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The Development Team

New Features in Wolfram|Alpha: Year-End Update

December 21, 2009 —
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When we launched Wolfram|Alpha in May 2009, it already contained trillions of pieces of information—the result of nearly five years of sustained data-gathering, on top of more than two decades of formula and algorithm development in Mathematica. Since then, we’ve successfully released a new build of Wolfram|Alpha’s codebase each week, incorporating not only hundreds of minor behind-the-scenes enhancements and bug fixes, but also a steady stream of major new features and datasets.

We’ve highlighted some of these new additions in this blog, but many more have entered the system with little fanfare. As we near the end of 2009, we wanted to look back at seven months of new Wolfram|Alpha features and functionality.

Mathematics, Statistics, and Computation

An impressive collection of advanced support for mathematical functions has been added, including more support for Bessel functions, gamma functions, elliptic functions, and zeta functions. Users will also find improved plotting for special functions.

Users will find many updates in discrete mathematics for areas like combinatorics and graph theory.

Improvements to our capabilities in probability and statistics have also been made. You can now compute any probability for any distribution that is known by Mathematica, or find the set on which the density of the statistical distribution is non-zero. You can also explore traditional areas of combinatorics such as coin flips and card playing.

Our support of computational sciences has expanded. You have more ways to explore cellular automata as well as support for string substitution systems. You can also now explore all the famous categories of fractals.

Another major area of improvement is in algebra, including better support for sums and matrix computations.

For calculus and analysis you will find more advanced support throughout Wolfram|Alpha. Some highlights include better plotting, more derivatives and integrals, more step-by-step results, better linguistics for inputting your computations, and complex analysis features such as computing the residue.

More tiling support has been added to our geometry offerings. We now support all of the most commonly used periodic tilings, such as basketweave and zigzag tiling.

Science, Biology, and Health

Our physical exercise calculator may be one of Wolfram|Alpha’s most useful new additions, allowing users to compute energy expenditure, fat loss, and oxygen consumption for dozens of different activities, from running to rowing.

To complement the information we have been providing about the human genome, we now have the genomic structure of the mouse, including information about DNA sequences relative to specific genes.

We’ve added carbon footprint data, providing information about the carbon footprint of various activities such as heating our homes or taking a road trip.

We had a massive amount of astronomical data when we first launched Wolfram|Alpha, but over the summer and fall we added a great number of solar system features, including maps of planets, data about craters of planets and moons, and detailed information about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. We’ve also been able to add quite a bit of information about astronomical events, such as meteor showers, and their properties.

For those concerned with issues closer to home, we’ve added information about clouds and the composition of our atmosphere. We also have information about atmospheric conditions, including wind chill, humidity, location-specific heating and cooling days, and the heat index.

We’ve spoken about earthquakes before, and this domain continues to see new developments. We’ve improved Wolfram|Alpha’s ability to understand more complex queries about earthquakes in a specified place and time, and we’re currently working on several major enhancements to our display of earthquake data.

We now have information about classes of lasers, particular lasers, and their properties.

We’ve also continued to develop our offerings in the engineering domain, with a new refrigeration cycle calculator and tools for computing psychrometric properties (the physical and thermodynamic characteristics of gas-vapor mixtures).

Which came first: the canine or the incisor? Wolfram|Alpha now has data on primary (baby) and adult teeth—with physical attributes and developmental details for each individual tooth.

Wolfram|Alpha launched with extremely strong support for queries about geodesy and navigation, but we’ve continued to add new features, including support for specific map-projection requests and better handling of geodetic datum transformations.

Socioeconomics and Culture

We added more than 20 years’ worth of FBI statistics on crime in major U.S. cities. You can research and compare data on property crime and violent crime—with detailed numbers and rates for specific categories of crime such as burglary, vehicle theft, and assault.

We recently completed a major effort to add information on medals and results for every Olympic event since 1896. Users can search for results by country, year, athlete, medal type, event, and practically any combination of the above.

Wolfram|Alpha users can now compare current housing price information for most U.S. cities, and also explore decades of historical data. In addition to specific data on housing prices, Wolfram|Alpha has added ACCRA Cost of Living Index data for hundreds of U.S. cities and urban areas. You can compare the relative costs of groceries, housing, health care, transportation, and utilities in different cities, or find out what salary would be required to maintain a comparable standard of living if you moved to a new city.

We’ve begun a major project to add domestic and international health care statistics to Wolfram|Alpha. The first phase included data on public and private health expenditures in OECD countries—with data to come on health care resources, social insurance, and more.

Wolfram|Alpha can now show and compare military information—such as troop strengths, expenditures, selected armaments, and nuclear stockpiles—for most nations of the world.

We’re in the midst of a major expansion of data on cities in the U.S and around the world. Wolfram|Alpha users can now ask what county (or counties) a particular U.S. city is in, and also explore and compare the populations of metropolitan and urban areas and their member cities. We’ve also updated our city population figures to the latest available figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, and more international data is flowing in as we speak.

Wolfram|Alpha now contains salary data for virtually any occupation in the U.S., with state-level detail; we’re currently adding city- and metropolitan-area-level data, and improving our presentation of occupational categories, based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We’ve expanded our coverage of unemployment rates. In addition to recent stats for most nations, we now have decades of historical data for U.S. states, counties, and cities.

Wolfram|Alpha also has expanded information on time zones and calendars, with ever-increasing support for international and religious calendars and time computations—as well as information on many more international holidays than we had at launch.

Wolfram|Alpha’s language data has also undergone a dramatic overhaul and update, with geographic and lexical information on literally thousands of languages, from Adele to Zanaki.

Expanded coverage of music is one of our top priorities for the next six months, but we’ve already made a number of improvements to our current presentation of music data—including the display of guitar chord voicings.

