
#91
May1909, 08:53 PM

P: 490

If you guys want to see what most of the math in Griffiths's QM looks like, try
eigenvalue 3 2 sin(x) differential limit as k goes to 3 On WA. lol. Obviously, just kidding a little bit. But you get the idea. It obviously has no intelligence at all. This is what happens when you hook up a TI to a database of information. 



#92
May1909, 09:36 PM

P: 78

In 5 minutes I made up the following queries that I liked: Good facts for students writing social science essays: 'population china vs india vs us' 'gdp africa vs eu vs us' Good for students in intro physics: 'time to fall' 'diffraction' 'Kepler's third law sun and earth' Lots of good queries for math students of course. 



#93
May1909, 09:55 PM

P: 490

But not for students of CS. I've tried several CSrelated queries, and apparently Wolfram didn't think that was important enough to include in the first release... ironically enough...




#94
May2009, 09:38 AM

Sci Advisor
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P: 2,275

I don't know how you guys can possibly criticize Wolram Alpha! This is the greatest thing since the invention of single serving pieces of bread containing 133 calories per serving.
I asked it, "What's it all about?" and discovered that 1 Albanian lek is equal to about 1.04 cents in American currency (this is a decrease in value from Jul 08 when 1 lek was equal to about 1.31 cents). I also discoverd that 1 lek is equal to about 1.58 kurus. Actually, I think this article has some good points. The main impact of Wolfram Alpha will be to make Google searches better as Google has to compete. When I compare Google and Wolfram alpha, Google has about 460 million daily visitors, while Wolfram Alpha has only about 460,000 daily visitors. That contrasts rather starkly on a graph. When I ask is google crap (it's hard to format a question so that it's accepted), I find that google is better than CRAP. Google sells for $403.67 a share and CRAP sells for only $60.62 a share. More relevant, Google only dropped in value by about 30% over the past year while CRAP has dropped in value by about %50 over the past year. Competition in crap stocks seems to have increased over the last year. 



#95
May2009, 10:52 AM

P: 78

From the article linked by BobG:
In the many articles that compare WA to google, the authors typically make shallow comparisons based on what someone may type into the engine over the course of a few minutes. A deeper comparison results from looking at the history of these projects and how they are driven by their technological foundations, and to see that WA is built on a foundation that has been improving for longer than Google has existed. Perhaps fans of Google should recall how the site began in 1998, what was it like searching for information on a web with far fewer pages, on 1998 hardware? Clearly when it was launched, Google was a product that would not really come into its own until the next decade. Whether this will also happen for WA as I expect, or whether Google will be able to grow in new ways to stay competitive, only time will tell. The real google.com in 1998. Edit: CA, Fractals, Functional Programming But of course it is only a matter of time until mainstream CS topics are added, since there is nothing inherent about them that does not fit within the project. 



#96
May2009, 11:35 AM

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P: 2,275

Except google isn't starting from scratch. They're already part of the way there, even if most users don't use google as effectively as they could (http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features.html).
The main thing google is missing is a good CAS system. While Mathematica, Maple, and Matlab are the most popular, there's quite a few other programs out there that are competitive in function (the disadvantage being that you wouldn't be able to interact with very many users with the less popular programs). MuPad is a good example. In some ways, it was even better than Matlab (the graphics were better, anyway), but then Mathworks just bought MuPad and eliminated the competition. I think google could probably buy the CAS system; maybe even buy rights to one of the more popular programs. I don't think Google could run Mathematica, Maple, and Matlab out of business in any event. I just think they could match whatever the other programs would be willing to put out there for free on the internet. 



#97
May2009, 11:27 PM

P: 4,513

A lesson in nontechnical internet information searching, or something like it. Google directed me to Wikipedia who informed me that Google was worth 18.5G. After learning the ropes WolframAlpha told me Google was worth 29.85G dollars. While there I asked WA the networth of Wolfram Research. WA didn't know what to do with my input. Have I the right corporate name? Is it a corportion? "What is Wolfram Research?" WA wouldn't tell me. Back to Google; "What is Wolfram Research?" It's a 'company'. OK.. ask about 'Wolfram Research Company'; not 'Corporation'. WA was not forthcoming concerning such a company. Neither was Google. Confusing Steven Wolfram with Eric Weisstein, I Googled Treasure Trove of Physics and discovered that Eric worked for Wolfram Research Inc., and that it is called WRI. Back to work. WRI is Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE). Dead end. Googling Stock Quotes lead to Yahoo Finance. A dead end. Finally, after close reading, Wikipedia tells me WR is privately held. WolframAlpha doesn't know what to do with "what is Wolfram Research Incorporated?" But, as such, questions of worth are probable moot anyway. Oh well. 



