Fastflo is a finite element package for the numerical solution
of partial differential equations (PDEs) in one-, two- and
As a general PDE solver, Fastflo’s main advantage is its
flexibility in specifying models in two and three dimensions and
algorithms to solve them. The PDEs can be well known (such as fluid
flow, linear elasticity, heat conduction, electromagnetism, eigenvalue
problems) or non-standard equations encountered in scientific or
industrial applications. Users are free to specify what equation to
solve, to design the algorithm used for the solution and to control the
computations as desired.
Fastflo is ideal for use in research laboratories where
engineers, scientists or mathematicians need a PDE solver for daily use.
Fastflo is also ideal for use in universities, both for research
by graduate students and faculty, and as a teaching aide in advanced
undergraduate classes on PDEs and their numerical solution.
In Fastflo, PDE problems are written in a high-level language,
called Fasttalk. The package is presented to the user as a
graphical user interface, but can also be considered as a finite element
environment. Finite element operations like assembly and solving are
invoked by simple commands. There is no need for time-consuming
programming in languages like FORTRAN or C; indeed the underlying C code
that is the basis of Fastflo is not available to users. In Fasttalk,
the problem description is concise and mathematically intuitive, still
allowing as much detail as is needed. However, the files that specify a
problem and the algorithm to solve it are freely available and can be
shared with a team.
A team within CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences (previously
CSIRO Division of Mathematics and Statistics) initiated the Fastflo
project in the early 1990s, and has continued since then to develop the
product. CSIRO is Australia’s largest research organisation; it is
established through an act of parliament and provides R&D for the
Australian national interest.
Enquiries about Fastflo should be directed to