Since its inception, the CNSO has held regular meetings at which students discuss the various responsibilities of the organization, their concerns with respect to the Boston University, their social lives, and the computational neuroscience community at large. Meetings provide a forum for students and postdoctoral researchers to talk about their research and experiences, and help to foster a healthy attitude among those who spend (all of their) time in the CompNet building. Additionally, the CNSO acts as a liason between students, faculty, and administrators, effecting significant changes within the centers for computational neuroscience on behalf of the student body, such as hosting indoor mini-golf tournaments. At present, the CNSO is developing this website as a repository for information, both useful and trivial, but nonetheless important to the student body.
The CNSO has several executive positions that are described in the Constitution. Those positions and other unofficial ones are (as of April 2015):
|President:||  Julia Chartove|
|Vice-President:||  Erik Roberts|
|Treasurer:||  Terri Scott|
|Secretaries:||  Sophie Schwartz and Louis Vinke|
|NeuroTalks Administrator:||  Dante Smith|
|Webmaster:||  Austin Soplata (asoplata 'at sign' bu.edu)|
The Cognitive and Neural Systems Student Organization (CNSO) was founded on February 23, 2007 by a group of 26 students in the department of Cognitive and Neural Systems. A successor organization, the Computational Neuroscience Student Organization, was founded in the Fall of 2011 heralding the arrival of a new era for computational neuroscience under CompNet. The spirit and passion of the original CNSO was not forgotten, and a more contemporary founding [pdf] document was ratified with the time-honored ceremonial accoutrements and celebrated with refreshments of a jovial nature.
The previous CNSO Constitution, from the First Constitutional Convention, can be downloaded in pdf form. The new CNSO Constitution, from the Second Constitutional Convention, is available in pdf form as well. In the case of a computational neuroscience crisis, the original can be retrieved from a secret location in Room 101, requiring a simultaneous turning of the President's and Vice President's GPG secret keys.
According to the Constitution, the CNSO was "formed to foster a sense of community amongst students and postdoctoral researchers in the Boston University neuroscience community." The document goes on to state that the CNSO should collect views of the student body and express those to the faculty. In this way, individual students are provided with a support system, and can thereby express fears and concerns while, if necessary, maintaining a degree of anonimity.
As new students and postdocs are admitted into various computational neuroscience programs and centers of the University, the student organization will also welcome and integrate the new researchers into the community. Little tricks and knowledge that older students have learned along the way needn't be independently discovered by new generations; one of the goals of the CNSO is to impart the wealth of knowledge that exists within the student body onto incoming graduate students.