PREVIOUS POSTS
April 11, 2013–

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 »

April 10, 2013–

Now available on Android devices via the Google Play store, the Wolfram Algebra Course Assistant and Wolfram Calculus Course Assistant are part of the equation for academic success. More »

April 4, 2013–

It’s tornado season in some parts of the United States, and while longtime users of Wolfram|Alpha are probably aware of our ability to analyze earthquake data, we weren’t able to say much about tornadoes. Now, utilizing data from from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, Wolfram|Alpha can answer questions about tornado activity in the US from 1950 to 2012. For good measure, we’ve also added data on worldwide volcanic eruptions to our knowledge base. More »

April 1, 2013–

Today, we’re proud to unveil the Wolfram|Alpha Handwritten Knowledge Engine, a new, more personal way of delivering computed answers.

You might be wondering where this idea came from. Well, let me tell you a story.

We had a thought not long ago that it would be nice to get you (the internet) a gift. One of those “just because” things to spread a bit of happiness around the world.

Conventional wisdom holds that the best gifts are handmade. But making gifts by hand for over 2.2 billion people? It was a daunting challenge. Luckily, we had a head start: Wolfram|Alpha already computes its answers just for you. The answer to every query, question, and computation is custom-generated, drawing upon trillions of pieces of built-in knowledge.

We began to imagine ways to add that handmade, personal flair to Wolfram|Alpha results. Artisanal answers, if you will. We narrowed it down to “putting a bird on it” versus a handwritten interface, results pages and all. Handwriting won the coin toss.

You remember handwriting, right? The thing you used to do with a pen, to write letters and checks? Checks, well, they were these pieces of paper that represented… you know what, I should get back to the story.

We knew we’d need a goodly number of contributors, as well as some sort of training component—consistency is important, after all. Human Resources began recruiting in earnest (by the way, we’re hiring), as well as organizing a Corporate Penmanship Retreat.

That brings us to now. The retreat just wrapped, and the Wolfram|Alpha Handwritten Knowledge Engine is ready to go. Ask a question, and your machine-computed results will be transcribed and illustrated by a real live human being.

I recommend acting fast. A few of the physicists already have writer’s cramp, and the pop culture researchers might be next.

So what will you compute? I definitely cannot recommend running your homework through Wolfram|Alpha, printing out the handwritten results, and trying to pass them as your own. Definitely not. But here are some other ideas to get you going.

Go meta, and get handwritten knowledge about the word handwriting:

Find derivatives… with style:

Put your mind at ease with a handwritten verification of some important information:

Why not Zoidberg?