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The Wolfram|Alpha Team

Popular Science Names Wolfram|Alpha the “Best of What’s New” in Computing for 2009

November 12, 2009 —
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Popular Science's 100 Best Innovations of the Year issue

Popular Science, the world’s largest science and technology magazine, has released its list of the top 100 innovations for 2009, and named Wolfram|Alpha as the “Best of What’s New” Grand Award winner in the category of computing. Popular Science states that all 100 innovations must “push past what we thought was possible,” and we are honored by that recognition.

Popular Science‘s article begins:

“A typical search engine is a reference librarian: Ask it a question and it suggests where to find the answer. Wolfram|Alpha, physicist and software guru Stephen Wolfram’s lifelong labor of love, is the impatient geek who overhears your query and leaps in with the answer.”

The entire text is on the Popular Science website.

The December 2009 issue of Popular Science, which hit newsstands on November 12, also features an in-depth profile on Wolfram|Alpha creator Stephen Wolfram and the process of building the computation engine that today holds more than ten trillion pieces of curated data.

Wolfram|Alpha’s launch this May marked the start of what we expect to be a project that spans decades. We are grateful to Wolfram|Alpha users and members of the science and technology communities for the warm welcome and encouragement.


Congratulations for the wolfram alpha team!! I really do admire your efforts. I believe there is still more success in the future .

Posted by Alhmoud November 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Congratulations to everyone for the recognition! I also saw yesterday in the NY Times that Bing is including W|A results. Fantastic.

Posted by Ben W. November 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Could there be something much simpler to answer than

“How many poor people in Travis County, Texas?”

It seems with the data available this should be a piece of cake. Yet, “The :Best of What’s New in Computing for 2009” responds with

“Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure how to compute an answer from your input”

Posted by Alan Kaylor Cline November 12, 2009 at 7:38 pm

You guys are really starting to make an impact outside the tech community. If journalist start adopting WA then there is nothing stopping you! 🙂

Posted by Dejanseo November 12, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Congrats to all you guys out there! You really deserved it, you rascals you. Love your easter eggs.

Posted by BlockJuice November 12, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Congratulations wolfram alpha! Good job.

Posted by Abiy Getachew Gebreamlak November 12, 2009 at 9:07 pm

thank´s for all

Posted by enrique jooris November 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Sorry, Bing is just a Google look-alike; their results are aimed at shoppers, not information consumers. Wolfram is a good addition, but a good addition to a poor product. Congrats, however, on the fantastic news of being named to Pop Sci, Wolfram!

Posted by Thomas November 12, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Well deserved recognition! More accolades are to come I am certain. Wolfram|Alpha is destined to become a milestone of the information age.

Posted by Jeff P November 12, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Wow, glad to hear, also i heard your folks now teamed up with bing. cheers !

Posted by zamaan November 12, 2009 at 11:00 pm

You deserve it.


Posted by Jorge E. Locatelli November 12, 2009 at 11:18 pm

You deserve it Wolfram Alpha Team on the award in popular science. Your visual graphics are making their way through the web in stunning and beautiful quality. Congratulations from the Femtobeam LLC team.

Posted by femtobeam November 12, 2009 at 11:18 pm

svp pouriez introduire la posibilite de traduire en une autre langue par exemple le français
mci de v/aide

Posted by abril jose November 12, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I had a feeling that Stephen had something good from day 1. Congratulations and looking forward to seeing this grow. This fits in good with the “Did You Know” video on YouTube. Ck it out…. If you haven’t seen it, you need to at

Posted by Jonathan Meyerhoff November 12, 2009 at 11:52 pm


Posted by kenvin November 12, 2009 at 11:56 pm

A Much Deserved HONOR For The Whole Team! Congrats to ALL…….

Posted by Ken Mattlin November 12, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Congratulations to the Wolfram Alpha team!!! The endeavour is really awesome!!

Posted by Sandesh Deshmukh November 13, 2009 at 12:15 am

Great – I have used it several times.

Posted by travelbavaria November 13, 2009 at 12:16 am

Again, congratulations! I hope this helps extend visibility ad further innovation.

