% Example1a
%   This script demonstrates the use of the Fem code to
%   solve the BVP
%          -div(k*grad u)=f in Omega,
%                       u=g on Gamma_1,
%                 k*du/dn=h on Gamma_2.
%   Here Omega is the unit square, Gamma_1 consists of
%   the top and left edges of the square and Gamma_2 is
%   the remainder of the boundary (the bottom and right
%   edges).  The coefficient is k(x,y)=1+x^2*y, and
%   f, g, h are chosen so that the exact solution is
%   u(x,y)=exp(2*x)*(x^2+y^2).

%   This routine is part of the MATLAB Fem code that
%   accompanies "Understanding and Implementing the Finite
%   Element Method" by Mark S. Gockenbach (copyright SIAM 2006).

% Define the problem functions (note that u and its partial derivatives
% are used here to compute the boundary values; also, these functions
% are used to check the accuracy of the computed solution):


This is the first example of some MatLab code of Mark Gockenbach's. He declares that -div(k*grad u)=f. In the first line of MatLab code he declares


So there must be some equivalency to -div(k*grad u)=f of such a polynomial. I have a copy of Understanding The Finite Element Method by Gockenbach's to refer to but really did not yet find it where such a derivation is explained. It seems this polynomial is manufactured for the unit square described in the comment block. How is the above polynomial @ ( f=vectorize(inline(... ) derived?

  • $\begingroup$ You could also use the symbolic abilities of matlab to compute f,g,h from the given solution. There might be speed concerns resulting from different levels of interpreted code. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


If you take the functions given for $u$ and $k$ and apply the differential operator that you have in your differential equation you exactly obtain $f$, that is

$$f = - \operatorname{div}(k \operatorname{grad}(u))\, .$$

This a method called the Method of Manufactured Solutions and it's used to verify numerical methods. Here, they are assuming some functional forms for $u$ and $k$ and finding what $f$ would correspond to those functions assumed beforehand. See that $u$ should satisfy the boundary conditions.


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