Wolfram|Alpha Blog: 2009 Year in Review

December 29, 2009
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The Wolfram|Alpha Team
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Prior to releasing Wolfram|Alpha into the world this past May, we launched the Wolfram|Alpha Blog. Since our welcome message on April 28, we’ve made 133 additional posts covering Wolfram|Alpha news, team member introductions, and “how-to’s” in a wide variety of areas, including finance, nutrition, chemistry, astronomy, math, travel, and even solving crossword puzzles.

As 2009 draws to a close we thought we’d reach into the archives to share with you some of this year’s most popular blog posts.

April

Rack ’n’ Roll

Take a peek at our system administration team hard at work on one of the
many pre-launch projects.
Continue reading…

May

The Secret Behind the Computational Engine in Wolfram|Alpha

Although it’s tempting to think of Wolfram|Alpha as a place to look up facts, that’s only part of the story. The thing that truly sets Wolfram|Alpha apart is that it is able to do sophisticated computations for you, both pure computations involving numbers or formulas you enter, and computations applied automatically to data called up from its repositories.

Why does computation matter? Because computation is what turns generic information into specific answers. Continue reading…

Live, from Champaign!

Wolfram|Alpha just went live for the very first time, running all clusters.

This first run at testing Wolfram|Alpha in the real world is off to an auspicious start, although not surprisingly, we’re still working on some kinks, especially around logging.

While we’re still in the early stages of this long-term project, it is really gratifying to finally have the opportunity to invite you to participate in this project with us. Continue reading…

June

Wolfram|Alpha Q&A Webcast

Stephen Wolfram shared the latest news and updates about Wolfram|Alpha and answered several users’ questions in a live webcast yesterday.

If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Continue reading…

July

Wolfram|Alpha’s Got the “Write Stuff”

Wolfram|Alpha is a great resource for writers. It has an enormous words and linguistics database that writers can use for such things as word definitions, origins, synonyms, hyphenation, and Soundex lookups. Continue reading…

August

What We’ve Been Doing This Summer

So what’s been happening with Wolfram|Alpha this summer? A lot!

At a first glance, the website looks pretty much as it did when it first launched—with the straightforward input field. But inside that simple exterior an incredible amount has happened. Our development organization has been buzzing with activity all summer. In fact, it’s clear from the metrics that the intensity is steadily rising, with things being added at an ever-increasing rate. Continue reading…

September

College Is Hard. Wolfram|Alpha Makes It Easier.

We know college is hard. So we’re highlighting examples of how Wolfram|Alpha can make subjects and concepts a bit easier to learn. Wolfram|Alpha is a free computational knowledge engine that can help you tackle everything from calculus, to computing the number of pages for a double-spaced 1000-word essay, to comparing the flash points of methane, butane, and octane, to figuring just how much money it’s going to cost you to drive home to do your laundry. Check out a quick introduction to Wolfram|Alpha from its creator, Stephen Wolfram. Continue reading…

October

A Big Week for Wolfram|Alpha

There’s a lot going on in the Wolfram|Alpha project these days—and this week there’s a remarkable convergence of events.

Late last week we introduced the Wolfram|Alpha Webservice API, allowing outside developers to call Wolfram|Alpha from their websites or application programs.

Then yesterday we released the first mobile implementation of Wolfram|Alpha, in the form of an iPhone app.

Tomorrow, we’re doing something completely different: Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day—a 14-hour live webcast event for students and educators.

Oh, and starting on Thursday is the International Mathematica User Conference, which will show many advances in the core Mathematica technology on which Wolfram|Alpha is based. Continue reading…

November

Microsoft’s Bing—Introducing One of Wolfram|Alpha’s First Commercial API Customers

Having announced the Wolfram|Alpha API just over three weeks ago, I am pleased to share in announcing Microsoft’s Bing decision engine as one of our first API customers. Continue reading…

December

Step-by-Step Math

Have you ever given up working on a math problem because you couldn’t figure out the next step? Wolfram|Alpha can guide you step by step through the process of solving many mathematical problems, from solving a simple quadratic equation to taking the integral of a complex function.

When trying to find the roots of 3×2+x–7=4x, Wolfram|Alpha can break down the steps for you if you click the “Show steps” button in the Result pod. Continue reading…

New Features in Wolfram|Alpha: Year-End Update

When we launched Wolfram|Alpha in May 2009, it already contained trillions of pieces of information—the result of nearly five years of sustained data-gathering, on top of more than two decades of formula and algorithm development in Mathematica. Since then, we’ve successfully released a new build of Wolfram|Alpha’s codebase each week, incorporating not only hundreds of minor behind-the-scenes enhancements and bug fixes, but also a steady stream of major new features and datasets. Continue reading…



These are just a few of the highlights from 2009. We hope you will explore further. What topic areas would you like to see covered on the Wolfram|Alpha Blog in 2010? Please leave your ideas and suggestions in the comments section below.

3 Comments

For your next tricks……
Curate the Global warming data and logic so that it can be reviewed by others.

Establish the logic for comparing performance of governments where data is available. Not only will this allow users to compare Government performance but also expose those Governments that do not or cannot make the data available.

Get wolfram alpha thinking for itself by checking its data and logic for consistency. Inconsistent data which has passed curation standards to allow the user to choose which set of data is to be assumed correct.

Posted by Briangilbert December 30, 2009 at 3:26 am Reply

When wolfram alpha will do his work in other languages ?

Posted by München January 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm Reply

Its a good question, when you will provide multi-language ?

Posted by Lowcarb Bücher April 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm Reply
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