Doing calculations with Python
As an engineer I do a lot of calculations. These can be done with pen and paper and a calculator, in an IPython notebook or in a throwaway spreadsheet. All of these methods have shortcomings, though.
Pen and paper is hard to share and (in my case) hard for others to read. In IPython you can assign the results of calculations to a variable, but you have to perform a separate action to display them. And spreadsheets in general show you the results but not the calculations.
So I wrote a simple function in Python to help me with that. Using this function I can print both simple assignments and relatively complex calculations. And it shows both the calculation and the result.