This will be my first semester in an applied math lab. After spending a couple of years taking all theoretical math courses, essentially working in isolation the entire time, and finishing a thesis, essentially only interacting in person with my advisor, I will now be part of a group doing some experimental work for a semester. We are expected to write journal-style papers (not too long, less than 10 pages), following a journal of the professor's choice.
I found this setting to be extremely uncomfortable. I felt that I was the only one who had to ask things such as, "what is viscosity?."
What are some tips to overcome this feeling of holding myself back from having an active dialogue with my lab professor? How did you guys do it, when you first started at a lab? I feel utterly inept with interacting in a group setting.
The professor is super cool and very informal and speaks very intuitively, so as not to scare off the first-timers, I think.