In the mathematical fields of differential geometry and tensor calculus, differential forms are an approach to multivariable calculus that is independent of coordinates. Differential forms provide a unified approach to defining integrands over curves, surfaces, volumes, and higher dimensional manifolds. The modern notion of differential forms was pioneered by Élie Cartan. It has many applications, especially in geometry, topology and physics.
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Calculus of variations
Calculus of variations is a field of mathematics, or more specifically calculus, that deals with maximizing or minimizing functionals, which are mappings from a set of functions to the real numbers. Functionals are often expressed as definite integrals involving functions and their derivatives. The interest is in extremal functions that make the functional attain a maximum or minimum value ¿ or stationary functions ¿ those where the rate of change of the functional is zero.
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Compiler
A compiler is a computer program (or set of programs) that transforms source code written in a programming language (the source language) into another computer language (the target language, often having a binary form known as object code). The most common reason for wanting to transform source code is to create an executable program. The name "compiler" is primarily used for programs that translate source code from a high-level programming language to a lower level language.
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FEniCS Project
The FEniCS Project is a collection of free, open source, software components with the common goal to enable automated solution of differential equations. The components provide scientific computing tools for working with computational meshes, finite element variational formulations of ordinary and partial differential equations, and numerical linear algebra. The current stable version of the FEniCS Project is 1.0; released December 7 2011.
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Linear elasticity
Linear elasticity is the mathematical study of how solid objects deform and become internally stressed due to prescribed loading conditions. Linear elasticity models materials as continua. Linear elasticity is a simplification of the more general nonlinear theory of elasticity and is a branch of continuum mechanics.
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Navier¿Stokes equations
In physics, the Navier¿Stokes equations, named after Claude-Louis Navier and George Gabriel Stokes, describe the motion of fluid substances. These equations arise from applying Newton's second law to fluid motion, together with the assumption that the fluid stress is the sum of a diffusing viscous term (proportional to the gradient of velocity), plus a pressure term. The equations are useful because they describe the physics of many things of academic and economic interest.
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Finite element method
The finite element method (FEM) (its practical application often known as finite element analysis) is a numerical technique for finding approximate solutions of partial differential equations (PDE) as well as integral equations.
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