Starting in the spring 2013, I videotaped the lectures for my MATH 676: Finite element methods in scientific computing course at the KAMU TV studio at Texas A&M. These are lectures on many aspects of scientific computing, software, and the practical aspects of the finite element method, as well as their implementation in the deal.II software library. Support for creating these videos was also provided by the National Science Foundation and the Computational Infrastructure in Geodynamics.

The videos are part of a broader effort to develop a modern way of teaching Computational Science and Engineering (CS&E) courses. If you are interested in adapting our approach, you may be interested in this paper I wrote with a number of education researchers about the structure of such courses and how they work.

Note 1: In some of the videos, I demonstrate code or user interfaces. If you can't read the text, change the video quality by clicking on the "gear" symbol at the bottom right of the YouTube player.

Note 2: deal.II is an actively developed library, and in the course of this development we occasionally deprecate and remove functionality. In some cases, this implies that we also change tutorial programs, but the nature of videos is that this is not reflected in something that may have been recorded years ago. If in doubt, consult the current version of the tutorial.

Lecture 42: Beyond computational methods — Part 1: Workflows in scientific computing

Scientific computing is not about solving partial differential equations with the finite element method. Rather, it is about solving real applications, and most of the things I have talked about during the previous lectures are only tools to this end. This lecture looks at how real problems look like and the steps one has to do to solve them. In particular, this includes the many steps that precede the the actual solution of a partial differential equation: identifying the correct model, determining material parameters and geometries, generating a mesh, etc. It also talks about the steps that come after solving the PDE: visualization, optimization, and closing the loop.

Note: In the video, I incorrectly identify the Jörg Frohne as the source of the mesh. While he was the one who gave it to me, it was in fact generated by Hannah Ludwig of the University of Dortmund, Germany.


Slides: click here