Home > Commentary, Maths > The Wolfram Alpha App

The Wolfram Alpha App

As a maths teacher and, well geek, I have been aware of Wolfram Alpha for a while. My use of it had been limited to the computer and I really had only used it to check a couple of things and for drawing graphs to show pupils in my lessons.

The other day I was working on a solution the the problem Colin Beveridge (@icecolbeveridge) posed on the latest episode of “Wrong, but useful” (I intend to blog my solution later, although I’m not altogether happy with it). During the process I had a long polynomial with a load of fractions and roots involved and I needed to differentiate. As I started to do this by hand I remembered James Grime (@jamesgrime) in this numberphile video make mention to a Wolfram Alpha app. I thought, I’ll check that out.

I downloaded the app for a mere £1.86 and I reckon it’s got to be one of the best £1.86s ever spent. What the app basically does is turn your phone something that dwarves the technology I used during my maths degree (which included it’s own predecessor “Mathematica”).

For those if you that don’t know, Wolfram Alpha is a “knowledge engine”. I believe it is the brainchild of brothers Stephen and Conrad Wolfram, and that the intention was to create something that would allow people to save masses amount of time.

You can ask it all sorts of questions, from maths, to anagrams to a plethora of other things. I’ve only just scratched the surface!

It differentiated my troublesome polynomial in a matter of seconds, which saved me an absolute ton of time. Infact, I have used it (only for maths stuff) everyday since I got it. I would certainly recommend this to everyone!

Here are some screenshots of its awesomeness:

A couple from my workings:

image

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And one for those of you who love polar graphs:

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Categories: Commentary, Maths Tags: , , , ,
  1. March 5, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.

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