CATEGORY: Sports & Games
May 5, 2014– 0

Since baseball season is in full swing (…no pun intended…), we thought we’d catch you up with our extensive baseball data! From learning the score of last week’s game to comparing the stats of your favorite players in history, Wolfram|Alpha’s got you covered.

Starting way back in baseball history, the popular teams were quite different from the ones on the field today. Who was the leading team in 1884?
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February 17, 2014– 0

The start of the XXII Olympic Winter Games means one thing for me: at least six hours a day of watching people ski down treacherous slopes, do crazy 720-degree spins with their snowboards, and perform triple toe loop jumps. Whether or not you’re spending every waking moment watching athletically superior individuals accomplish seemingly impossible feats, you can take this opportunity to explore some of Wolfram|Alpha’s math and physics calculators. Now Wolfram|Alpha can add a fun science and math spin to the Olympics. More »

February 12, 2014– 2

With the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror, this can be one of the slower times of the year when it comes to major American sports. We’re only a couple days away from the NBA All-Star Game, though, and it’s not much longer until MLB teams start shipping out to Arizona and Florida for spring training. While we wait, use some of your free time to explore our new historical data for basketball and baseball. More »

October 10, 2013– 20

Psst! Wolfram|Alpha has updated its Pokémon data to include Generation VI. Check it out here.

It’s not all abstract algebra and organic chemistry here at Wolfram HQ. From time to time, we like to take a piece of pop culture and put our own spin on the subject. We’ve seen from our server logs that our Pokémon plane curves are pretty popular. Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, the latest installments in the long-running video game series, will be released on October 12. Given those two facts, we thought it was a good time to add data about Pokémon to Wolfram|Alpha. More »

September 24, 2013– 0

The NFL season is in full swing, and along with rooting for one’s favorite team come the highs and lows of fantasy football. For those uninitiated in the fantasy football society, it’s a fairly easy concept: draft a team of NFL players that you think will produce the best statistics each week. More »

April 11, 2013– 0

The 77th Masters Tournament begins today at Augusta National Golf Club. Many commentators think Tiger Woods is poised to score his fifth win (his last was in 2005), but strong challengers abound. More »

February 1, 2013– 0

This Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers are going to play against each other in Super Bowl XLVII, which takes place in New Orleans. So what do we know about the teams and their histories, and what can we determine from their statistics this season? More »

January 24, 2013– 2

Football, basketball, and baseball have two common elements. The first, each sport is the “best” depending on which one I’m watching at a given moment. The second, each sport’s raw data can now be computed and juxtaposed in Wolfram|Alpha, which means arguments over statistics, histories, and comparisons will be better than ever before. More »

January 8, 2013– 9

When I was younger, I held the naive and incorrect view that mathematics was divorced from the arts. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of not only how mathematics is the foundation for any of the hard sciences, but also how it is intrinsically linked to essentially any form of creativity. Certainly users of our Wolfram Music Theory Course Assistant could have told me that, but I’m not just referring to music. In truth, I’m not even trying to make some highbrow appeal to abstract art, either, although I happen to rather like that sort of thing. What I’m trying to say is that mathematical equations can make pretty pictures.

butterfly curve More »

December 18, 2012– 2

My family lives all over, with varying worldviews and equally varied career choices, from video game producers to truck drivers. So certainly reconnecting with family, both nuclear and extended, can be a daunting holiday experience. But don’t fret—Wolfram|Alpha is here to sort you out with the perfect ice breakers.

Suppose your brother is a truck driver who plans to move to Salt Lake City, Utah, from Raleigh, North Carolina, citing dissatisfaction with his wages and the cost of fuel, and how they juxtapose to the cost of living in Raleigh. You could first show how many truck drivers are in North Carolina and Utah, and from there ask the question “What is the average wage for truck drivers in North Carolina and Utah?

