```
class Solution(object):
def calculate(self, s):
higher = set(['*','/'])
lower = set(['+','-'])
operators = higher.union(lower)
# quick reference for the operators
s = s.strip(' ')+'+'
# adding a ending + sign is useful to handle the last number
# since main loop below only updates totalResult upon an operator
totalResult = 0
higherValue = None
# int higherValue imitates a stack, in a sense that it updates value upon every push
higherValueOperator = '+'
prevOperator = '+'
temp = ''
# initialize variables
for i in s:
if i in operators:
num = int(temp)
temp = ''
# whenever encounter an operator, parse the number
if i in lower:
if higherValue == None:
totalResult += num if prevOperator == '+' else -num
# simple case: just update totalResult
else:
# interesting case: when a number is preceeded by higher operator
# but followed by a lower operator, we wrap up higherValue
# and put higherValue into totalResult
higherValue = higherValue*num if prevOperator=='*' else higherValue/num
totalResult += higherValue if higherValueOperator == '+' else -higherValue
higherValue = None
else: # where i is a higher operator
if higherValue != None:
higherValue = higherValue*num if prevOperator=='*' else higherValue/num
else:
higherValue = num
higherValueOperator = prevOperator
prevOperator = i
else: # where i is a digit
temp += i
return totalResult
```