Is it really possible that yet another summer is drawing to a close? Here at Wolfram|Alpha, we’ve spent our summer getting ready to head back to school—building new course assistant apps, adding new data, and even making Wolfram|Alpha interactive with CDF. As the world’s leading knowledge engine, we’ve made it our mission to continually improve and ensure that we’re helping students and teachers around the globe explore concepts, ideas, and calculations on a deeper level than previously possible. More »
Today we released the new Wolfram Statistics Course Assistant App for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. If you are a student of introductory statistics, the probability that you’ll love the all-new Wolfram Statistics Course Assistant is pretty high! The app will help you better understand concepts such as mean, median, mode, standard deviation, probabilities, data points, random integers, random real numbers, and more.
Learning about the normal or binomial distribution? This app will show you the probability density function as well as the cumulative density function and other information.
Another year has flown by here at Wolfram|Alpha, and the gears are really turning! New data and features are flowing at a rapid rate. To celebrate, Wolfram|Alpha’s creator, Stephen Wolfram, will share what we’ve been working on and take your questions in a live Q&A.
If you have a question you’d like to ask, please send it as a comment to this blog post or tweet to @Wolfram_Alpha and include the hashtag #WAChat. We’ll also be taking questions live on Facebook and Livestream chat during the webcast.
We’re looking forward to chatting with you on May 18!
Do you need some help navigating your chemistry or precalculus classes? Or maybe you’re still trying to decide which classes to take this fall. Good news! Today, we’re releasing the Wolfram General Chemistry and Precalculus Course Assistant Apps, two more Wolfram|Alpha-powered course assistants that will help you better understand the concepts addressed in these classes.
If you’re taking chemistry, download the Wolfram General Chemistry Course Assistant App for everything from looking up simple properties like electron configurations to computing the stoichiometric amounts of solutes that are present in solutions of different concentrations. This app is handy for lab researchers, too!
The specialized keyboard allows you to enter chemicals by using formulas or by spelling out their names.
Everyone needs a little break when preparing for finals! That’s why we’re giving you a special break on all Wolfram Course Assistant Apps now through Sunday, May 1, 2011.
Wolfram Course Assistant Apps will help you grasp key concepts and gain better understanding of the answers, all of which will have you feeling confident and prepared to ace your final exams!
The following Wolfram Course Assistant Apps are available for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad:
Best of luck with your finals! Our team is developing an app for every course, so be sure to check back for more helpful Wolfram Course Assistant Apps before heading to class next semester.
Today we are releasing Wolfram Multivariable Calculus and Wolfram Astronomy, the next two apps on a growing list of Wolfram Course Assistant Apps. These course assistants will help students learn their course material using the power of Wolfram|Alpha.
The Wolfram Astronomy Course Assistant allows you to easily look up information on constellations and planets, but it can also calculate anything from the next lunar eclipse to the solar interior.
As kids start to return to classes after the holidays, we’re happy to announce that Wolfram|Alpha has the ability to compute some interesting information about their school districts. You can now use Wolfram|Alpha to analyze and compare data on student-teacher ratios, expenditures, revenues, and salaries in more than 18,000 public school districts in the United States.
Let’s start with an example on the West Coast: Seattle Public Schools is one of the larger districts in the country, with over 100 schools and more than 45,000 students. The student-teacher ratio is 18:1, and if you scroll down you’ll see that total expenditures are about $14,000 per student per year.
The long-term goal is to have an assistant app for every major course, from elementary school to graduate school. And the good news is that Wolfram|Alpha has the breadth and depth of capabilities to make this possible—and not only in traditionally “computational” kinds of courses.
The concept of these apps is to make it as quick and easy as possible to access the particular capabilities of Wolfram|Alpha relevant for specific courses. Each app is organized according to the major curriculum units of a course. Then within each section of the app, there are parts that cover each of the particular types of problems relevant to that unit.
As we bid adieu to 2010, we want say thank you to all of our loyal blog readers and commenters. Today we’re taking a look back at some of 2010′s most popular Wolfram|Alpha Blog posts. 2010 was a year full of product releases, such as Wolfram|Alpha Widgets and new data for everything from movies to taxes.
