Courses

DEEP Summer Academy offers a wide variety of courses to students. While we have broken down our course offerings into several streams related by areas of study and subject matter, students are not only welcome but encouraged to select from any of the various course offerings.

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Stream


This dynamic and multi-disciplinary stream delve into new technologies and advancements in processes. Achieving an efficient manufacturing and process flow, or developing lightweight and high-performance materials for aerospace and automotive applications will require careful consideration of our resources, environments, and systems for a better tomorrow!

Introduction to Microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip Technologies
Instructor: Noosheen Walji
Week 1 (July 9-13, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
Often referred to as a lab-on-a-chip, Microfluidics has a variety of applications from environmental chemistry to biomedical engineering. In this course, you will explore the science behind this technology as well as some recent and impactful developments in the discipline. You will be introduced to material from second and third year undergraduate Fluid Mechanics courses and you will meet graduate students, researchers, and professors who are conducting cutting edge research in microfluidics. During the course, you will be participating in a design challenge where you will fabricate your own microfluidic-devices in order to solve a real world problem using a University of Toronto laboratory.
Engineering Product Design and Development: From Concept to Business
Instructor: Ali Nasseri
Week 2 (July 16-20, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
What is the engineering design process? How do engineers use this process to take their ideas from conception to market? Using interactive hands-on activities, students will have the opportunity to explore some of the tools that modern engineers use to analyze and critically interrogate their designs.
Smart Materials and Advanced Manufacturing
Instructor: Nazanin Khalili
Week 3 (July 23-27, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
Smart Materials are new classes of materials able to change their properties once exposed to an external stimulus. Due to their advanced applications and prominent feature-set, such stimuli-responsive materials have been the focus of a large number of studies. In addition, advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3D-printing and CNC waterjet cutting are being widely utilized in emerging technologies. This course is designed to familiarize the students with the key concepts in the field of smart materials along with advanced manufacturing approaches while using computer aided design techniques to come up with their own simulation. Students will also work in a solid mechanics lab along with fabricating their designed samples in the student machine shop, allowing for them to enhance their conceptual skills while working towards realizing their conceptual design into a physical object.
Applying Engineering Principles in Manufacturing
Instructors: Joel Loh and Moein Shayegannia
Week 3 (July 23-27, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
In this course, students will learn about the state-of-the-art manufacturing methods used in both the glass and silicon industries. They will learn how the World’s strongest tempered safety glass is made, and why composites are stronger. Industry case studies will be explored, and students will learn how industry utilizes such techniques in both aerospace and automobile manufacturing. Students will also get an introduction to 3D-printing, including studying its history, current applications, and 3D-printing ecosystems. Lastly, students will be introduced to the applications of micro and nano manufacturing techniques, including the mechanical, thermal, optical and electrical properties of silicon.
Bio-Inspired Nanomaterials: Engineering Nature
Instructor: Jason Tam
Week 4 (July 30 – August 3, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
Over the past century, many functional materials have been produced based on observations of various structures found in nature. For instance, the hook and loop fastener, commonly known as Velcro, was inspired by the burrs of burdock. The burrs are tiny hooks that catch into fibrous material such as fur of animals and clothing. Modern electron microscopes allowed scientists to explore nanostructures of natural species at much higher magnification than conventional optical microscope which allow us to study numerous biological samples and uncover the origin behind many useful properties found in nature. Primary examples will be: super-hydrophobic leaves, anti-reflective insect eyes, sticky gecko feet and butterfly wings that are colored without using pigment. In addition, we explore some structural examples showcasing strength and toughness, through both materials and shape.
Engineering in Art and Ancient History
Instructor: Yasamin Kazemi
Week 4 (July 30 – August 3, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
Civilization, as we know it today, owes its existence to engineers. In this multidisciplinary course students will be introduced to great engineering innovations in the ancient world and discuss the impacts such inventions had on shifting the global balance of power, and transforming civilizations throughout the history. We discuss the motivations and science behind such inventions, and extend our journey to the modern world to discuss the roles of engineers in modern societies.

Data Analytics and Intelligent Systems Stream


Our world is more connected today than ever before due to the central role that data plays in all major fields of physical and life sciences, and in technology. Over the years, we have learned how to efficiently sense, store, and communicate more data, and how to draw “intelligence” from it as to create autonomous systems such as self-driving cars, to improve human health through personalized medicine, and to better our lives through smart connected systems.

