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Research Group of Prof. Dr. Carsten Burstedde

Contact Information

Institut für Numerische Simulation
Endenicher Allee 19b
53115 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73-69836
Office: EA19b 3.033
E-Mail: ed tod nnob-inu tod sni ta eddetsruba tod b@foo tod de

Teaching during Summer Semester 2020

The state government has moved the beginning of the semester to April 20th, 2020. We may not have lectures at scheduled times before that date. However, it is possible to provide optional reading material. Material will be provided by eCampus.

In addition, pentecost week is designated as lecture time.

  • For my Special Topics lecture, we will begin on April 20th, presumably using video streaming or prefab videos. All files will be linked in eCampus. To get registered, please email or paper mail me as soon as possible with your name and matriculation number. This is not the same as registerung for the exams: Material access does not imply you will have any exams scheduled. Since pentecost Monday is a national holiday, there will be no lecture in pentecost week.

  • My Seminar S1G1 is scheduled for Tuesdays. We had scheduled our second Vorbesprechung for Tuesday April 7th. I will provide further instructions here about (a) whether we will move it backward by a week and (b) how we will technically conduct the meeting. As for the lecture above, please send me your name and matriculation number and your assigned talk topic for confirmation, if we had agreed on it before. I will register you in eCampus. Again, this is not the same as registering for the seminar in Basis.

Upcoming Dates

  • My talk to high-school pupils on Mathematics in Electronic Music, originally scheduled for April 23rd, 2020, has been cancelled. I’m thinking to replace it with a streamed concert on that day and will update this page accordingly. We’re trying to find a date for the original event in 2021.
  • We are organizing a p4est summer school during July 20–24, 2020 in Bonn. Please see our poster and the web page. Updates regarding the Corona pandemic will follow.



I am developing numerical techniques for accurate and efficient computer simulations. A particular focus is on scalable algorithms that run on the largest supercomputers worldwide. A cornerstone of this research is the p4est software that I am lead-authoring.

Some geophysical applications are listed below.

  • Thermal convection (a.k.a. plate tectonics)
  • Seismic wave propagation (a.k.a. earthquakes)
  • Hyperbolic conservation laws (a.k.a. atmospheric flow)

The mathematical methods considered relate to the following fields.

  • Scientific computing and applied mathematics
  • Large scale parallel numerical solution of PDEs
  • Scalable algorithms for adaptive mesh refinement

Please see more details on my research pages. Check out my profile on Google Scholar and on the arXiv.


Here are some recent student evaluations for my lectures (with MD5 checksums):

  • V5E3 14493bba7cb6125e4137d2c6c4091aa6
  • V5E2 362ade7551efc6373cde359a98bc2ada
  • V5E1 cfafef9f46a52a31dbe6f9dcb02b953b
  • V4E2 8df7247bef61e23a8c92935be5f3ff3f
  • V4E1 7cfc6f8315cde809141670a116e2a792
  • V3E2 1c8cb3e0efe780b843786b817e63c960
  • V3E1 6fc16e03017546eb94d8f2ce18eb3dfb
  • V2E2 a2f42b64b82e0ef1ca3b896854a9026b
  • V2E1 60dc0eca130e5c59cb21814314eefa79

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. Occasionally I will post documents here.


Summer semester 2020

Winter semester 2019/20

See teaching activities of the whole group.

Current Research Projects

High resolution parallel simulation of variably saturated flow with adaptive mesh refinement

Project D8, TR 32.


Scalable algorithms for forest-of-octrees AMR

The p4est software.


Simulation of atmospheric flow and volcanic ash transport

The forestclaw project.


See all projects of the group.


