. If maximum occupancy is reached in apartment style accommodation, students may be placed in dormitory style accommodation.

Dates and deadlines

June

Course Dates June 4 - July 4, 2022
Participant Registration Deadline March 11, 2022
Arrive in Vancouver TBA
Classes TBA
Depart Vancouver TBA

July

Course Dates July 16 - August 16, 2022
Participant Registration Deadline April 1, 2022
Arrive in Vancouver TBA
Classes TBA
Depart Vancouver TBA

Fee

The current package fee is $5,450 (Canadian Dollars) per student. That includes:

  • Tuition
  • Course materials
  • Accommodation
  • Medical insurance
  • Airport transfer (for group arrival/departure)
  • City tour
  • Socio-cultural activities
  • Orientation and farewell events
  • Most social activities (optional trips may require an additional fee)

Application and requirements

Students need to meet their institution's requirements for studying abroad, must be proficient in English, and must have a strong academic background. Participating universities should notify UBC of their interest in the program well in advance so that accommodation and instructors can be booked. Visit the central UBC VSB site for details. Course packages have minimum and maximum class sizes, so institutions are encouraged to register their students early. If you’re interested in joining the VSP UBC Integrated Sciences course packages, please contact us at intsci@science.ubc.ca.