ARCHIVE: April 2009
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Take a peek at our system administration team hard at work on one of the
many pre-launch projects.

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April 29, 2009– 77

As people might imagine, I’m pretty busy right now getting Wolfram|Alpha ready for launch. But yesterday afternoon I took a few hours out to give an early preview of Wolfram|Alpha at Harvard.

There were lots of interesting questions and comments, particularly about the broader intellectual context of Wolfram|Alpha.

There’s really a very long and rich history behind the kinds of things we’re doing with Wolfram|Alpha.

And in fact, a little while ago my staff took some notes of mine and assembled a timeline about the history of “The Quest for Computable Knowledge.” I think it makes interesting reading; there’s quite a diverse collection of elements, some very well known, some not.

I’ve always been particularly struck by Gottfried Leibniz’s role. He really had pretty much the whole idea of Wolfram|Alpha—300 years ago.
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Our teams are working hard to meet our goal of having Wolfram|Alpha ready for you in just a few weeks.

Since Stephen Wolfram’s initial announcement, we’ve had the opportunity to show Wolfram|Alpha to some of the thousands of you who contacted us. Many interesting questions surfaced. We plan to use this blog to address those questions and the many more we expect you’ll have as you think about how you too can use Wolfram|Alpha.

We’ll also let you know about upcoming events around Wolfram|Alpha—like the first public preview that Stephen is giving this afternoon at Harvard Law School. Information on participating in the webcast and Q&A can be found here.

Finally, we’ll use this space to talk about ourselves, giving you a peek into our world, what we’re working on, what we’re thinking, and what you can expect from us as the stewards of this project.

So what is Wolfram|Alpha? To begin, we’ve named it a computational knowledge engine.
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