My talk from FEniCS’16

In my talk at FEniCS’16 at Simula Research Laboratory in Oslo, I talked about FEniCS installation and documentation.

Ever since the first version of FEniCS in 2002 (2003), installation has been a challenging issue, and 15 years later we still struggle. The reason is that FEniCS is a complex piece of software consisting of several packages that in turn depend on other packages (which are themselves nontrivial to configure and build).

Recently I’ve been playing around with Docker containers (based on excellent work by Jack Hale, Lizao Li and Garth N. Wells). Docker allows users (and developers!) to run FEnICS in isolated preconfigured, reusable and disposable containers. Running a FEniCS session using our Docker containers is just a matter of typing a single command:

fenicsproject run

To try out the containers, visit the FEniCS web page and try following the instructions. I hope the instructions make sense and will be very interested  in feedback on how the instructions or installation experience can be improved and made as smooth as possible.

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His research interests are adaptive finite element methods, high-level automating software systems for solution of PDE, domain-specific languages and compilers in scientific computing, augmented and virtual reality, and applications in biomedicine, general relativity, architecture, and geoinformation; in particular the combination of modeling, simulation and visualization to create Digital Twins of physical systems. Logg is Director of the Digital Twin Cities Centre at Chalmers, a Vinnova Competence Centre devoted to the study and development of the Digital Twin concept for city modeling and simulation. Logg is co-founder and initial developer of the FEniCS Project, a leading open-source software for automated solution of PDE. He works part-time as scientific advisor to Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre.

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