Posted by jhuckle November 13, 2009 at 1:50 am

Keep up your good work and pay attention to publicity. Quality alone is not enough.

Posted by Mikosh R November 13, 2009 at 1:57 am

Congratulations for the Wolfram Alpha team! To me understanding music theory works best using Wolfram Alpha comnined with WikiPedia. Quicker and more informative then Google (or books). Keep it up! Good work!

Posted by Wouter November 13, 2009 at 2:24 am

So, next natural step for Wolfram would be to create an automatic theorem prover/verifier,
and start formalize math.

Posted by Per November 13, 2009 at 2:57 am

Congratulations, and also to Popular Science. There must be something good in this world.

Posted by Gerard Buskop November 13, 2009 at 3:02 am

Well done,
nice stuff,
right direction,
best wishes and good luck.

Posted by Karsten Johannes Martin November 13, 2009 at 3:50 am

Great work guyz

Posted by Chandra November 13, 2009 at 4:12 am

Dear Walpha team,
I use regularly Walpha for computing and other standard mathematical stuff and it works. I like tha fact that it is user friendly, i.e. you do not need to know a program language to interatct with it. Yet, I do not find everything I need: some more advanced mathematical tools (like non elementray integrals used in physics) are not covered by Walpha. So, there is still room for improvement.

Posted by Danilo Pescia November 13, 2009 at 4:33 am

Great going! You guys are awesome 🙂

Posted by Siddharth Sareen November 13, 2009 at 4:45 am

Congrat’s wolfram alpha team and all users/supporters. Now let’s conquer Europe 🙂

Posted by Dédè le Tchek November 13, 2009 at 4:53 am

Thank you Wolfram Alpha for your fantastic efforts. The circle of recognition for your overwhelming achievements grows rapidly on international arena. Excellent and getting better!
Thank you!

Posted by Slawomir Marcinczak November 13, 2009 at 5:44 am


Can you please translat all your pages in german.
Thank you for your answer.


Posted by Michael OTTO November 13, 2009 at 5:48 am

Los felicito por este reconocimiento, que es producto del esfuerzo mancomunado de un equipo integrado y pos de una meta en común.

Posted by Luis Moreno November 13, 2009 at 6:00 am

Congratulations! I am sure the Wolfram|Alpha will still collect a lot of recognition in the coming years.

Posted by Erick November 13, 2009 at 6:03 am

¡ ¡ ¡ Congratulations for the whole team of alpha of wolfram!!! Really fantastic.

Posted by Juan M. Natale November 13, 2009 at 6:11 am

I hope success comes more good works are waiting anxiously.

Posted by web tasar?m? November 13, 2009 at 6:37 am

Well deserved recognition for a unique and powerful search engine. I believe that the
value, contribution,, and recognition will increae over time. Thank you for this effort
and contribution to increasing the scientific and technical knowledge base that is required
in an increasingly complex world.

Posted by Jack Stevens November 13, 2009 at 6:45 am

Good luck wolfram team

Posted by Thiwanka November 13, 2009 at 6:50 am

If you would like to expand yourself, don´t forget spanish version…..
Thank you.-

Posted by Raul Banegas November 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

Congratulations. Great efforts to popularize science. Wishing your team all the best.

Posted by Prof.K.Prabhakar November 13, 2009 at 7:02 am

Congrats to WolframAlpha! Way to go!! 🙂
It’s a pretty lovable tool, even for showing off. And how come you don’t mind the fact that even Pop Sci compared wolframalpha to a search engine, something even wolfram alpha distinctly sys it doesn’t like! :-O
And how is Bing being allowed to use wolframalpha results, when the rules of use say wolframalpha cannot be accessed by a programmed spider etc.? Doesn’t it a get a bit unfair in their favour? =)
Nevertheless, awesome thing! All the best for way more awesomeness! 😀

Posted by Vishesh Kumar November 13, 2009 at 7:03 am


Posted by Yarden November 13, 2009 at 7:07 am

Bagus, semoga sukses!

