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The Wolfram|Alpha Team

Wolfram|Alpha for Calculus Students

September 3, 2009 —
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We use this blog to provide helpful tips on using Wolfram|Alpha. So when a relevant screencast caught our eye on Twitter—”Wolfram|Alpha for Calculus Students,” produced by Robert Talbert, PhD, an associate professor of mathematics and computing science at Franklin College—we wanted share it with you. We think his straightforward video is a great demonstration of just how valuable Wolfram|Alpha is for students. In the screencast, Professor Talbert discusses the concept of Wolfram|Alpha, and illustrates how it solves problems such as factoring or expanding expressions, solving quadratic equations, and more.

Wolfram|Alpha for calculus students screen cast

The screencast covers just a few of the ways educators and students are using Wolfram|Alpha. Are you an instructor who has found innovative ways to incorporate Wolfram|Alpha into your lesson plans? Or are you a student using Wolfram|Alpha to assist in your studies? You can join others having these conversations on the Wolfram|Alpha Community site.


There’s no way i would’ve passed my last calculus test without WA.

It’s just great to be able to check not only results, but also the resolution. When you’ve bumped into a wall, WA helps you out.

Posted by julian September 4, 2009 at 8:32 am

Indeed, the Wolfram Alpha website helped me solve many calculations that would have been too tedious to check (even with a graphing calculator).

Posted by Nukedoom September 5, 2009 at 3:22 pm

This titorial would be of value to many users. Apart from learning about its existence via the blog I suggest that a heading ‘Tutorials on Wolfram Alpha’ be added to the ‘More’ dropdown list at the top of the page and items such as this then listed.

Posted by Brian Gilbert September 6, 2009 at 6:36 am

Really an amazing tool, I used it and reccomend this tool to my friend who is doing research work… says fantastic!

Posted by dhiraj September 7, 2009 at 12:38 am

Please can you do a followup asking the students whether since the lecture they make regular use of Wolfram Alpha in their studies? If the result is favourable then more use could be made of this method of promoting Wolfram Alpha.

Posted by Brian Gilbert September 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Brian- I made that video for a summer calculus class of six students. I do know that all of them used W|A at least a little for the duration of the semester and a couple of the students became downright fans of the site. I have not demoed this for my fall semester classes yet, which have 23 and 25 students respectively in them.

    Posted by Robert Talbert September 23, 2009 at 8:10 am

I discovered WolframAlpha in a computer science class and have been using it to help me with calculus. It’s amazing what this engine will do! It accurately determines what I wanted to type and solves problems even when I cause an error in format.

Posted by Chris September 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I studied math at university 2 years ago. WA wasn’t launched jet, but there were Wolfram Mathematica course paralel to math course as experiment. Later that programm was curse for lazy people – if in another course we had to do even not so hard calculations, still it was easyer to use Wolfram Mathematica than our own brains, that lead to less practice at actual math.
But I still think that Wolfram Mathematica is wery good and powerfull tool.

Posted by Janis September 12, 2009 at 9:08 am

I am from patan campus lalitpur, nepal student of mathematics(BA). I discovered WA very useful. We can learn any of mathmatics problem from wa. Here step by step solution is provided….

Posted by min chaudhary September 17, 2009 at 12:33 am

Nice movie, only problem is that 2/3 of it is about stuff other than calculus. Still a great website.

Posted by BobTheCoolGuy September 21, 2009 at 7:24 pm

This video was quite informational. I can relate to it in that I am in my first year of Calculus and we are on limits. I have come across the l’Hospital’s rule in every limit problem I’ve entered in W|A and found it confusing to understand what W|A did using that rule. From the video, I am relieved to learn that I probably won’t learn about l’Hospital’s rule until my second year of Calculus.

Posted by Christina January 24, 2010 at 6:24 am

Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

Posted by Blogging To The Bank August 4, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Your community help me to my calculation and for further studies.

Posted by winthida January 25, 2011 at 2:33 am


I used the apps for iOS with no problems, but when i used them yesterday they didn’t work.
A strange message appears: Wolfram!Alpha doesn’t know hoe to interpret your input
It appears on all Wolfram apps i bought. But I also paid them so i want them to work.

what does it means?
my girlfriend used the same app but it worked on her iPod.


Posted by Davide April 28, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Hello Davide, Thank you for letting us know what you are experiencing. Please email our iPhone Support Team a description of your issue and we’ll be happy to help resolve this issue. Thank you!

    Posted by The Wolfram|Alpha Team April 28, 2011 at 9:10 am

I saw this video back in ’09 when I was in Pre-Calculus. I have used Wolfram Alpha since as a WONDERFUL tool for learning math or doing tedious calculations. I survived both AP Calculus AB & BC with this program and have since shared it with many of my fellow peers. One of the greatest programs I have used for mathematics!

Posted by Kristian Dominek Barajas June 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm