Numerical Methods for Wave Propagation


Lecturer:        Dr. D. Baffet

Assistant:       Y. Gleichmann


  • Numerical methods for acoustic, electromagnetic, and elastic waves
  • Finite-Difference methods (FD) and Finite-Element methods (FEM) for the (approximative) solution of the wave equation in time domain and the Helmholtz equation
  • Scattering problems, exterior domain problems, Dirichlet-to-Neumann map, transparent boundary conditions


  • Linear Algebra
  • Calculus
  • (real) Analysis
  • Introduction to Numerical Analysis
  • Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
  • at least one Programming language (preferably MATLAB)


Course requirements

In order to obtain the 8 credit points for the lecture and the exercise class you have to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Theoretical exercises:
    • 2/3 of the total points obtained on the theoretical exercises. One point is given if the exercise is solved in a meaningful manner. On each exercise sheet there will be 3 points for theory.
    • Presenting the solution of two theoretical exercise at the blackboard. One in the first half of the semester and one in the second.
  • Programming excercises:
    • 2/3 of the total points obtained on the programming exercises. One point is given if the exercise is solved in a meaningful manner. On each exercise sheet there will be 1 point for programming.
    • Presenting the solution of one programming exercise at least once during the exercise class.


The homework sheets will be published on every Thursday and are due to Wednesday one week later. The exercise lecture for this homework will be discussed the next day on Thursday. During Fasnacht and Eastern there will be no homework and exercise lecture.

The first homework sheet will be published on Thursday, April 3rd.


  • L. C. Evans, Partial Differential Equations
  • D. Braess, Finite Elemente
  • K. Eriksson, D. Estep, P. Hansbo and C. Johnson, Computational Differential Equations
  • B. Gustafsson, H-O. Kreiss, J. Oliger, Time Dependent Problems and Difference Methods
  • F. Ihlenburg, Finite Element Analysis of Acoustic Scattering
  • G. Strang and G.J. Fix, An Analysis of the Finite Element Method