These selections are only highlights of the topics we’ve covered in 2010. If you’re feeling really nostalgic, or if you’re new to the Wolfram|Alpha Blog, we invite you to read more in the archives.
Just in time to tackle a common New Year’s resolution, we released “New Physical Activity Data in Wolfram|Alpha”.
After reading “Computing Valentine’s Day with Wolfram|Alpha”, there was little doubt that we speak math, the universal language of love.
Ever wonder which country consumes the most coffee or sugar? In March, we introduced new data that answers these questions in the post “Food for Thought: Consumption Patterns from Around the World”.
In April we were excited to finally be able to share “Stephen Wolfram’s TED Talk: Computation Is Destined to Be the Defining Idea of Our Future”. The inspirational video quickly became a web favorite.
Where did the time go? In May we celebrated Wolfram|Alpha’s first birthday with the post “Wolfram|Alpha: The First Year”.
Just in time for family reunion season, we published “My Cousin’s Cousin’s Niece’s Grandfather Said to Just Ask Wolfram|Alpha”, to help you identify all of those branches on the family tree.
In July we shared “Ask Wolfram|Alpha about Medical Drug Treatments” to introduce a new functionality in Wolfram|Alpha that allows you to compare how your medical conditions and treatment plans compare to those of other patients.
Kids say the darnedest things. In the post “10 Fun Questions Kids Can Answer with Wolfram|Alpha”, we took a look at how Wolfram|Alpha can help you and your little one answer common curiosities. More »
Our first Wolfram|Alpha Back-to-School Webinars were met with so much interest and enthusiasm that we’re announcing three more opportunities for you to participate!
Sign up today for one of our Wolfram|Alpha Back-to-School Webinars and discover powerful new ways to advance learning in your classroom. The hour-long webinar gives you an overview and demonstration of the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine, including the recently launched Widget Builder (beta).
Administrators, parents, and students will also benefit from these webinars.
To register for a webinar, please click one of the three sessions listed below. Registration is free and takes just a few minutes. A copy of the presentation will also be made available to those who attend.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 9am Pacific Time
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 2pm Pacific Time
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 5pm Pacific Time
We look forward to having you and your colleagues join us for an upcoming webinar!
We’re pleased to announce a series of free, live Wolfram|Alpha Back-to-School Webinars that give K–12 educators and administrators an overview of the utility and features of Wolfram|Alpha in education. Educators are showing interest in and enthusiasm for Wolfram|Alpha, and we look forward to helping them incorporate it into their classrooms.
The webinars will be presented by Holland Lincoln, Manager of Education and Business Development, and will feature a live Q&A.
To register for a Wolfram|Alpha Back-to-School Webinar, please click one of the four sessions listed below. Each session is limited to 100 participants. Sign up today to secure your space!
Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 2pm Central Time
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 6pm Central Time
Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 3pm Central Time
Monday, September 13, 2010 at 3pm Central Time
Once your registration is complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing a webinar login link. The webinars will be delivered via Adobe Acrobat Connect. Use any one of the supported web browsers on your computer with Flash Player installed.
We look forward to having you and your colleagues join us for an upcoming Wolfram|Alpha Back-to-School Webinar!
The Wolfram|Alpha Blog is not only your official news source for new data and features, but it’s also a great place to read how others are using Wolfram|Alpha in everyday life, for education and on the job. This week, a tweet linking to @drwetzel‘s latest blog post “How to Integrate Wolfram Alpha into Science and Math Classes” caught our attention. With a new school year upon us, we wanted to share his examples for using Wolfram|Alpha through the website, widgets, and mobile apps with educators who are looking for ways to incorporate Wolfram|Alpha into their math and science classes.
From the Teach Science and Math blog:
How to Integrate Wolfram Alpha into Science and Math Classes
“What is Wolfram Alpha? It is a supercomputing brain. It provides calculates [sic] and provides comprehensive answers to most any science or math question. Unlike other search sources, you and your students can ask questions in plain language or various forms of abbreviated notation.