Wolfram|Alpha now has the ability to encode digits or text as barcodes, including barcodes corresponding to specific standards, such as UPC or ISBN.

For anyone interested in broadcast media, Wolfram|Alpha can now answer questions about major television networks—allowing you to compare reach, affiliates, and other properties.

We’ve continued to add more basic reference material, including the ability to find the location of an area code or specific telephone number, as well as international calling codes.

These are only a few dozen notable additions to Wolfram|Alpha’s ever-growing knowledge base over the past six months; many more existing data sets—from movies to weather to financial data—are updated weekly, daily, or even more frequently, and countless linguistic and graphic improvements have been introduced each and every week.

In 2010, we will continue to improve and update all of these domains, and to tackle entirely new areas of knowledge. Efforts are already underway to add data on an incredibly diverse array of subjects: automobiles, energy consumption and prices, fictional characters, wars and battles, and Academy Awards, to name just a small fraction. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions, and we look forward to more exciting developments for Wolfram|Alpha in the new year.


Wow. That is really amazing. Soon Wolfram Alpha will be able to calculate anything!

Posted by George December 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Awesome and interesting new features.

Posted by Carlos December 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Great, but how about:
– expanding non-US data available,
– including different data on same subjects so that users can make informed, conscious decisions. For example “carbon footprints” as widely questioned as are US gov statistics (especially unemployment numbers and other labor related stats) – see for example

Posted by Andy Brandt December 21, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Support Andy Brandt’s recommendations

    Posted by sweetcorcoran December 22, 2009 at 2:55 am

    what a steaming pile of crapola

    Posted by fred December 22, 2009 at 6:46 am

hmmm i think we don’t need to wait for the “future” anymore:) it’s already here:)

Posted by Andrew Sonners December 21, 2009 at 6:46 pm

WOW! Amazing! Cannot wait to see what the next year brings!

Posted by Shellie December 21, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Wolfram Alpha, love this blog and your work is genius!

Some points:
– Understanding some basic questions are still not answered even though the answers are in the dataset
e.g. “tallest mountain in scotland”
– As already mentioned more international data would be fantastic (United Kingdom)

Overall love the service and existing dataset but do get frustrated when no answer is provided, even a google search result might be a little helpful, would then be more inclined as using this as more frequent source (instead of Google and Wikipedia).

I look forward to 2010. Many Thanks

Posted by Arran Dyer December 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Cellular automata is nice, but needs to have 2D structures too.

Posted by Taslem December 21, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Thanx for your update today 22 Dec 2009 anout your new features and your year so far.
Have always expected great things of you.
Would appreciate your comment on one of my initial questions from very early on.
Could you advise all of us, based on the latitude and logitude of our domiciles when the planets and the sun and moon and other notable objects might be rising or setting or appearing in our loval skies?

Posted by Bill Hubble December 21, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Thanx for your update today 22 Dec 2009 anout your new features and your year so far.
Have always expected great things of you.
Would appreciate your comment on one of my initial questions from very early on.
Could you advise all of us, based on the latitude and longitude of our domiciles when the planets and the sun and moon and other notable objects might be rising or setting or appearing in our local skies?

Posted by Bill Hubble December 21, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Nice updates. I still think that the “physics” section, in particular particle physics needs a lot of work.

A way to fix it would be to contact those guys :

Posted by Zelrik December 21, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I hate the input methods on your calculators. Not intuitive at all.

Posted by Betty Kohlenberg December 21, 2009 at 8:22 pm

the site is definitely improving though still very US-centric – I did notice however that entering Richmond now gives me the UK one rather than the one in Virginia so I’m guessing you’re using the url to make Alpha more locale-aware?

Anyway really congatulations, this venture sits alongside Google and Wikipedia as probably one of the core elements of the future of the integrated knowledge/communication web that will undoubtedly be very deeply part of our lives.

Posted by malc December 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm

That’s great, but the data’s still useless if you can’t figure out how to search it. The only searches I ever get to work are simple variations on the samples, never what I think should be obvious even when I know the data is available.

Posted by Dave December 21, 2009 at 9:08 pm

I agree with Andy Brandt about expanding to non-US data or even bigger, world wide data combined by the Wolfram|Alpha engine.

Posted by Emil Hemdal December 21, 2009 at 9:47 pm

How soon do you expect to be able to respond to questions that draw upon the soon-to-be-released U.S. government openness data?

Posted by Bruce Preville December 21, 2009 at 9:50 pm

How wonderful it might be if you could hook up with Elbot. Give that churlish bot some real knowledge.

Posted by Marvin E. Walden, PhD December 21, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Even as W/A grows I’m finding it useful, and am going to it first instead of Google for topics that I have heard you mention in these blogs. For example, when I was putting together a church calendar for 2010 I needed to know the date of Easter, and went here. It’s been useful in finding simple distances, such as Detroit to Cleveland (I know I can also get that from, but I wanted to try W/A. It was faster at getting my result. I wanted to see if Muhammad Ali ever won Olympic Gold and got that answer in a flash without having to click through several web pages and scan the material. It’s getting easy for me to predict which topics you’re better at, and I’m relying on you more.

I hope that your business model allows you to survive financially so that you can be around for decades as you plan. With Wikipedia putting out financial distress signals, I’d hate to see you go the same way before you mature. In my book, I’d rather have you available with ads than have you unavailable without ads.

Posted by Bill Griffin December 21, 2009 at 10:04 pm

carbon footprints go to china or any other third world county it aint the us they just got the money , and the guilt ,

Posted by daveinnol December 21, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I agree with the above – I love the potential of Wolfram Alpha, but it seems only really useful for US data

Posted by Dane December 21, 2009 at 10:35 pm

This is cool, but the phone number locations seem a bit off after I tried them with my home numbers and others that I know offhand.

