## THE ERROR ESTIMATION IN FINITE ELEMENT METHODS FOR ELLIPTIC EQUATIONS WITH LOW REGULARITY

#### thesis

In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.

This dissertation contains two parts: one part is about the error estimate for the finite element approximation to elliptic PDEs with discontinuous Dirichlet boundary data, the other is about the error estimate of the DG method for elliptic equations with low regularity.

Elliptic problems with low regularities arise in many applications, error estimate for sufficiently smooth solutions have been thoroughly studied but few results have been obtained for elliptic problems with low regularities. Part I provides an error estimate for finite element approximation to elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs) with discontinuous Dirichlet boundary data. Solutions of problems of this type are not in H1 and, hence, the standard variational formulation is not valid. To circumvent this difficulty, an error estimate of a finite element approximation in the W1,r(Ω) (0 < r < 2) norm is obtained through a regularization by constructing a continuous approximation of the Dirichlet boundary data. With discontinuous boundary data, the variational form is not valid since the solution for the general elliptic equations is not in H1. By using the W1,r (1 < r < 2) regularity and constructing continuous approximation to the boundary data, here we present error estimates for general elliptic equations.

Part II presents a class of DG methods and proves the stability when the solution belong to H1+ε where ε < 1/2 could be very small. we derive a non-standard variational formulation for advection-diffusion-reaction problems. The formulation is defined in an appropriate function space that permits discontinuity across element

viii

interfaces and does not require piece wise Hs(Ω), s ≥ 3/2, smoothness. Hence, both continuous and discontinuous (including Crouzeix-Raviart) finite element spaces may be used and are conforming with respect to this variational formulation. Then it establishes the a priori error estimates of these methods when the underlying problem is not piece wise H3/2 regular. The constant in the estimate is independent of the parameters of the underlying problem. Error analysis presented here is new. The analysis makes use of the discrete coercivity of the bilinear form, an error equation, and an efficiency bound of the continuous finite element approximation obtained in the a posteriori error estimation. Finally a new DG method is introduced i to over- come the difficulty in convergence analysis in the standard DG methods and also proves the stability.