We can see that truck drivers do earn more money in Utah than in North Carolina, and the price of diesel is, at the time of this writing, pretty much the same—only a few cents difference. But moving to another part of the country is a huge decision, and even if one can earn a few thousand dollars more, is it worth it? We could compare the cost of utilities in Salt Lake City and Raleigh or, more generally, the cost of living in Salt Lake City and Raleigh. More »

July 27, 2012– 2

The 2012 Olympics are here, and surely between those moments of watching athletes perform fantastic maneuvers, shatter world records, and generally inspire us all as we recognize just what exactly human beings are capable of, you may say to yourself: “I wonder how I can use Wolfram|Alpha in a conversation about sports?” Luckily, we’re all big sports fans, and since the outcome of events is so often determined by inches or fractions of seconds, it is crucial that every object used conforms to certain standards. More »

February 2, 2012– 3

Over the past few weeks, we’ve highlighted a ton of different ways that Wolfram|Alpha can help you explore and analyze NFL statistics. Neither team has a perfect record at stake in this weekend’s Giants-Patriots Super Bowl, but it still promises to be a tough contest and a typically over-the-top cultural experience—so in our final blog post of the 2011 NFL season, we’d like to suggest a few more useful stat queries, as well as some more unusual ways to use Wolfram|Alpha on Super Bowl Sunday.

First, the stats. The Giants won their regular season clash with the Patriots this year, and with the new game-level history plots we just added to team and player results, you can clearly see that the Giants’ defense put the pressure on Tom Brady that week, holding his passer rating to its lowest point of the season:

Tom Brady passer rating 2011 More »

January 26, 2012– 2

If you paid any attention to last weekend’s NFL games, you know that we’re headed for another Patriots versus Giants Super Bowl. We’ll take a closer look at those two teams next week, including prior matchups, head-to-head player comparisons, and performance trends over the past few months. But while we’ve got a slight breather in the NFL schedule, we wanted to show you a few ways you can use Wolfram|Alpha to uncover interesting stats from the 2011 NFL season (and beyond).

The Indianapolis Colts turned from a possible playoff contender to a team just hoping to win a game after quarterback Peyton Manning was ruled out for the year. Manning’s absence was a big reason why the Colts’ offense had a hard time scoring points. This bar graph clearly shows the Colts having the lowest point production since 1993.

Colts points scored More »

January 19, 2012– 1

Last week we announced our partnership with global sports statistics company STATS LLC and demonstrated how Wolfram|Alpha now allows users to access and compute football statistics using natural language. Since our original announcement, we’ve had a weekend’s worth of exciting playoff games. Miss any of the action? Ask Wolfram|Alpha about last weekend’s NFL games. Wolfram|Alpha not only returns the games and their final scores, but also provides a summary of team statistics leaders (and losers) across all four matchups. More »

January 13, 2012– 3

Since Wolfram|Alpha launched in 2009, we’ve often said that its knowledge base covers what you’d find in a pretty good reference library—and many of the new features we’ve highlighted over the past two and a half years have indeed been very reference-y: global agriculture data, public school statistics, species information, and tons of other socioeconomic, scientific, and mathematical content. Of course, Wolfram|Alpha has always been much more than a mere repository of reference data: we’ve made it possible for people to explore, compare, compute, and interact with all that data in unprecedented ways. More »

November 4, 2011– 1

This Sunday, over 40,000 runners will take part in the New York City Marathon. A great amount of preparation and planning goes into accommodating such a large group of athletes, as well as the fans cheering on the sidelines. An article in The New York Times described the numbers behind planning such a huge race, so we decided to plug those numbers into Wolfram|Alpha and see what interesting things we could compute.

According to the article, over 43,000 athletes took part in the 26.2-mile race last year. Typing “running 26.2 miles” into Wolfram|Alpha allows you to enter your pace, gender, and body weight, then receive data based on your inputs, such as calories burned and oxygen consumed.

running 26.2 miles More »

September 28, 2011– 1

Diving organizations such as PADI® or NAUI provide certified recreational scuba divers with a dive table to determine how long a diver can stay underwater at a given depth, both for the initial and subsequent dives. The reason for the dive planner is to ensure that the amount of nitrogen your body absorbs during a dive remains within acceptable limits.

Dive tables do not tell you how much nitrogen has accumulated in your body after a dive; they simply tell you how long you can stay at a given depth without having to have a mandatory decompression stop.

Recreational dive tables come in the form of a plastic coated card, and for many recreational divers these cards are daunting and look very complicated. For example, the PADI® dive card has tables on both sides of the card, containing over a thousand numbers.

At Wolfram|Alpha we have removed the complexity of trying to read the NAUI and PADI® dive tables. More »

July 8, 2011– 6

For thousands of years, people have been making music: banging, blowing, bowing, and strumming away as soloists or in groups. With music being an integral part of culture, it is not hard to imagine that the invention and evolution of various musical instruments is a key indicator of human ingenuity. Each instrument is unique, its physical and sonic characteristics often emblematic of the culture from which it emanates.