Posted by David December 21, 2009 at 11:38 pm

First of all congratulations! Your accomplishments are truly magnificent. As a scientist and computer user for more than fifty years, I am personally thrilled. Your next great challenge should be to make Alpha the essential piece of software for every computer user on the planet. How about a Silicon based Alpha operating system that can run all, Windows, Mac, and Linux, applications featuring Alpha as the “Master” application.

Posted by Edgar Kraut December 21, 2009 at 11:48 pm

What about lambda calculus?

Posted by ID December 21, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Awesome! An unbelievably vast accumulation of information and capabilities on an incredibly diverse list of subjects.

Posted by Jay Gross December 22, 2009 at 12:52 am

Really feel the lack of international info. Wolfram is more mathematics, waiting for some humanitarian sciences.

Posted by AIR December 22, 2009 at 1:52 am

A small inquiry: perhaps some functionality in a few more basic principals of chemical engineering and physical chemistry would be useful to some. These principals include enthalpy, entropy, dew point, bubble point, relative saturation, compressibility factor of non-ideal gases, solution idealization, and solutions to non-ideal gas equations of state (like SRK) given two out of the three state variables. Just a thought.

Thanks for everything thus far.

Posted by Jarett Hibbert December 22, 2009 at 1:57 am

THE search engine of the future. But, as Andy wrote it, it would be more used, if non-US data were available, by the rest of the World.

Posted by Alain Herman December 22, 2009 at 1:58 am

Brilliant concept but please expand more outside the USA

Posted by ALAN MC AFFEE December 22, 2009 at 2:04 am

I agree. It needs to become more international and far less US oriented.

Posted by John Pretorius December 22, 2009 at 2:05 am

It would be really useful to have some non usa data for example, I live in Dorset uk, the town I live in is Christchurch. Can’t seem to find any information re this, and in particular, political makeup within the county especially as there will be a general election in uk in 2010

Posted by colin jamieson December 22, 2009 at 2:09 am

Un grande e stupedo lavoro. Complimenti e un felice anno nuovo.
Grazie per quello che fate.
Bun lavoro
dr.Pietro Colombo

A large and wonderful work. Congratulations and a happy new year.
Thank you for what you do.
Good job

Posted by Pietro December 22, 2009 at 2:36 am

Olá amigos!
Quero parabenizá-los pelos magníficos avanços matemáticos.
Por favor, pergunto:
“Se a Vida só pode ser entendida através dos números”, então, que tal, criar uma nova especialização: “Matemática Espiritual”.
(Esta será a área mais consultada do seu software!!!)
Explico: nós somos inteligências eternas, cósmicas e universais, atualmente habitando o planeta Terra.
Isto implica que há todo um conhecimento a ser explorado, o conhecimento da Realidade Espiritual.
Haveria como expressar esta realidade sob forma de números?
Algumas perguntas a serem respondidas pela “Matemática Espiritual”:
a) Quantas encarnações eu já vivi até então?
b) Qual a idade do meu Espírito?
c) Quais os Planetas onde eu já habitei?
d) Quantas vezes mais reencarnarei no Planeta Terra?
e) Na próxima encarnação, irei para qual Planeta?
f) Baseado nas nossas origens cósmicas, demonstrar a incidência das raças.
g) Baseado na média do número de reencarnações dos encarnados, qual a minha média?
Amigos, talvez as perguntas possam causar algumas dúvidas, mas espero serem suficientemente instigantes para que vocês busquem as respostas.
Alguém, algum dia, dará respostas para tais e outras muitas e muitas perguntas pertinentes ao Mundo Espiritual, o qual até hoje, ainda não se pode: Pesar, Medir, etc…
É preciso transceder!
Ao trabalho senhores cientistas!
O desafio está lançado.
Muito obrigado pelo seu tempo e espaço mental.
Respeitosa e fraternalmente,
Leal – aprendiz em todas as instâncias da Vida
Pindamonhangaba-SP – Brasil
Nota: publicarei este texto-desafio no meu pequeno blog.

Posted by Eudison de Paula Leal December 22, 2009 at 2:39 am

Thanks for existing!

Posted by Pier Calderan December 22, 2009 at 2:42 am

Congratulations for having some of the most popular, fascinating, and funtional web sites on the Internet.

Posted by Jess Porter December 22, 2009 at 2:44 am

Great stuff wolfram/alpha keep up the good work.

Posted by Robbie December 22, 2009 at 3:12 am




Posted by JORGE ADRIAN KRASNOPOLSKY December 22, 2009 at 3:18 am

nice work, thanks and go forward.

Posted by fady December 22, 2009 at 3:30 am

There are still some purely mathematical problems that I feel W.A. could help me with, but I just cannot figure out how to formulate those problems. Say that I want to minimixe the global maximum of the following function by adjusting the real constant a:

sin(x)+a*sin(3*x) , where x is from 0 to 2*pi

The answer is: a=1/6. But how can I get W.A. to compute this?

Posted by Erik Grindheim December 22, 2009 at 3:32 am

As impressive as your achievements are, you still need desperately to vastly increase Wolfram Alphas language capabilities. When users can ask questions in everyday English (or other languages) and get answers to those questions, then Wolfram Alpha will be truely unique and a joy to use.

Posted by Allen W. Ragland December 22, 2009 at 3:36 am

I need you. Keep continue to develop this project.

Posted by Hakabura December 22, 2009 at 3:46 am

I have only recently found alpha and I will be very interested to see how things develop. As yet the types of questions appear to be very limited. The mathematical capabilities may be considerable but they do not appear to know their limitations. For example I was working on orbits of objects under gravity and that shows good results for typical cases but when you get more extreme and relativistic effects have to be taken into account it does not know about this and also does not warn you that you are approaching a limitation.