Contrary to popular belief, Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine. Unlike popular search engines, which simply retrieve documents based on keyword searches, Wolfram computes answers based on known models of human knowledge. It provides answers which are complete with data and algorithms, representing real-world knowledge.
Teaching Strategies: Researching Facts and Information
Science and math teaching strategies with Wolfram begin with allowing students to search for information about specific facts and information. The following examples provide support for stimulating critical thinking using a digital lens.”
Click here to continue reading this post on the Teach Science and Math blog.
If you’re new to Wolfram|Alpha, we invite you to visit the Wolfram|Alpha for Educators site to browse our video gallery, download lesson plans, and more. Are you already using Wolfram|Alpha in your classroom? Share your story in the comment box below and you could be featured in an upcoming post on how educators are using Wolfram|Alpha as a learning tool in a variety of subjects.
Are you an educator looking for new ways to grab your students’ attention and liven up your daily lessons? Visit the new Wolfram|Alpha for Educators site, where you’ll find examples, lesson plans, and even videos on how you can incorporate the technology of Wolfram|Alpha into your classroom.
Peruse the video gallery to get a quick introduction to Wolfram|Alpha, and hear from educators and students who are using it in lectures, activities, and research projects. From there take a peek at one of the many lesson plans, in subject areas such as science, mathematics, and social studies. Once you get the hang of it, you can even submit your own lesson plans to share with other educators.
This site also points to many other Wolfram educational resources, including the Wolfram Demonstrations Project and MathWorld. We have even set up an Education group on the Wolfram|Alpha Community site so that you can connect with other educators.
So the next time you want to do something new and different in your classroom, check out Wolfram|Alpha for Educators to spark your imagination.
[Editor's Note: This blog entry is a guest post from Laura Ketcham, a 7th grade technology instructor and coordinator at the Aventura City of Excellence School (ACES) in Aventura, Florida. If you are interested in sharing how you've incorporated Wolfram|Alpha into your everyday life inside or outside the classroom, please contact our blog team at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
I read the buzz about Wolfram|Alpha in an article in PC World this past summer. It was billed as a “computational” search engine with the advantage that the results of the computed search appear on one results page, not just in a list of links you need to search through to find the information. I quickly realized that Wolfram|Alpha is an innovative tool that I could definitely incorporate in the classroom! I am a 7th grade technology instructor and coordinator at the Aventura City of Excellence School (ACES) in Aventura, Florida. My students often use the web to find information for a variety of classroom activities, as well as for research in other classes. The students follow a process in which they evaluate websites to determine whether they contain reliable information that can be included for assignments; it’s one of the major topics I cover in the year-long technology course. Wolfram|Alpha provided me with a “cool tool” to introduce to the students that they knew could be trusted as reliable source. They can use Wolfram|Alpha in a variety of ways to “calculate” factual information.
What I really found helpful about Wolfram|Alpha was the Examples page. This provided me with a springboard to computing data in Wolfram|Alpha and with a quick way to evaluate its usefulness as a tool in the classroom. This is definitely a great place for teachers, of any grade, to get started!
I introduced Wolfram|Alpha to my students during a six-week project where the students infused Web 2.0 technology to build a website about South Florida oceans and beaches. They used Wolfram|Alpha to learn about a variety of topics that they had to include in their sites. Several examples are the taxonomy of a variety of plants and animals that call South Florida beaches home and the GPS/satellite technology being used to track a loggerhead sea turtle that the class adopted. More »
Is it cheating to use Wolfram|Alpha for math homework? That was the presentation topic of Conrad Wolfram, Wolfram Research’s Director of Strategic Development, at the TEDx Brussels conference at the European Parliament. Conrad shares his viewpoint in this thought-provoking (and often entertaining) video.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Sciences John Erickson has long used Mathematica in his courses. So when he heard Wolfram Research was launching Wolfram|Alpha, which is built on Mathematica, he knew it would become a major resource for engaging students in mathematics.
Now with Wolfram|Alpha fully integrated into his courses, he says the site is “the best thing for education” because it helps him take his lessons beyond what’s covered in a typical textbook. In this video, he shares an example of how Wolfram|Alpha allows him to show real-world applications of the math he’s teaching.