  1. On the number of face-connected components of Morton-type space-filling curves. C. Burstedde, J. Holke, and T. Isaac. Foundations of Computational Mathematics, 19(4):843–868, 2019. BibTeX PDF DOI arXiv
  2. Direct numerical simulation of incompressible flows on parallel octree grids. R. Egan, A. Guittet, F. Temprano-Coleto, T. Isaac, F. J. Peaudecerf, J. R. Landel, P. Luzzatto-Fegiz, C. Burstedde, and F. Gibou. 2019. Submitted for publication. BibTeX
  3. Erratum to: adaptive grid implementation for parallel continuum mechanics methods in particle simulations. M. Lahnert, C. Burstedde, and M. Mehl. European Physical Journal Special Topics, 227:1757–1778, 2019. BibTeX PDF DOI
  4. Parallel tree algorithms for AMR and non-standard data access. C. Burstedde. 2018. BibTeX arXiv
  5. Enhancing speed and scalability of the ParFlow simulation code. C. Burstedde, J. A. Fonseca, and S. Kollet. Computational Geosciences, 22(1):347–361, 2018. BibTeX PDF DOI
  6. The simulation platform Parflow. C. Burstedde, J. A. Fonseca, and S. Kollet. In D. Brömmel, W. Frings, and B. J. N. Wylie, editors, JUQUEEN Extreme Scaling Workshop 2017, number FZJ-JSC-IB-2017-01 in JSC Internal Report, pages 37–42. Jülich Supercomputing Centre, 2017. BibTeX PDF
  7. Coarse mesh partitioning for tree-based AMR. C. Burstedde and J. Holke. SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 39(5):C364–C392, 2017. BibTeX DOI arXiv
  8. A tetrahedral space-filling curve for nonconforming adaptive meshes. C. Burstedde and J. Holke. SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 38(5):C471–C503, 2016. BibTeX DOI arXiv
  9. p4est: scalable algorithms for parallel adaptive mesh refinement. C. Burstedde and J. Holke. In D. Brömmel, W. Frings, and B. J. N. Wylie, editors, JUQUEEN Extreme Scaling Workshop 2016, number FZJ-JSC-IB-2016-01 in JSC Internal Report, pages 49–54. Jülich Supercomputing Centre, 2016. BibTeX PDF
  10. Minimally-invasive integration of p4est in ESPResSo for adaptive Lattice-Boltzmann. M. Lahnert, T. Aoki, C. Burstedde, and M. Mehl. In The 30th Computational Fluid Dynamics Symposium. Japan Society of Fluid Mechanics, 2016. BibTeX
  11. Towards lattice-Boltzmann on dynamically adaptive grids—minimally-invasive grid exchange in ESPResSo. M. Lahnert, C. Burstedde, C. Holm, M. Mehl, G. Rempfer, and F. Weik. In M. Papadrakakis, V. Papadopoulos, G. Stefanou, and V. Plevris, editors, ECCOMAS Congress 2016, VII European Congress on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences and Engineering, pages 1–25. ECCOMAS, 2016. BibTeX PDF
  12. Parallel level-set methods on adaptive tree-based grids. M. Mirzadeh, A. Guittet, C. Burstedde, and F. Gibou. Journal of Computational Physics, 322:345–364, 2016. BibTeX PDF
  13. Recursive algorithms for distributed forests of octrees. T. Isaac, C. Burstedde, L. C. Wilcox, and O. Ghattas. SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 37(5):C497–C531, 2015. BibTeX DOI arXiv
  14. ForestClaw: hybrid forest-of-octrees AMR for hyperbolic conservation laws. C. Burstedde, D. Calhoun, K. T. Mandli, and A. R. Terrel. In M. Bader, A. Bode, H.-J. Bungartz, M. Gerndt, G. R. Joubert, and F. Peters, editors, Parallel Computing: Accelerating Computational Science and Engineering (CSE), volume 25 of Advances in Parallel Computing, 253–262. IOS Press, March 2014. BibTeX PDF DOI
  15. Was ist eigentlich Wissenschaftliches Rechnen? C. Burstedde. Forschung & Lehre, 20(3):216–217, March 2013. Invited article. BibTeX PDF
  16. Large-scale adaptive mantle convection simulation. C. Burstedde, G. Stadler, L. Alisic, L. C. Wilcox, E. Tan, M. Gurnis, and O. Ghattas. Geophysical Journal International, 192(3):889–906, 2013. BibTeX PDF DOI
  17. Multi-scale dynamics and rheology of mantle flow with plates. L. Alisic, M. Gurnis, G. Stadler, C. Burstedde, and O. Ghattas. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117:B10402, 2012. BibTeX PDF DOI
  18. Extreme-scale UQ for Bayesian inverse problems governed by PDEs. T. Bui-Thanh, C. Burstedde, O. Ghattas, J. Martin, G. Stadler, and L. C. Wilcox. In SC12: Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis. 2012. BibTeX PDF
  19. Low-cost parallel algorithms for 2:1 octree balance. T. Isaac, C. Burstedde, and O. Ghattas. In Proceedings of the 26th IEEE International Parallel {&} Distributed Processing Symposium. 2012. BibTeX PDF
  20. A stochastic Newton MCMC method for large-scale statistical inverse problems with application to seismic inversion. J. Martin, L. C. Wilcox, C. Burstedde, and O. Ghattas. SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 34(3):A1460–A1487, 2012. BibTeX PDF
