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Wolfram Alpha

added by Michael on 18 May 2009

There's a new Search Engine in town called Wolfram Alpha, but it won't help you find web pages that have the information you are looking for.  It wants to help you find the information.  Unlike Google, which invites you to explore other websites with every result, Wolfram Alpha gets or computes the information and brings it back to you. You never have to leave the Wolfram Alpha website.


For example: try entering a date, the name of a city, a stock, a calculation or even a math formula.


Their FAQ disavows the moniker search engine entirely.  Wolfram Alpha is a "computational knowledge engine" that "generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links."


Wolfram|Alpha's long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.


Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people-spanning all professions and education levels. Our goal is to accept completely free-form input, and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates powerful results and presents them with maximum clarity.


Wolfram|Alpha is an ambitious, long-term intellectual endeavor that we intend will deliver increasing capabilities over the years and decades to come. With a world-class team and participation from top outside experts in countless fields, our goal is to create something that will stand as a major milestone of 21st century intellectual achievement.


Here are some examples of how to use Wolfram Alpha, as well as a Visual Gallery.


Wolfram|Alpha is built on Wolfram's earlier flagship product, Mathematica, which encompasses computer algebra, symbolic and numerical computation, visualization, and statistics capabilities. It is written in 5 million lines of Mathematica (using webMathematica and gridMathematica) code and runs on 10,000 CPUs (though the number is upgraded for the launch)