Ever wanted to know more about the CSSA?

21 October 2011

The Cognitive Science Student Association (CSSA for short) is a
student organization run by undergraduates in cognitive science. We
work together to provide fellow lovers of cog sci with academic
support, a social community, and professional networking
opportunities. All of the board members are passionate about cognitive
science, and having reaped the benefits of the program here at UCSD,
are determined to help as many students as possible have the same
positive experience.

Last year, we organized group study sessions for finals every quarter.
Some of the sessions met with so much success that students exchanged
contact information and set up a second session. This year, we're
hoping to expand these study groups to include midterms as well. Other
academic events include a general body meeting centered around
answering class related questions. Our members exchanged advice,
impressions, and recommendations for the courses and professors in the
cognitive science department. We also held a graduate school round
table in which undergraduates who were considering higher education in
cognitive science could get the inside scoop from graduate students
here at UCSD.

We have a number of traditional events, some of which include Feed the
Professor, Pub the Grad, and our biannual Graduate/Undergraduate Beach
Bonfire. Feed the Professor is a chance for CSSA members to get to
know the faculty outside of class and office hours. The CSSA board
treats one of the professors in the cognitive science department to
dinner at a local restaurant, and reserves spaces for 12-15 students
to attend and meet the professor. Pub the Grad has a similar format,
except it is held on campus and has three graduate student invitees
instead of the single faculty member. There is also no limit on member
attendance. Our beach bonfire is held once in the fall quarter and
again in the spring quarter. It features beach games like ultimate
Frisbee, firelight guitar performances, free food, and s'mores. (and
of course great company!)

Every year, we put on a free conference in late winter quarter or
early spring quarter. Our conference boasts tours of UCSD's famous
labs, given by the lab directors themselves. Dr. Jaime Pineda's lab
offers demonstrations of brain-powered video games, Dr. Jim Hollan
debuts his latest interactive technology prototypes (such as the
world's smartest pen and a touchscreen table), and Dr. Ben Bergen may
just let you take a spin in his driving simulator. We also host a
poster session, in which undergraduate and graduate students alike
showcase the cutting edge research for which our cognitive science
department has such a distinguished reputation. Alumni and
professional panels exhibit the breadth of careers that cognitive
science can be applied to. Our invited panelists talk about how
cognitive science is an advantage in the workplace, and give advice on
how to find your dream job after graduating. And as if all of these
great events weren't enough to whet your cog sci appetite, we even
provide a free lunch for all attendees!

People Implementing Cognitive Science in Community Service, or
PI(CS)2, is our newest community outreach program. Founded in 2010 by
Kyle Shannon and Alan Tran, PI(CS)2 endeavors to promote  community
awareness about cognitive science. Last year, they traveled to local
high schools to talk about cognitive science at UCSD, and organized
lab tours for high school classes.

Our board members come from many different backgrounds and have a
variety of interests. Here is a list of the current officers:

Kyle Shannon - kshannon@ucsd.edu
Emperor and Savior of the Plebians (President)

Jerad Acosta - jsacosta@ucsd.edu
Chief of Police (Vice-President)

Jennifer Wu - jjw012@ucsd.edu
Supreme Ninja of Finance and Records (Secretary/Treasurer)

Mitchell Celaya - mjcelaya@ucsd.edu
Grandmaster of Communal Aggregations (Events Coordinator)

Sofia Campos - svcampos@ucsd.edu
Everyone's Best Friend (Professional Chair)

Adam Powers - powers@ucsd.edu
Dendritic Communications Director (Public Relations)

Alan Tran - att009@ucsd.edu
(Benevolent) Overlord of Member Involvement (Community Outreach)

Suzanna Osuna - suosuna@ucsd.edu
High Ambassador to Fort Knox (Fundraising Coordinator)

Rodya Perez - rjperez@ucsd.edu
Postmaster General of the Interwebz (Webmaster)

Clarice Robenalt - crobenal@ucsd.edu
Ethnographer Extraordinaire/Photography Guru (Historian)

And let's not forget our faculty advisor, Dr. Jaime Pineda!

Check out our website for more information, or if you aren’t a member
yet and want to be: cssa.ucsd.edu.

You can also find us on Facebook for the most current event updates: