Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha has now been launched. What is it? More than just a new search engine, Wolfram Alpha intends to answer your questions rather than direct you to other websites as per other search engines.

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Students are bound to latch onto this site quickly as it can answer mathematical equations as well as other school-related questions. Wolfram Alpha acknowledge this and as listed below, they encourage students to acknowledge Wolfram Alpha as a source. 

Wolfram Alpha’s FAQs include:

Education & Research

What educational levels is Wolfram|Alpha suitable for?

Any level, from kindergarten to graduate school and beyond. On the elementary end, Wolfram|Alpha can do arithmetic showing steps, make clocks, work with colors, and so on.

Can I use Wolfram|Alpha to do my homework?

That depends on your teacher. If you do use it, don’t forget to cite it as a source.

Why does Wolfram|Alpha give a different answer from my textbook?

Check to see if your book’s answer appears under “Alternate forms”. It’s pretty common for some forms to look different but be effectively equivalent.

Should I cite Wolfram|Alpha when I use results from it?

Yes. For academic purposes, Wolfram|Alpha is a primary source.

How should I cite results from Wolfram|Alpha?

The citable author is Wolfram|Alpha. Don’t forget to include the time and/or place at which the query was made, as it can affect the result. You can reference results in individual pods by giving their names.

How can I find out what to cite when I use data from Wolfram|Alpha?

Wolfram|Alpha should be considered the source, just as an encyclopedia or other reference would be. If you include the Wolfram|Alpha URL in your document, your readers can go to the “Source information” button to get further references. Note that Wolfram|Alpha often combines and adapts data from multiple sources.

Is the content of Wolfram|Alpha peer reviewed?

Yes, the content is reviewed by domain experts. It is also extensively validated using automated testing. For external data, we strive to use the most reliable sources available.

Can I find out how specific results in Wolfram|Alpha were derived?

Elementary math results often have “Show steps” buttons, and combinations of data have “Details” buttons. “Source information” buttons give information on background sources for external data.

Does Wolfram|Alpha contain “adult content”?

No. It has no adult images or narrative. It gives only factual answers to factual questions.

More information is available in the BBC News item, ‘Web tool as important as Google’.

Perhaps as a result of Wolfram Alpha’s development, Google has announced enhanced search tools.  

Further information about Google’s new search tools is available here.

4 thoughts on “Wolfram Alpha

  1. Pingback: Hot News » Wolffram Alpha

  2. Pingback: Wolfram|Alpha -the end of traditional Maths Homework? | Maths Teaching in a 2.0 World

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