Where approximations and model simplifications are used it is vital to indicate where limits are being approached or exceeded. I regularly answer science questions on and one of the most frequent misunderstandings is the belief that well established approximations are the whole truth and this leads to people taking them to absurd limits and thinking that scientists do not really understand nature.

Posted by Ian Kimber December 22, 2009 at 3:53 am

I’d echo Andy’s comment about expanding data beyond the US, especially cost of living comparisons.

Posted by Craig December 22, 2009 at 4:05 am

Beautiful work! I’m so happy to see this project growing and staying active and free.

If I would recommend one thing it would be creating a more dynamic charts feature for viewing statistical data. Ideally, it would allow you to navigate the chart by zooming in and out, and getting details about specific periods and points in the chart in real-time.

There are many open source javascript libraries that could assist you in this, such as

And there are commercial library of course, such as: (I’m not affiliated with any)

Posted by Hannes December 22, 2009 at 4:11 am

Neat ! I’m looking forward to seeing integration of more local data.

Posted by Antoine December 22, 2009 at 4:38 am

Please, consider change the color of the links for better accesibility. Great news, by the way.

Posted by ColorBlind December 22, 2009 at 4:47 am

I am convinced that you could make a significant difference by simply taking your knowledge base and doing a fine-grained breakdown of categories in outline form.

If you had more than one set of these categorical breakdowns presented on screen simultaneously you could highlight an item from each list, the result being the Boolean intersection of these selections.

Nobody has anything like this. It would be the breakthrough other search engines seem unable to conceive.

Posted by Don Bateman December 22, 2009 at 5:09 am

Great additions… we look forward to more… Best wishes….as always…

Posted by Salim TM December 22, 2009 at 5:15 am


Posted by melike yasar December 22, 2009 at 5:27 am

I am really impressed! Watching closly any development!
How can I calcuate the energy consumption of all Wolframalpha’s own servers to enable this service? Would be interesting to see…

Posted by anjin December 22, 2009 at 5:33 am

I work more than 60 years in ciences and arts.
My enterprices are:Advanced Propulsion Sistems.
Pacific Medicinal.
And I paint also.
The fact you know more about it….is becouse burocratic impediments,,,since 2003.
I really wish you(of course)the best.
And let s give aur lifes for the life it self.
In this biologic,elegant Universe,o another.
Jorge Adrian Krasnopolsky

Posted by jorge adrian krasnopolsky December 22, 2009 at 5:35 am

These additions are great but as an EE I would love to see support for more electrical equations for example 3 phase power

Posted by NicP December 22, 2009 at 6:00 am

I’am delited with your site. It is a splendid piece of software that gives internet alone a good reason to exist in spite of the rubish on it.

Posted by Guy Dierickx December 22, 2009 at 6:04 am

This sounds great1 let me give it awhirl.

Posted by Larry Elliott December 22, 2009 at 6:08 am

Great. Keep Going. Please do calculation on human behaviors, if possible.

Posted by Karthik December 22, 2009 at 6:18 am

I agree with Andy, to be useful and attractive to as wide an audience as possible you have to make your data really relevant and include the real world, not just the US

Posted by Mike Egan December 22, 2009 at 6:34 am

Is the absence (so far) of information from literature and the arts because you haven’t got there yet, or because they are not computable in your terms?

Posted by GW December 22, 2009 at 6:35 am

Very impressive new features.

@ Andy Brandt: Alternative Data like shadowstats or opensecret are indeed a good idea to add. As we see with google, search engines have a big impact on what kind of information reaches the public – so including different sources is very necessary.

Posted by David Rotter December 22, 2009 at 6:55 am

This site is amazing. I am sorry I don’t have alot of spare time. I would be on this site 24/7,
All this information makes me look smart to my grandchildren with all these science facts.
Great work,

Posted by Audrey Franzblau December 22, 2009 at 6:57 am

Don’t make the mistake to mix hard facts with statistical lies.

Posted by user December 22, 2009 at 7:19 am

I have just downloaded WA for iPhone, but haven’t had much chance to try it yet. Two questions:

1. My first query to WA, about Olympic marathon winners, failed “Could not connect to a W/A server” or something like that. I thought the point of the downloaded version was to free you from wi fi restrictions.
2. Given the ever changing nature of knowledge and your impressive programme of developments, can iPhone customers expect updates in the future?

Wishing you every success and a Merry Christmas
Jim Clough

Posted by Jim Clough December 22, 2009 at 7:21 am

Featuring you again at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog (

TRUE COST is the big meme you are missing, and the one that would make the most different to every discipline. Create a matrix that allows end-user inputs and group as well as moderator validation and protection–true cost in terms of water, fuel, child labor, tax avoidance, etcetera.

Become THE place to establish ecological economics as well as biomimicry and intelligence in nature spin-offs. I would be very glad to discuss this further if desired.

Posted by Robert David STEELE Vivas December 22, 2009 at 7:25 am


I wish you could feed your data base with more data of other countries, european and southamerican, to compare crime rates, salaries, and so on…

Posted by Alcides December 22, 2009 at 7:25 am

Taking into account that CO2 forms less than 0.04% of the atmosphere, and that man-made co2 accounts for maybe one-sixteenth of plant and animal CO2, can we please have some accurate, independent scientific data on global warming, rather than the politicized information that we all read about

Posted by David Gray December 22, 2009 at 7:36 am

Taking into account that CO2 forms less than 0.04% of the atmosphere, and that man-made CO2 accounts for maybe one-sixteenth of plant and animal produced CO2, can we please have some accurate, independent scientific data on global warming.

Posted by David Gray December 22, 2009 at 7:41 am

Wonderfull. Anybody will be able to find solutions, calculates, research, etc..

Posted by amilcar December 22, 2009 at 7:49 am

Great! When are we going to have Wolfram/Alpha in Spanish?

Posted by Carlos Pilquil December 22, 2009 at 7:58 am

Hope you guys are not trying to sell alpha to those big companies… maybe they buy all of WR for these achievements.

Posted by C. S. December 22, 2009 at 7:58 am

Fourth time lucky? This should be the definitive version of what I am trying to say.
Would appreciate if you could ignore or even delete my previous three, too hasty, messages.
Thanx for your update today Tuesday 22 Dec 2009 (my local time in Sydney) about your new features and your year so far.
Have always expected great things of you.
Would appreciate your comment on one of my initial questions from very early on.
Could you advise all of us, based on the latitude and longitude of our domiciles when the planets and the sun and moon and other notable objects, such as iridium flares, might be rising or setting or appearing in our local skies?
Sorry bout the three previous versions of this message, so full of typogrphical errors and omissions.

Posted by Bill Hubble December 22, 2009 at 7:59 am

It is realy nice. I hope all eyes will be on WolframAlpha soon.

Posted by Endale Asefa December 22, 2009 at 8:00 am

Took a quick look at Teeth exemple, when I looked at Tooth #5 we are given a picture with tooth position. That picture is passive, will you later improve by adding active graphics so if I clicked on another tooth I would have read about it?

Keep the good work!

Posted by Rhialto December 22, 2009 at 8:15 am

Sería interesante que sigan habilitando los pasos (steps) de resolución en el cálculo integrales desde el sitio web público, es una de las funcionalidades más interesantes y útiles que había visto para los ocasionales alumnos-usuarios y veo que la han quitado. Crea simpatía y fidelidad con la marca y el software que ustedes representan.

Posted by nlerman December 22, 2009 at 8:24 am

yes, other country specific details would be awesome, like india, uk, australia etc

Posted by Mayank December 22, 2009 at 8:26 am

actually guys i appreciate ur work, its so creative !!!

BUT, change ur website name, because its hard to remember, i always spend days to know hot to spell your site!

make it simple!

Posted by Hey December 22, 2009 at 8:32 am

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

I am not too impressed. I have complained that WolframAlpha does not understand plain English English.

EnglishEnglish speakers should be catered for.

As a music teacher in Australia, I expect my students to be able to use terms like “leading note”. Even Google understands this.

WolframAlpha only understands “leading tone”.

Is WoilframAlpha bluffing?

WolframAlpha does not have a translation service like Google, but obviously needs one.

Posted by Richard Clark December 22, 2009 at 8:42 am

Wonderful source and hopefully will continue to offer unbiased intel. Great thinking for the better good!

Posted by Matt December 22, 2009 at 8:46 am

When you type guitar chords the search result comes up blank. It should come up with all the chords. Also when you type E minor the guitar chord should come up. The way it’s setup now you have to type “E minor chord”.

Posted by Jeff December 22, 2009 at 8:47 am

We now have information

Posted by Cek Kanunu December 22, 2009 at 8:52 am

I search for Delhi temperature and the results were comprehensive.

However, I next wanted to search for a different city’s temperature and I could not find the search box on the search results page.

I think it should be there …

Or, may be it was there and I was just too stupid to locate it.

May be the results page was too cluttered.

Posted by Sachi Mohanty December 22, 2009 at 9:05 am

May I know if there is way to deal with massive graphs – web graphs?

Posted by R.S.Lekshmi December 22, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I recommend you check out the video about Google Maps v3 because they discuss in length displaying massive amount data on maps so it may have answers for you….

    Ideally you’d use vector based graphics but IE supports VML while other browser support SVG. However RaphaelJS is a javascript library that bridges that issue (in part at least).

    Otherwise you have to prerender the data as images and they won’t be animated or interactive (or into a movie and it won’t be interactive but it will be moving).

    Posted by Soloren2001 December 22, 2009 at 10:16 am

I wish you all a Mery Christmas and a Happy New Year 2010!

Posted by Carla December 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

Amazing, I should live long enough to enjoy learning about all the features.

Posted by Alfred Booth December 22, 2009 at 9:17 am

As an Internet Marketing Company, there is an endless opportunity for your applications on a global scale from consumers, business, government, science and research, academics etc….
I look forward to growing a global shared community network! Systems changes slowly through evolution and once in a while extremely quickly through revolution and Wolfram Alpha is going revolutionize how the aforementioned potential applications are strategically develop and integrated with your platform!
Thank You
Michael Tench

Posted by Michael Tench December 22, 2009 at 9:34 am

Love it!!!

Is my iPhone app automatically updated with new examples?

Posted by Noah December 22, 2009 at 9:48 am

Alpha does not work with Google Chrome, my current browser. Are there any plans to include Chrome?

Posted by Joseph Blanc December 22, 2009 at 9:48 am

I am so thrilled to be able to use wolfram|alpha for my undergraduate teaching of physics. It is extremely helpful for my students. Keep it up!

Posted by Arunabha Guha December 22, 2009 at 9:49 am

This is so cool !!!

Posted by Sibat December 22, 2009 at 9:52 am

The carbon footprint calculator should be cataloged under “HOAX”.

Posted by Don December 22, 2009 at 9:56 am

The “?”‘s were intended to the symbol for service mark, i.e. sm.