#98
May2109, 12:05 AM

P: 490

I don't see any useful information for functional programming here.
definition referential transparency definition function composition definition lambda calculus (lambda x.x y) S ::= bSb  SaS  c, parse tree bcacb (define (f g h x) (* (g x) (h x))) (f sin cos 1) ... It's a little arrogant of Wolfram to think that he knows better than the rest of the world what is important enough in CS to include in his "computational knowledge engine". sort ascending (2 4 1 3 8) I just don't get it. A precocious 5 year old wouldn't have trouble with this. This is arguably the simplest problem in CS, besides searching. does ("cat", "squirrel", "tree") contain "squirrel" Beyond me. 



#99
May2109, 12:13 AM

P: 587

AUMathTutor: The weird thing is those are all things Mathematica itself does. Like it's got foldl and composition and a full set of higherorder functions.
Which leads to another odd thing about Wolfram Alpha what happens when you type Mathematica statements into the search box. Sometimes it accepts it and sometimes it doesn't. Interestingly, if you give Wolfram Alpha the input: Sort[{2,3,1}] It does the right thing! But the NLP engine doesn't appear to recognize the word "Sort". 



#100
May2109, 12:52 AM

HW Helper
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P: 2,328

It's weird. Type in "Find the intersection of 4x+1 and x+6" and it will solve it. Type in "Find the intersection of x^2 and x+10" and it recognizes nothing. 



#101
May2109, 01:48 AM

P: 587

My nitpick of that sort would be:
One of the first things I wound up doing with Wolfram Alpha, trying to think of things it might respond to, was to type in: "Finite groups of order 2" It immediately responded there was 1 finite group of order 2. Curious, I tried something like: "Finite groups of order (1..1000)" And it immediately spit out the count of finite groups for all orders 1..1000. I then got briefly very excited and tried: "Graph finite groups of order (1..1000)" ...but... at this point it refused. It actually even realized I wanted to plot the results of "finite groups of order (1..1000)", it gave me an "Input interpretation" saying so. But it for some reason refused to actually do it. It knows how to plot "1..1000"? Or "x^2". But not for some reason the results of FiniteGroupCount[1 to 1000]. Bizarre. 



#102
May2109, 10:32 AM

P: 78

The strength of Mathematica, and hence WA, is not the CAS functionality  there are many other packages that do math  but rather the welldesigned programming language.
Everything in mathematica is a computable expression, and every expression has a uniform symbolic structure. Contrast this with the toolkits and such in Matlab/Maple that put functionality in a seperate window  new capabilities must be 'tacked on' rather than fully integrated into the system. Here is a plot of the growth of the number of functions in Mathematica over the years: Along with an excerpt from a blog post by Stephen Wolfram upon the release of the latest version of Mathematica November 2008: It has been said that WA is already running over 5 million lines of Mathematica code: if it were even possible to write something like WA in C++, in my experience it would be larger by a factor of 10, over 50 million lines. Google uses python, C++, and java, and each function in http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features.html is seemingly coded as a special case  just like adding new toolkits to the next version of Matlab or Maple. It's unlikely that we will ever see Google's weather data be computable against its sports data, but WA, although it does not yet have sports data, is designed to do this sort of thing. As Phrak discovered WRI is privately held, and I will be surprised if and when they ever go public  somethings seem to matter more to Stephen Wolfram than money. Based on what I know about the man, I will be surprised if a big company like Google or MS is ever able to get a piece of Mathematica just by throwing money around, at least during Stephen's lifetime, but that's what everyone says before the cash presses start rolling Wolfram emphasized from the beginning that private information would not be a part of WA, and although I find in strange that the engine will not discuss it's creators, this is keeping with that general policy. For those of you who like 'web 2.0' there is now a WolframAlpha community website which allows posters to provide suggestions, and potentially data, etc: http://community.wolframalpha.com/ 



#103
May2909, 12:25 AM

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#104
May2909, 12:40 AM

P: 1,295

http://www29.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=female
http://www29.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=male http://www29.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=women http://www29.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=men I found it interesting that it provides men or male definition but not female/women. 



#105
May2909, 11:07 AM

PF Gold
P: 3,173

I like very much the "weather nameofthecity" option. It shows predictions more precisely than on the official meteorological website (in Argentina at least).
I've once type "Apex" because my girlfriend works for them, but it pointed a satellite and it's position over the ground. That was nice. On the other hand it's not complete at all. For example if you type in "water triple point", it shows up some nice things, but if you type any other "liquid triple point", WA will get clueless. 



#106
May3009, 10:30 AM

P: 193

This wouldve been great a couple of years ago when i was in high school!




#107
Nov1509, 04:55 PM

Admin
P: 22,666

Interesting:
x'' + a x' + b x = 0 f''(x) + a f'(x) + b f(x) = 0 There are at least two people in the world thinking that Alpha is misunderstanding problem as entered in the first case (that's Junior and me). 



#108
Nov1509, 05:03 PM

Mentor
P: 4,499

That's weird. If you swap the a and the b it still solves for x(b)



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