Wolfram|Alpha now provides a significant amount of information about a myriad of musical instruments. Ask Wolfram|Alpha about any set of instruments to get a side-by-side comparison of parameters and characteristics.

Comparing alto sax and clarinet

For many instruments, you will notice two pods for range: “Written range” and “Sounding range”. This is because in standard music notation, some instruments are written differently than they sound; these are called transposing instruments. In many ways, it is a terribly confusing notion. A score displays a certain pitch, but the pitch the instrument produces may be higher or lower. Wolfram|Alpha illustrates this difference by displaying the pitch range (along with the corresponding frequencies and keys on a piano keyboard) for how the instrument is written as well as how it sounds. For example, the flute is a non-transposing instrument and is “written as sounds”. However, its close cousin, the alto flute, sounds a perfect fourth lower than written. Still unclear? Click the “play alto flute range notes” in the written range and sounding range pods to hear the difference. Or, you can ask Wolfram|Alpha to give you the interval between the bottom note of the written range and the corresponding sounding note by querying “interval of C4 and G3“.

Interval of music notes c4 and g3

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April 1, 2011– 26

When we released Wolfram|Alpha “into the wild” nearly two years ago, we did so knowing that user input would help shape the future of our grand experiment. Since then, we’ve implemented literally thousands of user suggestions and have continually refined our ability to understand and precisely answer natural-language questions across virtually every domain of human knowledge.

When we launched, our strongest areas of knowledge were definitely in mathematics and science, but we’ve steadily increased our coverage of data in more popular “everyday” areas: information about health and medicine, housing prices, movies, school districts, jobs, crime, and much more.
More »

February 17, 2011– 11

Since the launch of Wolfram|Alpha Volunteer Central, we’ve been happy to work with volunteers to develop data in new areas. Today, we are showcasing the beginning of video game data, which was curated by Wolfram|Alpha volunteers.

Super Mario Bros. release date
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August 5, 2010– 7

Here at Wolfram|Alpha we’re always asking questions and seeking answers in an effort to make all of the world’s knowledge computable and understandable by everyone (big or small).

We’ve put together a short list of common questions asked by preschool- and kindergarten-aged children that can be answered with Wolfram|Alpha. We hope these examples inspire your child to dream up more!

Is the Moon bigger than the Earth? Ask Wolfram|Alpha to compare “size of earth, size of moon”, and you’ll discover numerical and graphic size comparisons showing that the Earth is indeed larger than the Moon.

size of earth, size of moon

Chances are your little artists will discover the answer to this question on their own, but they can try asking Wolfram|Alpha what color they get when they “mix red and blue”?

Mixing the colors red and blue

Whether it’s because they’re excited about the party or just turning a year older, the birthday countdown is always on! Simply ask Wolfram|Alpha about the date of the child’s upcoming birthday, such as “October 8 2010”, to learn the number of days, weeks, or months until the big day.
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April 23, 2010– 5

There’s no better time than the rainy spring season to bring friends and family together for a game night. If you happen to find yourself at a table full of ruthless Scrabble players, you might find your new best friend in Wolfram|Alpha.

The Scrabble functionality in Wolfram|Alpha has useful tools, such as a points calculator and a dictionary word verifier. Wolfram|Alpha can also suggest other possible words to be used. Currently, Wolfram|Alpha supports the American English, International English, and French versions of Scrabble. Each of these versions has their own scoring system. Wolfram|Alpha’s GeoIP capabilities will return results based on the default version for the user’s location. However, you can specify a version in your input, like “International English Scrabble umbrella”.

Here are a few examples:

You can find the results for words such as umbrella by entering “Scrabble umbrella” into Wolfram|Alpha:

Wolfram|Alpha calculates the score for the Scrabble word "umbrella"

The results pods tells us that the score is 12 and that this word is in the regional Scrabble dictionary (American in this case). It also gives other words that can be made with these letters, listed in score order. More »

February 19, 2010– 0

Crossword puzzle enthusiasts from all over will gather in Brooklyn, New York this weekend for the 33rd Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) hosted by New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz.

In 2009, some 700 puzzle solvers competed in the seven-round tournament in the hopes that their speed and accuracy would land them a spot in their division’s final round. This year, all eyes are on the ACPT’s youngest and five-time reigning champion, Tyler Hinman.