Posted by Gary Fusfield December 22, 2009 at 10:03 am

When i want to find something like” ages between married men and women” its results don’t make me satisfied. I think that WolframAlpha should improve more about sociology not only in maths or computer science 🙂

Posted by ooker777 December 22, 2009 at 10:08 am

This seems to be a prime step towards efficient machine intelligence. The only part that was missing was to bind all the available knowledge together, and you guys seem to have accomplished that with WolframAplha. Now It’s just a matter of time (i.e., computational power and bigger databases) for strong AI to emerge. That’s amazing.

Posted by Carlos Azevedo December 22, 2009 at 10:12 am

Don’t listen to the “haters”, wolframalpha team! You folks rock out loud. Thank you for giving us the best the web has to offer.

Posted by Jim Koford December 22, 2009 at 10:24 am

Wonderful to hear about, yet my regular challenge raises its head again. I type in “plasma physics” and get a definition — but nothing more. I type in “plasma temperatures”, “gas plasma”, “ionized gas” and get nothing. I applaud the notion of making sure Wolfram Alpha has information relevant to the public interest (ecology, environment, employment, salaries, cost of living, and all that), but you’re missing an entire branch of physics and an entire state of matter. I’d love to compute, for example, the temperature of a certain firework as it explodes, and then relate that to whether the chemicals within have been heated to plasma or are simply burning brightly, and which additives burn the longest (and thus have more chance of landing on the audience while still hot). Pure exploration of data based on something cool and pretty.

On the other hand, the more you add, the more holes you’ll find as people search and then become frustrated when specific things they want aren’t available. Please keep tracking your “cannot find” results!

Posted by Zach December 22, 2009 at 10:31 am

When emailing us new info, place all the major catogories at the top of your email in a list and make that a linked list that i can click on to go to the category I’m interesed in,

This way i don’t have to read your whole email; I can just go directly to the category I want.

Posted by Dan Dunne December 22, 2009 at 10:37 am

great . Just missing some improvements in semantic links as ion mathematica.

Posted by fabri December 22, 2009 at 10:45 am

Awesome work. Very impressed and understand that we have a work in progress here that, frankly, will always be “in progress” due to the nature of evolving human knowledge. To those of you who aren’t seeing what you need right now, please exercise patience with this crew; they are already delivering to the masses far more than what previously was available.

Kudos all around.


Posted by Martin Renke December 22, 2009 at 10:55 am

I would pleased to see statistics on:
1. How many criminals in the UK come from fatherless homes
2. How much the Family courst cost to run annually
3. How many appeals are made o n average on custody cases
4. How many custody cases are resolved
5. How many parents see their children after divorce
6. How much it costs to run the Child Support Agency (CSA)
7. How much is regained in by the CSA annually
8. How many registered alcohol/drug/chemical abusers come from fatherless families
9. How many custody cases go to arbitration
10. How many Court reporters have qualifications
11. How many children are born to unmarried couples in the UK
12. What is the cost of welfare payments to single parents in the UK annually,

Posted by Stan Hayward December 22, 2009 at 10:59 am

Wolfram Alpha is really advanced technology.
However,az I know, it has substantial defect-it is impossible to receive new knowledge about the nature surrounding us as this technology does not consider hierarchical transitions – occurrence of new quality when quantity of knowledges incorporated in Wolfram Alpha goes to infinity

Posted by Alex December 22, 2009 at 11:02 am

As an engineer I love the site. I have been telling non-math parents about it as a way to help their kids in school. As an investor I’d like to see more information on ETF’s

Posted by Jim Horan December 22, 2009 at 11:08 am

My overall impression of Wolfie is “Good, but not great.”

Some questions are difficult to answer for any search engine, although you know the answer is out-there in cyberspace.

For example, how many New Chemical Entities now in the clinical trials listed at clinical

Not how many clinical trials total, but how many potential new drugs are represented by these thousands of trials?

To me, this seems like the kind of question Wolfram Alpha should be able to answer and should be extractable from sources like in combination with others.

Posted by John Stacy December 22, 2009 at 11:28 am

i like this website and these are so much great

Posted by maqsood December 22, 2009 at 11:35 am

its a great website

Posted by maqsood December 22, 2009 at 11:45 am

Well, you have realised a trully beautifull piece of sofware. I behoove my physics students to use your site to do many of their computation.

Posted by Houchmandzadeh December 22, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Speaking of psychrometric assessment, we would find a comprehensive psychrometric analysis of the quite variable mix of gas and volatile compounds that is expired human (and research surrogate animal(s)) breath particularly informative, especially as evidenced in breath analysis methods such as extractive electrospray ionization MS.

    An authoritative KnowledgeBase of breath molecule fingerprints characteristic of all common metabolic states and diseases, that can be accurately assessed by near real-time, non- invasive and affordable methods, can transform health assessment and care delivery.

    Regarding health care costs, a clear assessment of the role of administrative, ancillary and other not-specifically-care costs will be much more informative than tallying bottom line costs.

    Posted by richard December 22, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Hopefully you “behoove” them to do so after they learn the fundamentals and how it is done with pen and pencil.

    Posted by Michael Varney December 26, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Well done Team, you’re growing nicely, Don’t forget the arts, culture and us in Europe.

Posted by Dobra December 22, 2009 at 11:59 am

Could you post the historic events that were happening as the same times but in different places around of world.

Posted by Luis Medina December 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm


I hope that Mathematica will not suffer in development because of manpower shifted to Wolfram|Alpha.



Posted by Bill Wilburn December 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Are you joking? Of course the standalone software will suffer. But soon they’ll plug it into the Alpha databases and everything will be so much better than you ever imagined it could be.

    Posted by Neal December 23, 2009 at 11:47 am


The new features are really adding up. Hope to see information on more sub branches of the same. Two thumbs up.

