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Present complex equations with intermediate steps, graphics, plots, and results in SMath.

University students in engineering often have assignments in which they must show their work step-by-step with sample calculations. Although Excel and Python are useful for advanced calculations, they can’t present complex equations formally in a report.

MathCAD [1] is a good package for writing engineering reports. The tool offers a workbook interface that allows you to enter complex equations in a readable format, along with a rich function library, programming interface, graphics, and plots. Unfortunately, MathCAD isn’t supported in Linux, and it is generally out of the budget for students or casual users. As an alternative, SMath is a great free option that works in Linux, macOS, and Windows.

In this article I introduce SMath and show you some of the useful features that I expect to use in my next engineering term. I also look at an SMath example that solves a typical high school or first-year university math problem.

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