Whether you’re a champion-caliber puzzle solver, or you just enjoy the challenge of the New York Times puzzle on a Sunday afternoon, a solving aid can sometimes come in handy. One place you may not have thought to look is Wolfram|Alpha. It contains a number of word-puzzle tools that help you find words that match a pattern, words with specific endings or beginnings, word definitions, and more.

The excitement leading up the ACPT reminded us of the post below from our blog archives, which demonstrates how you can use Wolfram|Alpha to help solve most common crossword puzzles.

Wolfram|Alpha S_LV_S Crossword Puzzles

Does today’s crossword have you puzzled? You could continue to fret, and fight the urge to check the full solution, or you could consult Wolfram|Alpha, which has the tools you need to solve the sneakiest constructions.

Click here to continue reading this entry…

So whether you’re solving crosswords this weekend at ACPT or from your couch—good luck! And if you find yourself puzzled, be sure check in with Wolfram|Alpha for a little help!

January 27, 2010– 10

Since Wolfram|Alpha first launched, we’ve received countless queries about Olympic Games and medalists. The countdown has begun to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, February 12–28, and we are pleased to announce that we’ve added comprehensive Olympic data to Wolfram|Alpha. It can now answer dozens of different types of queries about every medalist and event from past Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

Let’s start with something basic: “Olympic medalists from France”.  The results lead off with a summary and plots of medals won by French medalists in each Olympic Games—all the way back to the first modern games in 1896. The last pod lets you dig further into the data, showing complete, detailed results by sport and event.

Data for Olympic medalists from France

More »

January 6, 2010– 16

When Wolfram|Alpha launched, we were able to estimate physiological energy expenditures for very basic exercise queries involving walking and running. But now we can answer much more detailed questions about a broader assortment of physical activities. For example, this query will compute the energy burned by running a specific distance in a given time:

Wolfram|Alpha calculates activity data for a 6mph, 40 minute run for a male, age 14.

You can also specify a running speed over a given distance: More »

October 2, 2009– 0

If you caught Monday night’s Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers American football game, then you certainly noticed the new Cowboys Stadium, which is one of the largest domed stadiums and has the largest single-span roof structures in the world. As a tribute to this monumental building, we want to take a moment to point out some of the cool comparisons that Wolfram|Alpha computes automatically whenever you type in a specific measurement or quantity.

The stadium’s roof, for example, measures 660,800 square feet. Type that figure into Wolfram|Alpha, and you’ll discover that it’s just slightly larger than another, possibly more familiar monument:

Cowboys Stadium compared to the area of the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza

Each exterior arch of the stadium weighs 3,255 tons, which Wolfram|Alpha instantly computes as measuring a little bit more than the space shuttle’s launch mass, but just one-quarter of the mass of trash produced each day in New York City, or one-ninth the mass of the Titanic:

Comparing the weight of each of the stadium's exterior arches to the weight of the Titanic

And those arches are an incredible 292 feet tall—greater than the length of a Boeing 747-400, and just shy of the length of the football field they cover:

Comparing the height of the Cowboys Stadium arches to a Boeing 747

For virtually any measurement or conversion query, Wolfram|Alpha will return a variety of dynamically computed comparisons like these. Try out a few of your own (like your age, height, and weight, for example) and let us know if you get any surprising results.

July 22, 2009– 11

Does today’s crossword have you puzzled? You could continue to fret, and fight the urge to check the full solution, or you could consult Wolfram|Alpha, which has the tools you need to solve the sneakiest constructions. Wolfram|Alpha can find words matching a pattern, words with specific beginnings and endings, and provide word definitions.

Crossword puzzle tools More »

July 13, 2009– 5

Baseball is the great American pastime. We’re at the midpoint of the Major League Baseball season, and fans are gearing up for the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will be played on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 in Saint Louis, Missouri. For baseball fans, this “Midsummer Classic” embodies much of what there is to love about baseball: a night at the park, hot dogs and Cracker Jacks, and top players from American and National League teams all on one diamond. But what we at Wolfram|Alpha love about baseball are all of the fast statistics that can be quickly computed and returned as easy-to-read graphs.

Wolfram|Alpha contains statistics and history for Major League Baseball teams’ wins, losses, pitching and batting histories, and more, from 1960–2008. This information allows you to easily compute statistics for a single season, or graph a visual history over decades. More »