Posted by Arpit Acharya December 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm

MERRY CHRISTMAS Wolfram/Alpha from all at Website Designers Somerset here in England. Looking forward to all the new Web Search Development features for 2010.

Posted by Jason Smith December 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Amazing amount of work.

I Wish You and Yours the Best of The Holiday Season!

Posted by Bob Marconi December 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm

We librarians appreciate your extensive improvement of Wolfram|Alpha. Our public library users have not yet realized the extent of usefulness of your site, but I am continually using the site for questions from them and encourage them to use the site.

Posted by Norma Leistiko December 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I think this is great!

Posted by Ivan Cardona December 22, 2009 at 1:13 pm

When can we expect a decent meta-data story – wolfram providing accesss to facts about wolfram? This whole article really should be just a wolfram query…

Posted by patrick December 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm

This site is not only vital for the researchers and mathematicians, this seems to be indispensible for the people of all walks of life in the society. Good development.

Posted by Monowar December 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Very impressive year end description of your Alpha teams output but what I was most anticipating was news of the Alpha API. After some searching on your site I found the information I wanted but somehow missed in any of the emails I look for from the Alpha team.

Anyway I think many Mathematica users will be happy to see the Alpha API Webservices API products and Reference document at these URLs.

Posted by Syd Geraghty December 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I am still speechless
I have only one thing to say for what you (all of you) are doing … “I LOVE YOU :X”

too bad this “entity” (wiki it) wasn’t here when I was in highschool (hi hi hi just kidding)

I will gladly contribute to what ever is necesary in this project … free of charge … just …. take it to the next level

This WILL be the next BIG thing 🙂

Posted by Moldovan Thomas December 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm

So many features. I am speechless. Keep up the good work 😉

Posted by Andrew December 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm


Posted by yahi December 22, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    No, not yet. They are working on multiple languages however.

    Posted by BlockJuice December 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm


Please Wolframalpha in spanish and more info of Mexico and the world.

Congratulations, great project!


Posted by Leon J December 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Good work, but
when will you make a localized WolframAlpha ?


Posted by aseg December 22, 2009 at 3:29 pm

There are some pretty excellent additions here, well done guys! I use this site to do any off the cuff calculus I need, comes in real handy if i’m not near my desktop.

Just a note, can you add kilojoules to the metric units (energy expenditure) for the exercise tools? Calories are not something I can think in, and I’m sure i’m not alone in this outside of the US 🙂

Posted by Simon F December 22, 2009 at 4:05 pm

While Wolfram Alpha is a wonderful technology, I agree with at least one other commenter and sincerely hope that Mathematica itself does not suffer because of shifted focus on Wolfram Alpha. Mathematica is an awesome product – but there are countless areas where improvements and additions are needed.

Posted by Ruben December 22, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Well done, keep it up.
You must add more informations about Islam and Asia.

Posted by Junaid Raza December 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm

esta excelente el sitio… es de mucha ayuda… una pregunta… sacaran una version for palm?.. o para otro celular q no sea iphone

Posted by Jhon December 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm

How does it do that?
Did you, the developers, entered these answers or does it utilizes some kind of human speech recognition based on the synonyms networks?
Also, i got it to crash a few times, sorry about that. Didn’t exploit a bug, so it’s not Wolfram’s fault, I intentionally entered an input that would make it crash.

Posted by Yagdash December 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm
Posted by Yagdash December 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Don’t forget all about technology and the new communications…terms, definitions, etc

Posted by Francisco December 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Wolframalpha amazes me everyday! Congratulation guys!

Posted by Jose Dias December 22, 2009 at 8:07 pm

” Well Done Alpha” I wish you merry Xmas & Happy New year

Posted by Buddhika December 22, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Please include the ability to rate the… uhm… happiness(?) of the user with the answer provided by Alpha.

How else is he gonna start learning on his own?

Posted by mostlyfoobar December 22, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Thank you for your blog post!

Posted by gfk December 23, 2009 at 1:57 am

I’m interested in the following:
1. The aspects of sound in space
2. Different rates of speed at which clocks move on earth as opposed to outer space
3. African/Asian/South American/European classical music composers – example – Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
4. How music helps us understand other academic subjects
5. Other such worthwhile topics of research

You are doing a good job. Keep up the good work

Posted by Harold December 23, 2009 at 2:12 am

I m an engineering student. I always used maths formula.. I would love to u use graph theory and discrete mathematics now.. Thx for building this site.

Posted by Aryan December 23, 2009 at 3:30 am

Well there is very less information about India in your website. Please tell me how you are dealing with that???

Posted by Saharsh Gupta December 23, 2009 at 3:51 am

Congratulations on a monumental piece of computing. Christmas blessings to you and all your loved ones.

I would encourage you to spend more effort on the natural language front end, because it’s no good having all this information if >5 times out of 10 the inquirer gets
“Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure how to compute an answer from your input”

Posted by Peter December 23, 2009 at 4:51 am

Nice that you keep adding data and computation features, but they are of no use if one can’t access them. When will you work on the user interface?

As an example, I’m trying to place the deepest point of earth on a map. The best query I’ve got (through too many iterations of trial/error and “Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure how to compute an answer from your input”, ) is:
“map of the coordinates of the deepest point of the pacific ocean”

If you change it to “map of the coordinates of the deepest point of the deepest ocean”, it fails.

When will you publish some kind of API that lets us choose WHAT we want to do with our input data, instead of relying on some ambiguous-and-unknown hidden pseudo-natural processing language of a query box?

Or at least a GUI that let’s us choose what kind of visualization will be used, and which keeps track of the sub-queries (so that the “deepest ocean” query doesn’t stop working when used inside a larger one).

Posted by TuringTest December 23, 2009 at 5:05 am

Thank you for wolframalpha. I hope there will be more computation about “mechanical engineering”.