Posted by Erensdh November 13, 2009 at 7:25 am

Congratulations wolfram alpha team!!!!

Posted by Pablo Oruê November 13, 2009 at 7:28 am

Outstanding achievement, congratulations!

Posted by Perry November 13, 2009 at 7:29 am

Congratulations, i agree with the WolframAlpha being one of 2009´s greatest innovations. I see your succes in the future as being inevidable. The concept leaves much room for improvement, but this is the best effort yet to sum up our accumulated knowledge.
Keep ud the good work!

Posted by Jan Rosenkrantz November 13, 2009 at 7:29 am

Congratulations to the Wolfgram team. I have followed your efforts since early on, keep up the great work, the world needs you!

Posted by Mark H November 13, 2009 at 7:33 am

Congrutaltions from Montréal! Great job …:)

Posted by Angelito November 13, 2009 at 7:41 am

Many congratulations. Three cheers for “Wolfram|Alpha!” This “Grand” award is a portent of the paradigm shift you folks have made possible.

Congratulations too, to “Popular Science” editors for their astute insight and recognition of what Wolfram|Alpha is making possible.

I have been looking to post an article about Wolfram|Alpha to the STEM education website for our local school system. This award provides me with a great opening to do just that.

Please, keep up the good work!

Posted by STEM Team November 13, 2009 at 7:51 am

Congrats. As Avis said decades(1966) ago:
We (you) are the Second, we try Harder!

Posted by Nilsvdh November 13, 2009 at 7:53 am

I am not surprised. Computational search scratches a geeky itch that no one has scratched before. I love W|A.

Posted by Michael Fitzgerald November 13, 2009 at 8:09 am

This magazine is exacly were i heard about Wolfram. Its a great site and i think i am benafiting from it alot. If you get this magazine you should also open the article about the jetski that can stop.

Posted by Jeremy November 13, 2009 at 8:37 am


Posted by A. Rao November 13, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Wolfram|Alpha deserves it … Congratulation W|A!!

    Posted by Raj Kumar November 15, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Hello…..özellikle TÜRKÇE yaz?yorum..Neden Türkçeye çeviriniz yok?

Posted by Melike YA?AR November 13, 2009 at 9:06 am


    Posted by sevval November 17, 2009 at 8:36 am

Congratulations to the Wolfram Alpha team. When inventions are way ahead of their times, and you are the Alpha Wolf, you meet some unusual challenges.

While CP/M was the best OS of its time, IBM still picked MSDOS. Such a mistake should not repeat again I guess. Pretty soon, Alpha will rule the Search Engines….

Posted by Madurai Virumaandi November 13, 2009 at 9:22 am

Congratulation to Wolfram\Alpha for this excellent award, good luck for the next best thing…

Posted by Raj Shah November 13, 2009 at 9:29 am


Posted by JUAN November 13, 2009 at 9:38 am


wow !!! You guys rock !!!
Congratulations & thanks for all your efforts to make a better world !!!

Posted by Gopi November 13, 2009 at 9:50 am

This project exalt human knowledge and universal semantics. Congratulations. You deserve it.

Posted by Gustavo Tejera November 13, 2009 at 9:55 am

We are planning to write short article about WA in our blog (in Bahasa Indonesia), is it possible to have short interview (by mail/chat) with one of the team member?
Looking forward to hear from you.
Once again, Congrat.

Eko & Kanty

Posted by Eko & Kanty (KUMMARA) November 13, 2009 at 10:00 am

Congratilations , this innocation is incredible, thanks!!

Posted by Carlos Valdez November 13, 2009 at 10:00 am

Great news, congratulations!
And it is just starting, there is still so much potential for Wolfrm|Alfa…

Posted by Carlos Gershenson November 13, 2009 at 10:41 am

Congrats, well deserved kudos. To the gentleman who commented about CP/M: Your age is showing. 🙂

Posted by PGM Data November 13, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I worked with CP/M and in my opinion MS-DOS was preferable, at least in the version which was implemented on the Sirius – the IBM version was cut down and not half as useful.

