Unformatted text preview: ey showed how to solve one- and twodimensional problems using actual structural elements and triangular- and rectangularelement decompositions of a continuum. Their timing was better than Courant's 6],
since success of the nite element method is dependent on digital computation which
was emerging in the late 1950s. The concept was extended to more complex problems
such as plate and shell deformation (cf. the historical discussion in Logan 10], Chapter
1) and it has now become one of the most important numerical techniques for solving
partial di erential equations. It has a number of advantages relative to other methods,
the treatment of problems on complex irregular regions,
the use of nonuniform meshes to re ect solution gradations,
the treatment of boundary conditions involving uxes, and
the construction of high-order approximations.
Originally used for steady (elliptic) problems, the nite element method is now used
to solve transient parabolic and hyperbolic problems. Estimates of discretization errors
may be obtained for reasonable costs. Th...
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