Home | Contacts
deal.II course


5-7 August 2013


Centre for High-Performance Computing (CHPC), Rosebank, Cape Town


Prof. Wolfgang Bangerth from Texas A&M University is the principal author and maintainer of the deal.II library. He has published extensively on the design and development of high-performance finite element software. He has also presented numerous international courses on using the deal.II library. For more information, have a look at his webpage.


The objective of this 3 day course is to introduce researchers and students to the state-of-the-art finite element library deal.II. The course will cover the basics of the deal.II library. At the end of the course, you will be able to use deal.II to tackle research problems of your own. The course content is an abridged version of a full-course that Wolfgang offers at Texas A&M University. This course should be of particular interest to researchers and students who want to use the finite element method for their own work and, furthermore, would like to be part of a global open-source community. It will be also of particular interest to members of the broader scientific computing community who are interested in the efficient solution of massive sparse systems using shared or distributed memory approaches.


deal.II is a C++ program library targeted at the computational solution of partial differential equations using adaptive finite elements. It uses state-of-the-art programming techniques to offer you a modern interface to the complex data structures and algorithms required.

The main aim of deal.II is to enable rapid development of modern finite element codes, using among other aspects adaptive meshes and a wide array of tools classes often used in finite element programs. Writing such programs is a non-trivial task, and successful programs tend to become very large and complex. We believe that this is best done using a program library that takes care of the details of grid handling and refinement, handling of degrees of freedom, input of meshes and output of results in graphics formats, and the like. Likewise, support for multiple space dimensions is included in a way such that programs can be written independent of the space dimension without unreasonable penalties on run-time and memory consumption.

deal.II is widely used in academic and commercial projects. For its creation, its principal authors have received the 2007 J. H. Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software. It is also part of the industry standard SPEC CPU 2006 benchmark suite used to determine the speed of computers and compilers, and comes pre-installed on the machines offered by the commercial Sun Grid program.

deal.II originally emerged from work at the Numerical Methods Group at Universität Heidelberg, Germany, which is at the forefront of adaptive finite element methods and error estimators. Today, it is a global, open source project maintained primarily at Texas A&M University, and has dozens of contributors and several hundred users scattered around the world (including South Africa). Over the years, development of deal.II has been funded as ancillary products of various grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the National Science Foundation, and other funding agencies around the world. We have also received direct funding for particular projects from the Computational Infrastructure in Geodynamics initiative.

If you are active in the field of finite element methods, deal.II might be the right library for your projects. Among other features, it offers:


The provisional programme for the course is available here.


deal.II is written in C++. Participants are expected to be familiar with the basics of the language and the finite element method. Prof. Bangerth offers a course at Texas A&M on deal.II. participants are encouraged to view the online video recordings of the course to maximise the effectiveness of the workshop. The video recordings can be found here. Delegates should ideally complete the first 8 lectures prior to the workshop commencing.

If you are familiar with the basics of the finite element method and have some programming skills, but not in C++, you will need to familiarise yourself with some of the fundamentals of the language.

It is envisaged that you will be using your own laptop with deal.II installed for the computational sessions. Please let us know if this is a problem.

Registration and Cost

In order to register, please send an e-mail to andrew.mcbride@uct.ac.za. The course is partially sponsored by the CHPC and the Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics at the University of Cape Town. In order to cover additional costs the registration fee is R300 per delegate.

Please pay the registration fee via EFT, using the following details:

The course is limited to 30 participants. Registration closes on 20 July 2013.

SAAM has kindly sponsored 5 x R2000 travel grants for students and early career researchers \ postdoctoral researchers. If you would like to apply for a travel grant, please indicate this in an e-mail and provide a brief cv and a paragraph to support your application.

Sponsors / Hosts