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Re: Wolfram Alpha 'Computational Knowledge Engine' has now gone live.

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  • ms@ms.lt
    Ricardo, Thank you for alerting us to Stephen Wolfram s mathematical engine http://www.wolframalpha.com He demonstrated it to us last year at his New Kind
    Message 1 of 1 , May 18, 2009
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      Thank you for alerting us to Stephen Wolfram's mathematical engine
      http://www.wolframalpha.com He demonstrated it to us last year at his
      "New Kind of Science" summer school in Vermont, but I couldn't say much
      about it because we signed non-disclosure agreements. I think it will be
      very helpful for numerical literacy.

      For me, it's especially helpful simply as an almanac of examples of data
      for creating the "classic math problems" I want to document. See their
      list of examples:
      and I've created a page at our wiki:
      I hope to make some progress on an open source textbook for classic math
      problems in the coming weeks. I should also hear from the NordPlus
      contest by mid June.

      Andrius Kulikauskas, Minciu Sodas, http://www.ms.lt, ms@...

      > Hi Andrius
      > I forgot to mention any Wolfram Alpha examples that are mathematical and
      > might interest you more.
      > This is a query for 'factors x^2+9'. It calculates the factors, (x -
      > 3i)(x + 3i) and displays a graph.
      > I can see this being useful for school homework, as well as the intended
      > mathematicians, engineers, etc.
      > http://www75.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=factors+x%5E2%2B9
      > <http://www75.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=factors+x%5E2%2B9>
      > Ricardo
      > --- In mendenyo@yahoogroups.com, "ricardoolpc" <ricardoolpc@...> wrote:
      >> Hi Andrius
      >> I don't know whether you've seen this already, but as a mathematician,
      >> this may interest you.
      >> The new Wolfram Alpha search engine has now gone live. It's called a
      >> 'Computational Knowledge Engine'. Unlike Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc, it's
      > a
      >> 'Computational Search Engine' that gets its data from validated and
      >> licensed or free scientific, math, geographical databases etc, then
      >> computes information, based on your query. It's a brand new class of
      >> search engine. It understands the meaning of web or database data, it
      >> doesn't just search for keywords. To use the jargon, it's part of the
      >> 'semantic web'.
      >> http://www.wolframalpha.com/ <http://www.wolframalpha.com/>
      >> It does a lot deduction to make best-guess assumptions for any
      >> missing/implied words. In the results, it gives you what you asked for
      >> and any other data, tables and graphs that might be relevent, and
      >> closely related topics.
      >> Its mostly aimed at scientists, mathematicians and engineers, etc, so
      >> it's not a replacement for Google.
      >> Anyway, you can try some queries and see what you think. There are
      > many
      >> press articles anf YouTube videos about 'wolfram alpha'.
      >> Here are a few example queries, to get you started...
      >> http://www11.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=population+london
      >> <http://www11.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=population+london>
      >> Query: population london
      >> Answer: 7.421 million people (2004 estimate)
      >> Assumptions: Assuming London (United Kingdom) | Use London (Canada) or
      >> more
      >> http://www09.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=population+london+%2F+paris
      >> <http://www09.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=population+london+%2F+paris>
      >> You can do calculations, such as dividing 'population london / paris',
      >> which gives an answer of 3.47. Note that I didn't need to say
      >> 'population' again for 'paris population'. That was implied.
      >> http://www09.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=sodium+phosphate
      >> <http://www09.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=sodium+phosphate>
      >> Query: sodium phosphate
      >> Answer: <Chemical formula, diagram of structure, etc>
      >> Assumptions: Assuming trisodium phosphate | Use disodium hydrogen
      >> phosphate or more
      >> You can just type in a city, company on the stockmarket, etc, and it
      >> will just present you with 'a range of useful information about it'.
      >> Then you can think about it and enter other queries to drill down in a
      >> particular direction.
      >> You'll notice the URL keeps changing as you use it to www10, www83,
      > etc.
      >> I think there must be several mirrors to cope with the load.
      >> Stephen Wolfram's own videos on YouTube explain quite well what the
      > aims
      >> are, and give more examples.
      >> Search results for 'wolfram alpha'...
      > http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=wolfram+alpha&a\
      > \
      >> q=f
      > <http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=wolfram+alpha&\
      > \
      >> aq=f>
      >> This one is good - "Stephen Wolfram discusses Wolfram|Alpha:
      >> Computational Knowledge Engine" ...
      >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TIOH80Qg7Q
      >> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TIOH80Qg7Q>
      >> Stephen Wolfram, a British Physicist, wrote the Mathematica program.
      > See
      >> Wikipedia...
      >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Wolfram
      >> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Wolfram>
      >> There are plenty of press articles that criticise it for not being a
      >> general purpose Google search-engine replacement. They miss the point,
      >> that its just the start of a new class of search/calculation tools
      > that
      >> use 'meaning' to answer 'knowledge' type questions. Google etc will
      >> probably absorb the idea into their own search engines.
      >> I'd be interested to see what you think of it, what it might be useful
      >> for, etc.
      >> Ricardo
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