Re: Wolfram Alpha 'Computational Knowledge Engine' has now gone live.
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.
> --- In email@example.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
>> '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
>> press articles anf YouTube videos about 'wolfram alpha'.
>> Here are a few example queries, to get you started...
>> Query: population london
>> Answer: 7.421 million people (2004 estimate)
>> Assumptions: Assuming London (United Kingdom) | Use London (Canada) or
>> 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.
>> 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,
>> I think there must be several mirrors to cope with the load.
>> Stephen Wolfram's own videos on YouTube explain quite well what the
>> are, and give more examples.
>> Search results for 'wolfram alpha'...
>> This one is good - "Stephen Wolfram discusses Wolfram|Alpha:
>> Computational Knowledge Engine" ...
>> Stephen Wolfram, a British Physicist, wrote the Mathematica program.
>> 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
>> 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.