  21. Parallel geometric-algebraic multigrid on unstructured forests of octrees. H. Sundar, G. Biros, C. Burstedde, J. Rudi, O. Ghattas, and G. Stadler. In SC12: Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis. 2012. BibTeX PDF
  22. Algorithms and data structures for massively parallel generic adaptive finite element codes. W. Bangerth, C. Burstedde, T. Heister, and M. Kronbichler. ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, 38(2):14:1–14:28, 2011. BibTeX PDF
  23. p4est: scalable algorithms for parallel adaptive mesh refinement on forests of octrees. C. Burstedde, L. C. Wilcox, and O. Ghattas. SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 33(3):1103–1133, 2011. BibTeX PDF DOI
  24. Plattentektonik im Supercomputer. G. Stadler, C. Burstedde, and M. Gurnis. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, April 2011. Invited article. BibTeX PDF
  25. Slab stress and strain rate as constraints on global mantle flow. L. Alisic, M. Gurnis, G. Stadler, C. Burstedde, L. C. Wilcox, and O. Ghattas. Geophysical Research Letters, 37:L22308, 2010. BibTeX PDF
  26. Extreme-scale AMR. C. Burstedde, O. Ghattas, M. Gurnis, T. Isaac, G. Stadler, T. Warburton, and L. C. Wilcox. In SC10: Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis. 2010. BibTeX PDF
  27. The dynamics of plate tectonics and mantle flow: From local to global scales. G. Stadler, M. Gurnis, C. Burstedde, L. C. Wilcox, L. Alisic, and O. Ghattas. Science, 329(5995):1033–1038, 2010. BibTeX
  28. A high-order discontinuous Galerkin method for wave propagation through coupled elastic-acoustic media. L. C. Wilcox, G. Stadler, C. Burstedde, and O. Ghattas. Journal of Computational Physics, 229(24):9373–9396, 2010. BibTeX PDF
  29. ALPS: a framework for parallel adaptive PDE solution. C. Burstedde, M. Burtscher, O. Ghattas, G. Stadler, T. Tu, and L. C. Wilcox. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 180:012009, 2009. BibTeX PDF
  30. Algorithmic strategies for full waveform inversion: 1D experiments. C. Burstedde and O. Ghattas. Geophysics, 74(6):WCC37–WCC46, 2009. BibTeX PDF
  31. Parallel scalable adjoint-based adaptive solution for variable-viscosity Stokes flows. C. Burstedde, O. Ghattas, G. Stadler, T. Tu, and L. C. Wilcox. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 198:1691–1700, 2009. BibTeX PDF
  32. Scalable adaptive mantle convection simulation on petascale supercomputers. C. Burstedde, O. Ghattas, M. Gurnis, E. Tan, T. Tu, G. Stadler, L. C. Wilcox, and S. Zhong. In SC08: Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis. 2008. BibTeX PDF
  33. Towards adaptive mesh PDE simulations on petascale computers. C. Burstedde, O. Ghattas, G. Stadler, T. Tu, and L. C. Wilcox. In Proceedings of Teragrid '08. 2008. Winner, NSF TeraGrid Capability Computing Challenge. BibTeX PDF
  34. A wavelet-based nested iteration-inexact conjugate gradient algorithm for adaptively solving elliptic PDEs. C. Burstedde and A. Kunoth. Numerical Algorithms, 48(1-3):161–188, 2008. BibTeX
  35. On the numerical evaluation of fractional Sobolev norms. C. Burstedde. Communications on Pure and Applied Analysis, 6(3):587–605, 2007. BibTeX
  36. Algorithmic strategies for full waveform inversion: 1D experiments. C. Burstedde and O. Ghattas. In 77th Annual International Meeting, Expanded Abstracts, 1913–1917. 2007. BibTeX
  37. Computing light masks in neutral atom lithography. C. Burstedde, J. Braun, and A. Kunoth. Journal of Computational Physics, 220:422–440, 2006. BibTeX
  38. Fast iterative solution of elliptic control problems in wavelet discretization. C. Burstedde and A. Kunoth. Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics, 196:299–319, 2006. BibTeX
  39. Fast Optimised Wavelet Methods for Control Problems Constrained by Elliptic PDEs. C. Burstedde. PhD Dissertation, University of Bonn, December 2005. BibTeX Read
  40. Atomic nanofabrication with complex light fields. M. Mützel, U. Rasbach, D. Meschede, C. Burstedde, J. Braun, A. Kunoth, K. Peithmann, and K. Buse. Applied Physics B, 77:1–9, 2003. BibTeX
  41. Cellular automaton approach to pedestrian dynamics – applications. C. Burstedde, A. Kirchner, K. Klauck, A. Schadschneider, and J. Zittartz. In Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics, pages 87–98. Springer, 2002. BibTeX
  42. Simulation von Fußgängerverhalten mittels zweidimensionaler zellulärer Automaten. C. Burstedde. Diploma thesis, Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität zu Köln, 2001. BibTeX
  43. Simulation of pedestrian dynamics using a 2-dimensional cellular automaton. C. Burstedde, K. Klauck, A. Schadschneider, and J. Zittartz. Physica A, 295:507–525, 2001. BibTeX PDF