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 2024 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



Package A: Game Theory and Symmetry (JULY 2024)

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.


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.  


Duration and dates

The summer program will run one four-week offering:

We expect to run the program in Summer 2024.

Program size

 The minimum group size is 24.


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


Course Dates TBD
Participant Registration Deadline April 1, 2024
Arrive in Vancouver TBA
Classes TBA
Depart Vancouver TBA


Program costs

July In-person Session

The Vancouver Summer Program package fee of approximately $5625 CAD is all-encompassing and includes tuition for your course package, accommodation, course materials, and medical insurance.

The fee also includes transport to and from the airport, a city tour of Vancouver, a welcome event, and a farewell lunch.

Other included activities differ according to your chosen course package. Some packages include socio-cultural activities, while other activities are partly subsidized or come at an additional cost. For example, students may be responsible for the cost of public transportation for all off-campus classes and field trips.

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