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:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/

and I've created a page at our wiki:

http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?WolframAlpha

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

>>

>

>

>