A finite element method for second order nonvariational elliptic problems
We propose a numerical method to approximate the solution of second order elliptic problems in nonvariational form. The method is of Galerkin type using conforming finite elements and applied directly to the nonvariational (nondivergence) form of a second order linear elliptic problem. The key tools are an appropriate concept of “finite element Hessian” and a Schur complement approach to solving the resulting linear algebra problem. The method is illustrated with computational experiments on three linear and one quasi-linear PDE, all in nonvariational form.