# Glossary¶

Convex
See element
Cubature method
A cubature method on an element consists in a set of nodes (generally called gauss points) and corresponding loads which define a approximated integration method. In GetFEM it is defined on the reference elements.
Degree of freedom
The degrees of freedom for a finite element method is the coefficients which multiply the shape functions in order to describe a (scalar or vector) field. Generally, they are the unknowns of the problem in general.
Element
An element is a small piece of a domain with a special shape (a segment, a triangle, a quadrilateron, an tetrahedron, a hexahedron or a prism) for dimensions less or equal to three. A mesh is the union of non intersecting elements.
Finite element method (fem)
A finite element method is defined on a real element. It consist on a certain number of degrees of freedom linked to the corresponding shape functions and a manner to glue the degrees of freedom from a element to a neighbour element.
Integration method
See cubature method.