Wolfram|Alpha has also been quite a hit with Professor Erickson’s students, who now use Wolfram|Alpha for all of their courses. They say it’s like having a “personal tutor” available at all times. In this video, they demonstrate why Wolfram|Alpha has become their go-to tool.
Teaching with technology and improving math and science education are becoming increasingly hot topics at school districts and campuses around the globe. For more than two decades, our company has been dedicated to promoting advances in education, so we are very excited by the growing focus on the “modern classroom”.
As part of our first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day, we wanted to highlight the use of technology in education. We brought together teachers of all levels who use Wolfram technologies, including Wolfram|Alpha and Mathematica, to hear some of the lessons they’ve learned from integrating technology into their classes and to let them share some of their successes.
Noted journalist Elizabeth Corcoran led the panel discussion, which featured Debra Woods, a mathematics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Abby Brown, a math teacher at Torrey Pines High School; and Maria Andersen, a math instructor at Muskegon Community College.
Part of the discussion focused on dispelling some of the myths about teaching with technology.
The panel also shared thoughts on whether teaching with technology increases student exploration, changes how students learn the fundamentals, and helps students make connections to real-world applications. More »
One of those educators was an inspiring fourth grade teacher named Shannon Smith.
Shannon integrates Wolfram|Alpha into all of the subject areas that she teaches, from spelling and language to geography, science, and math.
In this video, she shares examples of how she utilizes Wolfram|Alpha and describes the advantages that she and her students get from incorporating it into her lesson plans.
We hope you had a chance to tune into the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day. We are still delighted by all of the excitement!
The 14-hour webcast was jam-packed with insightful demonstrations, thought-provoking interviews, interesting Q&A with the Wolfram|Alpha scholars, and much, much more. We’ve started uploading video highlights in case you missed parts or want to see them again.
Our host, Eric Hansen, kicked off the event with an interview with Wolfram|Alpha creator Stephen Wolfram.
Famous physicist and author Brian Greene joined us to talk about why this is such an exciting time for science and technology. More »
It’s been an exciting afternoon here at the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day—and the day is just getting started. We will be broadcasting live from the Homework Day website until 2am U.S. CDT. Our host, University of Illinois and University of Syracuse Adjunct Professor Eric Hansen, kicked the show off with a live interview with Wolfram|Alpha creator Stephen Wolfram.
Shannon Smith and her mother Nancy Brachbill, the teachers behind Recess TEC, joined us for live demonstrations and interviews about how they are using Wolfram|Alpha in their 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms. Learn more about Nancy and Shannon in our earlier blog post.
We’ve also had the opportunity to interact with students, educators, and parents at the Dell-sponsored Internet Cafe:
If you’re writing an essay for history or a speech for debate class, Wolfram|Alpha is a great resource. It has an enormous words and linguistics database that you can use for such things as word definitions, and word origins, synonyms, and hyphenation. Wolfram|Alpha can even compute the number of pages a given text might produce based on the number of words it contains, such as “500 words in French”. Wolfram|Alpha also has the ability to compute details such how long it should take you to type, read, and deliver that 500-word speech you’ve been preparing.
Type “word contest”, and Wolfram|Alpha will retrieve the word data for the English word “contest”. The results tell you many definitions of the word, that its first known recorded use was in 1603, that it rhymes with “conquest”, and a wealth of other data on just that word. More »
We want to introduce you to a mother-daughter team who will be joining us for the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day to share their passion for advancing educational technology in the classroom.
Shannon Smith and her mother, Nancy Brachbill have more than 30 years of combined teaching experience, and are working hard to integrate technology into their 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms on a daily basis. Through their company Recess TEC, they strive to help other educators do the same. They have been involved in countless hours of various educational technology programs to gain a full understanding of what continually engages students.
The first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day is here! We’re so pleased that you’ve stopped by to join us. This groundbreaking live marathon event runs from noon until 2am U.S. CDT, and is being broadcast live on the Homework Day website. Please visit the site to see the event, browse the program highlights, send your questions to be answered by members of the Wolfram|Alpha team, and even submit your homework examples to be showcased live on the air.