Self-Driving Robots
Instructor: Tae Won Ha
Week 1 (July 9-13, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
Students are invited to discuss the theory behind self-driving cars, particularly focusing on localization, control, and path finding algorithms. Students will be provided with pre-made robots for which they will explore high-level artificial intelligence programming techniques to intelligently integrate sensors with their robots. The course will conclude with a final competition where students will design, build, and implement a self-driving algorithm for autonomous maze navigation.
Teaching Machines to Learn
Instructor: Justin Chu
Week 2 (July 16-20, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
As computing power increased in the past few years, more problems in the world have been solved using machine learning. From OpenAI’s Dota 2 bot and Google’s AlphaGo beating the best human players to self-driving vehicles and Boston Dynamics’s Segway-humanoid hybrid, Handle, pushing the boundaries of robotics, there have been many advancements in artificial intelligence. In this ever advancing world, research and industry have turned to machine learning to solve some of the hardest problems and hopefully, solve problems that are still unknown to us. In this course, we will introduce several machine learning algorithms such as Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) and Support Vector Machines (SVMs). Students will apply these algorithms to robotic arms to accomplish different tasks. May the smartest robot win!
Programming and Game Development
Instructors: Greg Cheung and David Tollefson
Week 3 (July 23-27, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
In an ever technologically advancing society the demand for programmers, software developers, and tech savvy professionals grows like wildfire. It’s important that the community is pushed forward to ensure that our youth keep up with the growing demand for technology. This course aims to do so by teaching students to love programming through a medium which they can easily relate to: video games. In this course, we explore software design and development by starting at the fundamentals. Students learn to render graphics, capture user inputs, and implement algorithms for appropriate responses to in-game situations, such as boundary detection. Finally, students track player data by building relevant data structures. In the second course of this two part series, we explore a means by which the student’s games and data can be made accessible to others by creating a relational database and responsive user-interface website.
Web Applications
Instructors: Greg Cheung and David Tollefson
Week 4 (July 30 – August 3, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
Web content is increasingly becoming the primary medium for accessing information. This course aims to demonstrate to students the fundamental tools and skills required to develop a fully functional website. Using industry standard methodologies and frameworks, students explore concepts in the development of both the back-end and front-end components of a website. Students create relational databases in Python and Django, and learn to gather and present this data using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Students gather data from the user, store it, and later render as HTML. Using Cascading Style Sheets, students discover how to present their content meaningfully and beautifully. Using javascript and the JQuery library, they bind browser events to specified functionality, allowing for various transitions and animations, and a more fulfilling user experience. Throughout the week, student will build a variety of increasingly complex web sites, culminating in a one day design and build challenge.

Bioengineering and Human Health Stream


Technology is rewiring all of society and engineering is well positioned to strengthen its role in addressing health challenges. Health research has experienced exponential growth due in part to technological advances, with engineering playing an integral role in leading and advancing these technologies. The Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering has particular strength in the areas of aging, neural engineering, human factors, medical robotics, pain management, regenerative medicine, and natural and urban environments.

