WSU Department of Mathematics hosts 2014 Finite Element Circus

Nation's top numerical scholars to convene in Detroit

March 14, 2014

Attendees at Wayne State University's Finite Element Circus won't be asked to walk tightropes or juggle random objects, but they will be invited to share their insights on the finite element method.

Mathematics scholars and numerical analysts from across the country will convene at Wayne State University March 28-29, 2014, for the national conference on numerical methods -- especially the finite element method -- and their applications. The program will consist of randomly ordered talks volunteered by conference participants. 

"The finite element method plays a crucial role in simulation of engineering, physical, biological and other scientific phenomena," says Hengguang Li, assistant professor in Wayne State's Department of Mathematics and conference organizer. "A driving force for its success has been its mathematical analysis, which has led to novel competitive methods and significant improvements to existing methods."

The finite element method is used in numerous disciplines, from engineering and computer science to aeronautics and medicine. 

Registration for the Finite Element Circus, which will be held on WSU's main campus, is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or email

The Finite Element Circus, devoted to the theory and applications of the finite element method and related areas of numerical analysis and partial differential equations, is a conference series with a rich history dating back to the 1970s. The circus was conceived by mathematicians Ivo Babuska, Bruce Kellogg and Jim Bramble over beer and pizza at the Beltway Plaza shopping center in Hyattsville, Md. in 1970. The first circus was held at the University of Maryland, College Park. Each year, a different college or university hosts the event. 

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 28,000 students.