Scientific Computing I - Winter 11

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Winter 11
Dr. rer. nat. habil. Miriam Mehl
Time and Place
Thursday, 10:00-12:00; Hörsaal im LMU Physik Werkstattgebäude Am Coulombwall 1 (Garching!)
Computational Science and Engineering, 1st semester (Module IN2005)
written exam
Semesterwochenstunden / ECTS Credits
2 SWS (2V) / 3 Credits


Exam results are available at TUM Online. You can see your exams on Thursday, February 16 or March 1, 10-12 am, IAS (Lichtenbergstr. 2a), room 1.008. If you are a student in physics, please contact Dr. Miriam Mehl per email to get your results.

For comparison with your answers, you can download the solution of the exam here:

Exam with Solutions


This course provides an overview of scientific computing, i. e. of the different tasks to be tackled on the way towards powerful numerical simulations. The entire "pipeline" of simulation is discussed:

  • mathematical models: derivation, analysis, and classification
  • numerical treatment of these models: discretization of (partial) differential systems, grid generation
  • efficient implementation of numerical algorithms: implementation on monoprocessors vs. parallel computers (architectural features, parallel programming, load distribution, parallel numerical algorithms)
  • interpretation of numerical results & visualization
  • validation

Lecture Notes and Material

October 20 no lecture (SET)
October 27 Introduction
Population Modelling - Discrete Models
Further Reading: A Real World Application Example
Models in Science (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
November 3 Population Modelling - ODEs Further Reading: Analysis of ODE Models
November 10 Population Modelling - ODEs 2 Further Material: Online Slope Field Plotter
November 17 ODE Numerics Further Reading: Adaptive Time Stepping & Computational Stability
November 24 ODE Numerics Continued
December 1 Parallel Timestepping Further Reading: The Parareal Algorithm - A Survey of Present Work
December 8 no lecture, Dies Academicus
December 15 Heat Transport
Solving the Heat Equation
Further Reading: The heat equation with partial differential equations
December 22 Numerics of PDEs A gentle introduction to the finite element method
January 12 Numerics of PDEs continued
January 19 Computational Grids Further Reading: Delaunay Triangulation
Advancing Front Method
January 26 Algorithms and Data Storage for PDE Solvers
February 2 Solution of the Exam Winter 07/08



  • Date of final exam: February 7, 2012, 16:45-18:15
  • Registration: TUM-Online
  • Room: MW 0350, Egbert-von-Hoyer-Hörsaal
  • Helping material: One hand-written A4 sheet of paper, dictionary (if necessary)
  • Exam topics are all topics covered during the lectures. See the catalogue of exam questions and previous years' exams below.
  • Exam review: tba


The repetition exam is open to CSE students if and only if they registered for the original exam. Students from other fields might register (even though they didn't take part in the finals) if their exam regulations do allow this. Otherwise, the same procedure as for the CSE students applies.

The repetition exam will take place at the beginning of the summer term. It will be a written exam and announced in TUMOnline. You have to register at TUMOnline for the exam even if you've registered for the finals and did not pass.

Catalogue of Exam Questions

The following catalogue contain questions collected by students of the lectures in winter 05/06 and 06/07. The catalogue is intended for preparation for the exam, only, and serves as some orientation. It's by no means meant to be a complete collection.

Last Years' Exams

Please, be aware that there are always slight changes in topics between the different years' lectures. Hence, the previous exams are not fully representative for this year's exam.


Books and Papers

  • B. DiPrima: Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems, Wiley, 1992 (excellent online material)
  • A.B. Shiflet and G.W. Shiflet: Introduction to Computational Science, Princeton University Press (in particular Chapter 3,5,6)
  • G. Golub and J. M. Ortega: Scientific Computing and Differential Equations, Academic Press (in particular Chapter 1-4,8)
  • D. Braess: Finite Elements. Theory, Fast Solvers and Applications in Solid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press (in particular I.1, I.3, I.4, II.2)
  • Tveito, Winther: Introduction to Partial Differential Equations - A Computational Approach, Springer, 1998 (in particular Chapter 1-4,7,10)

Online Material