We’re just hours away from the start of the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day, and we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of the Dell-sponsored Homework Day Cafe. This groundbreaking, marathon webcast will be broadcast live from the Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day website beginning at noon U.S. CDT, on October 21. Visit the site now to submit your questions and homework examples!
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.
Program highlights for the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day, which begins at noon U.S. CDT on Wednesday, October 21, 2009, are now on the Homework Day website. We’re very excited by the amount of enthusiasm that students, parents, and educators are generating about this groundbreaking live web event, which aims to solve your toughest assignments and explore the power of using Wolfram|Alpha for school, college, and beyond.
You’re invited to tune in to the event at any time throughout the day. Here are just a few of the highlights we have planned for you:
- A special Homework Day welcome from Wolfram|Alpha creator Stephen Wolfram
- Live interviews, demonstrations, and vibrant panel discussions with educators
- A thought-provoking in-depth conversation with an internationally known actor and education advocate
- Live Q&A with members of the Wolfram|Alpha team tackling your toughest questions
- A fun science experiment from our very own mad scientist Theodore Gray
You can see more of our program highlights on the Homework Day website. While you’re there, find out how you can contribute your questions and examples today!
Thanks to our early Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day participants, we are pleased to announce that a submissions gallery is now live on the Homework Day website. Please visit the site and view some of the sampling of interesting questions and work that have been submitted. Some of the posted works include questions, courseware, and lesson plans for astronomy, biology, calculus, chemistry, geometry, geology, history, physics, and writing. If you haven’t already done so, please consider submitting your questions and examples for Homework Day!
This first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day is set to begin at noon U.S. CDT, on October 21. So swing by the Homework Day Website and learn how to submit your contributions today!
We are pleased to announce that Dell, Inc. will be a principal sponsor of the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day on October 21, 2009.
Dell, whose hardware system helped power the launch of Wolfram|Alpha this May, is sponsoring Homework Day’s Internet Cafe. During the multi-hour live web event, the Internet Cafe will allow on-site participants to interact and use Dell laptops to explore Wolfram|Alpha’s computational knowledge engine as a cutting-edge learning tool in education.
During Homework Day, scholars, experts, and members of the Wolfram|Alpha team will help participants take on a wide variety of subjects, for K–12 to college and beyond.
Students and educators are invited to submit homework questions and examples to be answered by members of the Wolfram|Alpha team, and showcase how they’ve already been using Wolfram|Alpha to bring their homework to life. Please visit http://homeworkday.wolframalpha.com to learn how you can submit your questions and work examples today. People can tune in to see if their submissions are shown.
Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day begins at noon U.S. CDT on October 21, 2009. The live webcast can be viewed on the Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day site. Students, educators, and parents are invited to interact with each other and the Wolfram|Alpha team via Homework Day chat, Twitter, and Facebook.
We are very pleased by the level of excitement and enthusiasm for the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day, being held on October 21, 2009, beginning at noon U.S. CDT. We’re receiving interesting questions about how Wolfram|Alpha can be used to solve your toughest assignments, and submissions from students and educators highlighting how they are already using Wolfram|Alpha to enhance the learning experience. There’s still time for you to get your submission in to be addressed during the live webcast by our team of experts.
What types of examples are Homework Day participants submitting?
- Homework questions in any subject area that could benefit from the computable knowledge that Wolfram|Alpha can generate—math, science, history, social studies, geography, languages, and more!
- Videos and screencasts that show how they’re using Wolfram|Alpha
- Lesson plans and homework activities that incorporate Wolfram|Alpha
Selected Homework Day submissions may be eligible to receive a Wolfram|Alpha T-shirt. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your work during Homework Day. Visit the Homework Day website to get started!
Join us on Wednesday, October 21, 2009, at noon CDT, for the start of Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day, a groundbreaking marathon live interactive web event that brings together students, parents, and educators from across the United States to solve their toughest assignments and explore the power of using Wolfram|Alpha for school, college, and beyond.
The multi-hour event will be broadcast live on our new Homework Day website. You can interact with Wolfram|Alpha team members and other Homework Day participants via Homework Day chat, Facebook, and Twitter.