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Wolfram’s Alpha - a computational knowledge engine

By Murray Bourne, 18 May 2009

Wolfram's Alpha is quite amazing. It's like Google on steroids, and then some.

Try entering things in the search box like:

  • Your birthday (I learned that I was also Born on a Blue Day — a Wednesday)
  • The city (or country) where you live (I learned that Singapore's Gini Coefficient at 0.522 is much worse than Australia's at 0.305)
  • A musical scale (I entered my favorite key, D minor, and it indicated the key signature, notes and what keys to play on the piano, but neglected to raise the leading note, C#)
  • And of course, since Wolfram is the developer of Mathematica, it does a good job of doing math problems. I entered "integral x^5" and it gave the answer, drew a graph of the integral and even showed the steps for the solution.

There may be a new search verb for this. Mike Croucher over at Walking Randomly has coined the new word "walpha", as in "do a walpha search on the Airbus 380". Let's see if it catches on.

Go here for a bunch of example searches in Wolfram's Alpha.

The home page: Wolfram's Alpha.

See the 3 Comments below.

3 Comments on “Wolfram’s Alpha - a computational knowledge engine”

  1. Brent Yorgey says:

    D natural minor doesn't have a C#. Perhaps you're thinking of D harmonic minor.

  2. Murray says:

    Oh yah - thanks Brent. It's been a while... 🙂

  3. Ayesh says:

    Dear zac
    Im interste on Maths and brain
    If u want to be work about it send me
    Thank you

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  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
    `a^2 = sqrt(b^2 + c^2)`
    (See more on ASCIIMath syntax); or
  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

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