My thesis advisor gave me a great piece of advice: never leave the office without giving your computer something to do.
Since then, I have tried to have a program running overnight whenever possible. This is not the greenest thing to do, but it is productive. Here are two things that I do regularly.
- I use the computational algebra system GAP in my research, and I try to have a program running whenever I am not at the computer.
- I participate in the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) to use my computer to find large primes.
Frankly, I haven’t been very good about having GAP programs run. However, it is very easy to search for primes–GIMPS has programs that are foolproof.