So far it has been very interesting, but also challenging. Coming from a pure mathematics background, I had not previously been exposed to much applied science nor attempted much 'serious' programming, so when I started working there were a lot of different things I had to learn just to get going.
So what have I been doing?
First of all, I have spent a rather tremendous amount of time reading/flipping through various scientific articles and books, trying to get a grasp of the basic ideas and concepts that I need for my research. Also, during the first two semesters I took course at the university on theoretical mathematics/physics. The course in question might not have been very relevant to my work at the IOR centre, but I guess time will show. At least I now know a little quantum mechanics, which is cool! *insert Sheldon Cooper joke here*
However, my main job will be perform computer simulations of core scale experiments, so I have also spent a lot of time implementing and testing various numerical routines, as well as trying out programs made by others. Many an hour have I been agonizing over stupid errors in my C++ code, but lately I feel the tide has turned in the fight against those pesky and evil little bugs!
Zooming forwards to the present moment, I am now working towards my first scientific article, which will be a simulation study where I look at combined effects of salt and polymer. In addition to this, me and some other PhD students have just started following a course on Geochemistry, a course which will be very relevant to later work.
All in all, there are a lot of things to do, so back to the office!