    Posted by frann November 14, 2009 at 6:34 pm

¡Felicitaciones por el premio, se lo merecen! Congratulations for the award, you deserve it!

Posted by Wilson Santurio (Uruguay) November 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

The purpose of Alpha as it stands right now as the scientific search engine, is wonderful. I hope that’s what it remains. I think this will lead to a new era of domain specific search engines. It’s not going to be the most profitable, or the most used search engine, but it’ll always be the one whose results will be most trusted, if and only if you don’t sell out to become more pop. Thanks Wolfram, for giving us Alpha!

Posted by Rahat November 13, 2009 at 11:39 am

Congratulation and in Hebrew we say KOL HAKAVOD which mean with all the respect you deserve
Avihu kiselstein

Posted by Avihu Kiselstein November 13, 2009 at 12:30 pm

congrats… hope soon wolfram alpha will dethrone the google…

Posted by Tamilan November 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Congratulations! We’re waiting.

Posted by pdl November 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Congratulations for the great efforts made. All good wishes for a much more innovative and stronger break throughs in future

Posted by Harison November 13, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I am not mathematically inclined, nor am I computer-program-savvy. I am curious, however, to determine whether the canvassing of the the database by the algorithmic Alpha program will lead to enhanced understanding of ‘fractals’ and subsequent application of these data to, say, interpretation of weather conditions by studying cloud formations (which illustrate fractal phenomena).

anyway, congratulations, and will follow your progress to make this a more knowledgeable and civilized world. A truly global endeavor.

Phil Johnson

Posted by Phil Johnson November 13, 2009 at 1:50 pm

It may be good news but why should we trust the word of a group of editors of a popular magazine? They are not mathematicians or computer experts. They also touted flying cars, supersonic passenger planes and electricity too cheap to meter. Send me a copy of Wolfram/Alpha and I’ll judge for myself.
L. Zeitlin, Prof. Emeritus, CUNY

Posted by L. Zeitlin November 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Wolfram|Alpha can be accessed free from the web at We hope you enjoy exploring Wolfram|Alpha. We invite you to share your comments by using the feedback forms found at the bottom of each page.

    Thank you,

    Posted by The PR Team November 13, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Well, congratulations. Your engine may produce a lot of steam and noise it is of no use for the commoner who is not much interested in maths simple or complicated. If it could have combined both the goodies of Google and maths then it would have been a lot more acceptable and accessible!

Posted by Ranjan Mitra November 13, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Deserved recognition! Wolfram|Alpha is amazing and this will only increase as people use it more. One example, Wolfram|Alpha can tell me the starting and ending dates for the Muslim month of fasting (Ramadan) for one’s location and timezone!

Posted by Steve November 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Congratulations! I am delighted that the Wolfram Alpha Team is, not only recognized, but is #1.

Posted by thunderbay November 13, 2009 at 2:45 pm


Posted by MANUEL M. November 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm

thats cool man!

Posted by tavax2000 November 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm

congratulation on being awarded

Posted by Abdul Hamid November 13, 2009 at 3:44 pm

congrats once again, a milestone and probably needed now or otherwise just in time with the progressive state of computer technology. A great achievement.Are you compatable and ready to come on-board with microsoft or google?

Posted by juan lindique November 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Congratulations. Better is not enough. Be the best.

Posted by Jaime Orozco A. November 13, 2009 at 6:41 pm


Posted by Mohammad Mohtaseb November 14, 2009 at 6:21 am

muy bueno,seria interesante poder aprovecharlo para cálculos médicos

Posted by luispataro November 14, 2009 at 9:44 am

Well done – I sign on to the P.S. conclusion …


Posted by Henri Laupmaa November 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Congratulations, well deserved ! I use both Mathematica (the engine underlying Wolfram Alpha) and Wolfram Alpha and find both of inestimable help in both my mathematical enterprises and in specifically structured queries about a large number of subjects. The answers are more useful than any other sources I have employed in the past.
Thank you, Wolfram.

