What Can Step-by-step Solutions Do?

January 15, 2014
The Wolfram|Alpha Math Team
Posted by

Wolfram|Alpha Pro has become well known for its ability to show not only the answer to a question, but also the Step-by-step solution to show how to find the answer. Since its first release, we have developed new features and content for Step-by-step solutions. We’ve added hints and the ability to walk through problems one step at a time, and we’ve added support to show multiple methods for solving problems whenever possible.

So, let’s have a look at what Step-by-step solutions can do now.

Need help with arithmetic? We offer multiple “methods” for illustrating basic arithmetic—visualize arithmetic using the number line, math manipulatives, and pie charts, or try writing it out with long arithmetic. In more complicated expressions, follow along through the proper order of operations. Here are some examples: 14 + 7, 20034 – 65, and 9 (3 + 1) + 17 / (6 – 12).

14 + 7

If you’re learning about polynomials and rational functions, Wolfram|Alpha can help there, too. We could expand (x + 1) (x – 1) (x + 2), factor x^3 + 2x^2 + x + 2, complete the square x^2 + y^2 + 4x + 6y – 12 = 0, or simplify 1 / (1 + 1 / (1 + 1 / (1 + 1 / x))).

x^2 + y^2 + 4x + 6y - 12 = 0

Or perhaps you want to solve equations. How about we solve x^2 + 5x + 6 = 0:

x^2 + 5x + 6 = 0

We can also work through calculus problems one step at a time. For instance, try finding the derivative of x / (x + 1), the limit of x*log(x) as x -> 0, or integrate 1/ (sin (x) ^4 – 1).

integrate 1/(sin(x)^4 - 1)

If you want to solve ordinary differential equations, you can now do that with multiple methods.

multiple methods of y"(t) + 4y(t) = 5e^t

We believe so strongly in our Step-by-step solutions that we are developing them for areas outside of math. For example, we’ve started doing chemistry problems step-by-step:

We’ve only scratched the surface of what Wolfram|Alpha can show steps for in this post. To see a full list of what we have to offer, check out our examples page. To suggest new features and content areas, please contact us, and stay tuned for new Step-by-step features as we continue to grow.

Wolfram|Alpha Pro users receive unlimited access to Step-by-step solutions. For more information and examples, please click here.


I love it, recommend it and think this will be the new studying way of 2014.

Posted by Jan van Willigen January 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm Reply

When step by step solution will be implemented in series,for exemple?

Posted by Edoardo February 11, 2014 at 5:22 pm Reply
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