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Mathematics of Computation

Published by the American Mathematical Society since 1960 (published as Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation 1943-1959), Mathematics of Computation is devoted to research articles of the highest quality in computational mathematics.

ISSN 1088-6842 (online) ISSN 0025-5718 (print)

The 2020 MCQ for Mathematics of Computation is 1.78.

What is MCQ? The Mathematical Citation Quotient (MCQ) measures journal impact by looking at citations over a five-year period. Subscribers to MathSciNet may click through for more detailed information.


Variational crimes and $L^{\infty }$ error estimates in the finite element method
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by Charles I. Goldstein PDF
Math. Comp. 35 (1980), 1131-1157 Request permission


In order to numerically solve a second-order linear elliptic boundary value problem in a bounded domain, using the finite element method, it is often necessary in practice to violate certain assumptions of the standard variational formulation. Two of these "variational crimes" will be emphasized here and it will be shown that optimal ${L^\infty }$ error estimates still hold. The first "crime" occurs when a nonconforming finite element method is employed, so that smoothness requirements are violated at interelement boundaries. The second "crime" occurs when numerical integration is employed, so that the bilinear form is perturbed. In both cases, the "patch test" is crucial to the proof of ${L^\infty }$ estimates, just as it was in the case of mean-square estimates.
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Additional Information
  • © Copyright 1980 American Mathematical Society
  • Journal: Math. Comp. 35 (1980), 1131-1157
  • MSC: Primary 65N30; Secondary 65N15
  • DOI:
  • MathSciNet review: 583491