Techniques in Cell Biology Research
Instructor: Negar Balaghi
Week 2 (July 16-20, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
This course will provide an overview of important techniques used in biomedical research. Understanding of these techniques will provide the students with a better view of how experiments can be designed and conducted in a biomedical research lab. Biomedical research requires a thorough understanding of fundamental concepts. Biological/biomedical research relies on lab skills and the ability to follow a protocol in order to ensure efficiency, accuracy and safety. Most the research done both in vitro and in vivo requires imaging of samples for the researcher to be able to make both qualitative and quantitative observations. To excel in this field, understanding of different practical techniques is an asset. Concepts in research build on the principles learned in earlier examples studied.
Tissues, Cells and Genes: Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases
Instructor: Anam Qudrat
Week 2 (July 16-20, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
Neurodegenerative diseases are usually late onset diseases, characterized by cognitive and motor impairment and/or dysfunction. Common diseases include Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These diseases activate similar biological pathways that cause widespread oxidative damage, protein aggregate formation, and chronic pro-inflammatory responses. Students in this course will explore this subject matter using a variety of different techniques and come away with a deeper understanding of neuro biology.
Engineering the Future of Surgery
Instructor: Judy Tran
Week 3 (July 23-27, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
This course will introduce students to the basic principles of innovation and design for instruments and equipment in surgery. Students will learn about and apply the engineering design process and gain an appreciation for the successes and challenges faced by biomedical engineers. By solving a variety of engineering design challenges in surgery, they will learn to be innovative, creative, and critical thinkers. Students will also have the opportunity to visit and tour a simulation centre used for training physicians, surgeons, allied health professionals, and researchers.
Gene Therapy and Genetic Techniques
Instructor: Judy Tran
Week 1 (July 9-13, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
This course will introduce students to topics in genetics, cloning and gene therapy, and genetic engineering. Students will gain valuable hands-on experience with techniques used in genetics and cell and molecular biology through labs involving DNA extraction, agarose gel electrophoresis, bioinformatics, and bacterial transformation with green fluorescent protein (GFP). In addition, they will learn about the practical uses of these techniques in various industries and the ethical issues surrounding gene therapy. Students will learn to think critically and gain an appreciation for the successes and challenges in gene therapy.
Regenerative Medicine: From Prometheus to Modern Research
Instructor: Jasty Singh
Week 3 (July 23-27, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
The mythological story of Prometheus, whose damaged liver repaired itself overnight, is one of the earliest instances of tissue regeneration. In modern times, regenerative medicine is an area of cutting edge research focused on growing functional tissues and organs in a petri dish, known as tissue engineering. In addition, regenerative medicine research is working on stem cell therapy, which is stimulating the body to heal itself. The underlying goal of regeneration is to harness nature’s power towards treating everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease to heart failure. This course will familiarize students with the science, design, and ethical considerations behind this area of cutting edge research. Through hands-on design activities and an introduction to the latest findings in research, students will be given the unique opportunity to step into the shoes of a biomedical engineer at the forefront of medical advancement.

Sustainability and Transportation Stream


Engineers have long been aware of — and have strived to reduce — the impact of activities on the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Achieving a sustainable future and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change require the responsible use and protection of our natural and built environments through the development of clean technologies.

Vehicle Dynamics and Control (Two-week course)
Instructors: Greg Cheung and David Tollefson
Week 1 (July 9-13, 2018) & Week 2 (July 16-20, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
In May of 2012, a Toyota Prius was the first vehicle to be issued a license to drive without a driver. To date, more than 1,000,000 kms have been driven by Google’s autonomous cars across North America. Other car companies have since joined them. While recent surveys indicate that no more than one in five drivers today would consider purchasing an autonomous automobile, some believe that this may be the car of the future. In this course, students explore the major electronic systems involved in vehicle control. The electronic control unit is discussed in terms of its role in anti-lock braking, traction control, and electronic stability control systems. The role of sensors and the collection of telemetry data in understanding a vehicle’s state is an ongoing topic of discussion. Remote motor control systems will be described and implemented by students. Various mathematical and computational methods are explored to further describe these systems. By the week’s end, students will employ their understanding to build a working model of an independent suspension, remotely controlled vehicle using Arduino.
The Air We Breathe
Instructor: Peter Murphy
Week 1 (July 9-13, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
This course will educate students on what we breathe, where it comes from, how we measure it, and what we can do to help. Throughout the course, students will work toward contributing different portions of an evaluation/proposal regarding Toronto’s air quality initiatives. This is an interdisciplinary course where the challenge of air pollution is introduced with a focus on urban areas. The interdependencies between transportation, air quality, and health are demonstrated. The city and the behaviour of its inhabitants constitute the context for the study of air pollutants in urban areas, urban air quality monitoring networks, mobile source emissions, air pollution and meteorology, atmospheric dispersion, chemical processes specific to cities, personal mobility and exposure to traffic-related air pollution, and epidemiology of air pollution.
Drinking Water Treatment
Instructor: Mike McKie
Week 2 (July 16-20, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
This course examines common drinking water treatment technologies utilized across the world. Each day students will focus on the theory and application of a different treatment system, with the goal of designing a treatment plant by the end of the week. Principles involved in the design and operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities are covered, including physical, chemical and biological unit operations, advanced treatment and sludge processing.
Autonomous Maze Race
Instructor: Justin Chu
Week 3 (July 23-27, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
Robotics research is growing at an exceptional pace. Robotic solutions both provide answers to existing problems, as well as expand territory for research and investigation. In this course, students will work in small teams to design, fabricate, and program a robot to traverse a maze. During the week, students will learn the science behind actuators and sensors and how they improve the performance of robots. The course will also cover wireless technology, such as Bluetooth, enabling the students to control their robots using their phones. By the end of the week, students will create a robot that can navigate a maze with or without human control.
Planning in Transportation Engineering
Instructor: Larry Kei
Week 4 (July 30 – August 3, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
This course follows the life cycle of a construction project and project planning for heavy civil construction in the transportation industry. Students will be introduced to transportation flow theories and traffic planning for congestion control. The course emphasizes the integration of the engineering design cycle and its considerations from a civil engineering perspective.
Design, Build, Fly
Instructor: Ali Nasseri
Week 4 (July 30 – August 3, 2018)
Senior (grades 11-12)
During this course, students will build and fly a small flying vehicle based on a set of specifications. Each day starts with a review of fundamental principles of flight and continues with students applying these principles to the design and construction of their vehicle. At the end of the course, the teams will compete with each other based on a set of regulations previously outlined in the specifications.