Posted by J. K. Brady November 14, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Popular Science was how I heard about you, and I’m so happy I did. Have you had a big spike of visitors since the publishing? I’m sure thousands of people saw the article and decided to check it out.

Posted by the big nobody November 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    There has been a rise in visitors. To keep watch each day:-
    >DO: Input “Wolframalpha”
    >SEE: Stats for visits.
    >DO: Click on ‘See History’ in red.
    >SEE: Graph of ‘Daily Visitors History for last year’
    >DO> Click on ‘Last Month’ in red.
    >See Graph for last month. to couple ofdays ago.

    Posted by Brian Gilbert November 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm


Posted by Waters November 14, 2009 at 11:58 pm

congratulation for the great efforts mad.Good luck.

Posted by achwak November 15, 2009 at 12:38 am

right decison based on best reasons
congrdulations for winning the award

Posted by k.santhanam November 15, 2009 at 10:02 am

congratulation . great achievement . we need to see the best out of you .

Posted by faisal alankari November 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

nice, congratulations i hope more reconociments in the future

Posted by Angel bermudez November 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Congratulations! Wolfram is one of the web’s best database I know.

Posted by Reto B. November 16, 2009 at 3:12 am

congratulations and celebration! . i am happy for your recognition – and i truely believe that you deserve it!!!!
May you continue doing great also in the future.

Posted by sara aharoni November 16, 2009 at 7:40 am


Posted by qing November 16, 2009 at 7:44 am

congratulations! please do not stop….

Posted by marco November 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm


Posted by miguel November 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Congrats and well deserved to the whole team!

Posted by Ken Mattlin November 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Keep it up.

Posted by veerendra November 17, 2009 at 12:25 am

Well done! Keep aiming high.

Posted by Enrique November 17, 2009 at 8:43 am


Posted by aindreas November 17, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Too slow to be an effective research tool.

Posted by bob taylor November 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Dear Sirs,
After reading the article I had a clearer explanation of what you are doing, and would like to tell you that a visit to my web site (listed above) should get you excited and ALSO I’m working on a compendium of the best inventions for the 21st century….I have around 10,000 inventions (including social inventions) all of this I would think you would be intersted in…..My question “Is this another internet project where nobody running the show ever communicates with people like me?
Wishing you the best of luck and would hope you have time to look at my website.

Posted by allan armstrong November 17, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Congratulations! and best wishes from Göttingen (Germany)

Posted by Markus November 24, 2009 at 11:24 am


Posted by paolo November 27, 2009 at 8:45 am

congratulation, you really the deserve the tile for that award.. i believe there will be more from you that everyone of us will benefit..

Posted by duncan thorne December 7, 2009 at 1:16 am

I was alerted to the innovation by my neighbor. My concern was that theAlpha knowledge product would infringe on a technology that enables consumers to easily interface to expert systems. However, I was pleased to learn that it did not infringe. The expert systems technology that I am concerned about is protected by copyright, trade secret and a provisional patent. It remains as a dramatic and user friendly approach to real time and mobile knowledge acquisition. The prototype will soon be available.

Posted by Gerard Peregrin December 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Hi, very good web site. Thanks.

Posted by ambulans December 9, 2009 at 10:28 am

THANK YOU wolframalpha

Posted by kpss cd January 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I was alerted to the innovation by my neighbor. My concern was that theAlpha knowledge product would infringe on a technology that enables consumers to easily interface to expert systems. However, I was pleased to learn that it did not infringe. The expert systems technology that I am concerned about is protected by copyright, trade secret and a provisional patent. It remains as a dramatic and user friendly approach to real time and mobile knowledge acquisition. The prototype will soon be available.

Posted by Solicitors in November 15, 2010 at 2:41 am

Although I love the contents of the magazine, I am happy to hear that they are updating it.

Posted by Knutselen January 1, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I hadn’t read Popular Science for a few years, and didn’t have any use for the Newsstand app until now. I’ve enjoyed the new PS app, and find the magazines well worth .

Posted by MVO February 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Looking back it’s amazing how far Wolfram Alpha has come…

Posted by Future Buffalo March 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm