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 43: Beyond computational methods — Part 2: Issues with developing large software

Computational science ultimately always yields something that involves writing software — and software that is far larger than what one typically sees as a student: hundreds of thousands or even millions of lines of code. In this lecture, I talk about some of the issues one encounters when developing software at this scale. This includes the need to test and document code, and to use the most appropriate tools given that the most expensive resource is developer time. In addition, and maybe most importantly, it includes problems that are of non-technical nature: the social issues that happen when multiple people work jointly on a project.


Slides: click here