An Introduction to Python For Undergraduate Engineers/Python as a Calculator

Firstly, let's just quickly see how you can do simple arithmetic in Python. The table below list the basic mathematical operators and the associated code in python.

Function Code Example Result Function Code Example Result
Addition + 2+3 5 Multiplication * 5*6 30
Integer Division / 8/3 2 Floating Point Division / 8.0/3 2.666...
Remainder after division  % 8%3 2 Exponential ** 3**2 9


For more complex arithmetic, python contains a special module called math. This module contains an array of different functions (such as square root) and constants (such as pi). To use a module, we must first import it, like so:

   import math

We can then use for example:

   math.sqrt(16)    #to find the square root of 16.
   math.pi          #to get the value of pi.

Alternatively you can import modules in the following way:

   from math import *

This will import everything from the math module directly allowing us instead to call the functions as follows:

   sqrt(16) to find the square root of 16.
   pi to get the value of pi.
Last modified on 3 February 2011, at 22:18