Mathematical & Computational Techniques Stream


Mathematical and Computational Techniques play an increasingly important role in the solution of many scientific and engineering problems. Fast adaptive methods are widely used to execute and analyze simulation and optimization problems. This stream presents a unique approach to scientific method and engineering design, addressing their mathematical theory, efficient algorithms, and flexible data structures.

Computational Physics
Instructor: Alex Cabaj
Senior (grades 11-12)
Week 1 (July 9-13, 2018)
Many of our problems cannot be solved analytically, and in the field of physics-based problems, researchers rely on computational methods in order to explore explore them. In this course, students will have the opportunity to choose and explore a physics problem, with the help of Python. Moreover, this course will introduce students to advanced mathematical and computational techniques commonly used to solve complex problems in modern physics.
Mathematical Modelling of Tissue Growth
Instructor: Nik Kuzmic
Senior (grades 11-12)
Week 2 (July 16-20, 2018)
This course will introduce students to the field of mathematical biology. Students will study the mathematical models of seashell, fungal, tumour and axon growth. This course will provide an opportunity to build a numerical model for each of the mentioned biological phenomena, and investigate their governing factors. Whether one is interested in studying tumour or plant growth, biologists are always discovering beneficial and detrimental factors fostering and inhibiting growth. Students will gain deeper fundamental understanding of these processes, and investigate potential ways of controlling such factors.
Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
Instructor: Zacharie Leger
Senior (grades 11-12)
Week 3 (July 23-27, 2018)
Come and explore the ideas that have shaped the most successful quantitative theory ever made! Quantum mechanics is the basis of our universe and through it’s eye we will be able to observe the strange, wonderful world that surrounds us. This course will present a rigorous introduction to both the theoretical and experimental sides of quantum mechanics. Throughout the course, students will be able to discuss the implications of this theory, and explore such topics as quantum entanglement, cloning, quantum computers, and much more.
Sustainable Design of Ground Source Heat Pumps
Instructor: Nik Kuzmic
Senior (grades 11-12)
Week 4 (July 30 – August 3, 2018)
With pronounced effects of global warming and rapid increase in population size, urban areas are faced with the challenge of coming up with sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions to provide comfortable living conditions for its residents. In this course we will explore an alternative source of energy that can provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, technology known as – Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs). Students will gain understanding of the second law of thermodynamics and how it can be applied to quantify the energy exchange between the house and the ground. The course will expose students to Matlab and enable them to develop a numerical heat transfer model which will ultimately allow them to assess long term performance of the system and suggest ways of make it more sustainable.

Aerospace Engineering Stream


Aerospace Engineering is the branch of engineering involved in the science, design, manufacturing e and operation of manned or unmanned vehicles travelling within or beyond the earth’s atmosphere. It is a highly multidisciplinary field involving knowledge of aerodynamics, dynamics and control, structures and materials, combustion and propulsion, aeroacoustics, as well as atmospheric and space physics.  

