UBC Engineering’s world-class faculty and researchers are committed to an instructional approach that is varied, experiential and engaging. This multi-faceted approach makes UBC engineers stand apart, on a firm foundation from which to build an exciting and rewarding career.

What you might expect/course format

While each course varies based on the subject and instructor, our VSP Packages feature:

  • Interactive in person lectures
  • Hands-on labs, fun and practical demonstrations
  • Team-based assignments
  • Fun social activities
  • Tours of industrial facilities (some programs)
  • Experience with industry standard software 

July 2024 Course Packages

Music – An introduction to Electrical & Computer Engineering

Music has become an integral part of our daily life, but so few understand the engineering behind it. This course will give you an overview of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), revolving around music. Several aspects of ECE will be covered, including the basics of acoustics and waves, the technology behind microphones, the electronic circuits behind amplifiers, analog to digital converters (ADCs) and digital to analog converters (DACs), sampling theory, signal processing using analog and digital filters, operation of speakers, encoding and compression techniques used in mp3, etc.

Music Laboratory – Hands on Learning

Have you ever wondered how a DJ machine works? What are all those knobs used on a mixer? How does a noise cancellation headphone work? In this hands-on course, students will learn about the technical details of different equipment used by recording artists and DJs, such as mixers, distortion units, bass pedals, synthesizers, and MIDI. Students will design and test a guitar amplifier as a hardware project and compose a soundtrack using a software synthesizer.

Prerequisites: Introductory undergraduate courses in algebra, calculus and physics; basic ability to write computer code

Algorithms and the World Wide Web

The Internet and the World Wide Web have enabled new methods for communicating and working with data. What is the underlying infrastructure for the Internet? What are the algorithms used to move bits of data around? How is your credit card number kept secure when you buy a book from Amazon or Baidu? How is your location determined using GPS when you play Pokémon Go? How do some dating sites match people? We will discuss some of the system building and algorithmics that power the World Wide Web.

Building Modern Web Applications

We will discuss the central abstractions and principles that enable the development of robust web applications. These principles can be applied when building applications using technologies such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Prior programming experience (for example, with C/C++, Java, Python) and an ability to learn new languages will be assumed. In particular, students will be expected to complete a mini-project using Javascript and related technologies that emulates a real-world application.

Prerequisites: Prior programming course in Python/Java/C++, Prior experience using algorithms and data structures

April 22, 2024: This course package has been canceled for VSP 2024. If you have applied to this course package, you should have received an email with the instructions to proceed with your application. If you have any questions about the cancellation, please email vsp.applications@ubc.ca.

Renewable Sources of Electricity

Electricity is the lifeblood of our society. Pivotal to securing a sustainable future is the transition toward renewable electricity generation where the primary sources of energy do not diminish over time. This course examines today’s most promising renewable sources of electricity, focusing on solar photovoltaic and wind energy conversion systems. How much electricity can be extracted from solar or wind at a particular site? What major factors promote or hinder electricity production? Which sources of electricity should be used when and where? In this course, students acquire knowledge and skills to quantitatively evaluate the viability and performance of renewable energy conversion systems in terms of energy extraction and financial investment. Although the course covers technical content, no specific technical background beyond first-year mathematics and physics is needed. The course is open to all students who are interested in renewable energy and its role in the future electricity supply.

Renewable Integration in Power Systems

The benefits on offer by renewable sources of electricity for a sustainable future are undeniable. Yet, the prospect of extensive renewable integration into existing electric power systems threatens the ability to provide sustainable supply of electricity in a cost-effective manner. This course identifies key features of renewable sources that challenge prevailing engineering practices largely developed in the 20th century, followed by an overview of potential technical solutions. In small groups, students conduct more in-depth research into a particular technology that enables renewable integration and then present their main findings. Through this exercise, students acquire an understanding that a concerted effort will be needed to fully realize the energy transition. Although the course covers technical content, no specific technical background beyond first-year mathematics and physics is needed. The course is open to all students who are interested in renewable energy and its role in the future electric power system.

Prerequisites: First-year math and physics

For more information

For VSP Electrical and Computer Engineering-specific questions, please email help@ece.ubc.ca.

Student testimonials

“My experience in 2019 Vancouver Summer Program is fantastic. I traveled to many places around Vancouver with my friends and TAs, saw many wonderful sceneries and knew the local culture, I even managed to meet my favorite YouTuber “Linus Tech Tips” on an expo.”

– Zhaolin Shu, VSP Applied Science Student

“The instructors were really friendly and prepared abundant materials to engage students in class. We usually had one or two classes, and in the evenings there were all kinds of activities. Even though I didn’t knew anyone in class before, I never felt lonely and soon made some acquaintances whose friendship I still cherish now.”

– Ducheng Lu, VSP Applied Science Student