Finite Element Methods
It is not our intent to provide an elaborate discussion of finite element methods. One goal of FlexPDE has been to allow users in the various fields of science and engineering to begin reaping the benefits of applying finite element analysis to their individual work without becoming programmers and numerical analysts. There are hundreds of books in print detailing the method and its variants in many fields, and the interested student can find a wealth of material to keep him busy. If we have been successful in our endeavors, he won’t have to.
Nevertheless, a familiarity with some of the concepts of finite element analysis can be of benefit in understanding how FlexPDE works, and why it sometimes does not. Hence this brief overview.