Space Transportation
Instructor: Cody Bauer
Week 1 (July 9-13, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
The 21st century has seen the birth of the commercial space industry. Yet, the journey to and from space still poses many challenges and is often accompanied by high costs. In this course, students will be acquainted with current transportation systems humans use to access low earth orbit (LEO) and beyond. The fundamentals of thruster analysis, nozzle theory, rocket performance, and high speed gas dynamics will be addressed. Mathematical derivations and common engineering analysis tools will be presented. The main propulsion systems of rockets will be discussed in depth including: liquid rocket engines, solid rocket motors, and hybrid engines. Students will also delve into the mechanics of plasma physics and its relation to electric propulsion in space. In addition, students will propose their own concepts of space transportation methods to reduce the cost of space access and increase the feasibility of deep space exploration. Tours of propulsion labs will be given, followed by hands on experiments concerning propellant injection and flame dynamics within the Combustion Research Lab at the University of Toronto. Lastly, participants will be introduced to state-of-the-art space propulsion ideas such as: antimatter rockets and solar sails.
Mission to Mars
Instructor: Ali Nasseri
Week 3 (July 23-27, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
In this course, we take an interdisciplinary look at space flight and some of the scenarios space engineers need to take into account when sending astronauts on a long duration space mission. Students will not only learn the science of space flight by reviewing orbital mechanics, spacecraft design and space medicine, but will also do our own simulations to see what can go wrong and how failures can be avoided.
Driving Forces in Modern Aircraft Design
Instructor: Nikhil Narayanan
Week 4 (July 30 – August 3, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
This course is a comprehensive introduction to aircraft design in the modern world. Students will look at what drives current aircraft design in terms of performance, costs, weight and market demand. Students will spend some time looking at the most important aspect of the modern industry, manufacturing and logistics. Lastly, students will look at the principles of aircraft design and the engineering design process — all with critical consideration to the aspects of aerodynamics and aircraft stability.

Engineering Physics Stream


Engineering Physics refers to the study of the combined disciplines of physics, mathematics and engineering across a wide spectrum of theoretical and experimental situations.

Design, Build, Battle
Instructors: Justin Chu and Prangon Dey Swachha
Week 1 (July 9-13, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
Students are invited to join us for the ultimate robotics design challenge! Bring the imagination and creativity and we’ll give you the knowledge, parts, and electronics to make a powerful robot for combat. Using 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software, students will work in small groups to design the most effective robot for battle. In this design challenge, we’ll work through the entire engineering design process, from ideas to CAD models to prototypes and to a final design. On the last day, there will be a battle between designs to see who comes on top. Good luck and may the best robot and team win!
Solar Energy Materials and Cells
Instructors: Joel Loh and Moein Shayegannia
Week 2 (July 16-20, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
Electricity has been central to the growth and prosperity of human societies; however, the human population is expanding. By year 2050, projections indicate there will be 9 billion people on the planet. How will we meet the electricity needs of these people? Solar energy has long been regarded as an ideal form of alternative energy. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of solar cells, including semiconductor devices, introductory quantum mechanics, and solar cell operation. Next generation technologies will be discussed, such as thin-film, quantum-dot, and organic solar cells. Practical aspects include a mini-solar car challenge and construction of blueberry nanocrystalline titanium dioxide solar cells.
Lasers, Lenses and Lightbulbs: The Science and Engineering of Optics
Instructors: Joel Loh and Moein Shayegannia
Week 4 (July 30 – August 3, 2018)
Junior (grades 9-10)
From the earliest studies of light by Aristocles, to the development of basic optics by Newton, to modern discoveries by Einstein, Born, Wolff and other luminaries, the field of photonics has advanced far beyond the humble light bulb. Lasers are used in the supermarket, military and disc players; optical fibres make the Internet possible; holography is used for entertainment and anti-counterfeit bank notes. This course will focus on the fundamentals of optics, touching on exciting developments in this constantly evolving field. Students will learn how telescopes and microscopes work and how to measure the refractive indices of materials. While building a light fountain, participants will uncover the basic principles of optical fibres, and will learn how polarization is used in real-world applications such as sunglasses and 3D glasses. Students will also learn about lasers and state-of-the-art developments in the field of modern optics.