Posted by seyfettin haspolat December 23, 2009 at 5:32 am


Good idea, clever team making eazy to get useful information for everyone-from a 5 year child to 85 year old pensioner.
Only one request : please do not think that USA is a hub of the Universe!
In your Blog I have counted word (abbreviation) “US” 9 times!
Please do not follow most of the Internet Search engines in alphabetical index of which USA stands first
There are many other countries in the world whose contribution to the mankind knowledge is much much more than that of USA’s

Posted by George December 23, 2009 at 5:44 am

    I think is so because information (news, data, statistics) in the US is accessible to the public and also because in the US more transactions are made online than many other countries and so extensive data can be collated. Also, many other countries may have data as extensive as the US but for some reason or other this is restricted and not available for the general public.

    Posted by Charles Remedios December 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Dear George,
    Please do not be jealous of the US. Our political freedom of the last 230 years (maybe ending through our current political administration) made it possible for our people (all of us coming from somewhere else for economic, political or religious liberty) to do magnificent things. I would humbly suggest that if any or all other countries desire to get the maximum return from their populace, that their government interfere as little as possible with free enterprise and allow the human spirit to reach its true potential.

    Posted by Steve Lanning December 26, 2009 at 6:35 am

Please Wolframalpha in spanish, there are millons, who could use it, but do not understand Engish

Posted by Miguel Tamagnone December 23, 2009 at 6:02 am

I wish you merry Xmas & Happy New year

Posted by thaya December 23, 2009 at 8:09 am

I am a big fan of Wolfram|Alpha. I would like to know the direction of the company. Are you guys envisioning Wolfram to be popular search engine replacing Google? Or an encyclopedia replacing Wilkipedia? If people want to use this for other than scientific research, please include local businesses and shopping results. I am forced to use Google because of that one reason. The trick is to incorporate common search and produce relevant results of what user is really looking for. For example, when I search for “iPod”, show me where I can buy it along with the technical information, reviews, pictures, online manuals, etc. Just a suggestion… You have a very solid foundation for the next level of processing information. All u need is a search that attracts common man to use the information intelligently. You guys are great!

Posted by Biju December 23, 2009 at 9:27 am

Congratulations guys! It’s good news. Enjoy your holidays guys. Happy Christmas and have fun.


Posted by BebopDesigner December 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

Let’s not forget the great service by the customer service team! The detailed, personal reply to my question was refreshing in today’s impersonal environment. Fantastic job all around.

Posted by Dave Dunn December 23, 2009 at 11:13 am

Congrats and Happy Holidays. Enjoying and using the present info and looking forward to more improvements. Thanks.

Posted by CharlieH December 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm

happy christmas and new year i hope the best for your proyect wolfran

Posted by RAFAEL ANDUJAR December 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm


Happy Holidays to All

Posted by Rick White December 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm

I would like to suggest that Wolfram Alpha provide access to data buried in Master’s and PhD thesis published in the United States. I have seen many dissertations coming online; some old ones are available from ProQuest and Library of Congress. But searching these dissertations using Google is difficult and also very inefficient. We need a better way to do it. And Wolfram Alpha can contribute significantly in this area. Please note I have made the same suggestion to Google also recently.

Posted by Pacha Nambi December 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm

“fictional characters”

Don’t do this. Don’t go there (yet).
Focus on exact, measurable information first. Arts and culture is a subjective matter.
We’ve already got Wikipedia for static, loosely-curated, unstructured information.
Focus the Alpha on computable, strictly-curated, structured information.
I use Alpha when I want something I can 100% trust.
I use Alpha when I want to compute.
I use Alpha when I want to compare, because it is all-inclusive (vs. randomness of Google/Wikipedia).
Please don’t make Alpha into another Wikipedia.
Thanks. You change the world.

Posted by Sergei Yakovlev December 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    I fully agree !
    Remember what did the great Russian scientist say : “Science is measurement”
    PS For dose who is under delusion by the “help’ of Western anti-Russian media -Mendeleyev is the one who created the Periodic Table of Elements

    Posted by George December 24, 2009 at 11:53 pm

To a non-tecchie it’s all magic – but what a wondrous vision you guys have – and are achieving. My congratulations and thanks for all you have done so far.

Posted by PeterSS December 24, 2009 at 3:00 am

How many days it takes to “moderate” a comment in general ? Could you,please, tell me?
Today is 25 th and I commented at 22=nd!!!!!!!!

Posted by George December 24, 2009 at 7:33 am

Thank you, stay tuned. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

Posted by Aritaborian December 24, 2009 at 9:46 am

la operación combinada de las ecuaciones de momentos dinámicos y balance de energías cineticas para aplicar en siniestro de transito de masas similares obliga a ser muy cuidadoso en el manejo de los valores de los ángulos y las energías cineticas.
Lo resuelvo normalmente resolviendo las ecuaciones y luego usando el proceso de iteración de Excel para ajustar los valores a un todo coherente. Esto lleva tiempo y no siempre tengo la certeza de obtener valores confiables.
¿Me pueden proporcionar ustedes, si es que existen, procedimientos para obtenet resultados balanceados por ajuste sucesivo de resultados en esos modelos matemático?
¡¡Happy Christmas!!

Posted by hector December 24, 2009 at 10:33 am

Gratulations ! The popularity of your site is indisputable

Posted by Sociale December 26, 2009 at 10:05 am

merry christmas&happy new year

Posted by ashraf December 27, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Dear WolframAlpha Team Members,
    Being of technical background I am happy with your achivements!
    Successful New Year!
    Kind regards,

    PS.: 1) If you find it useful and wish adopt my two algorithms of conversion of temperatures expressd in different units, you are welcome; you have my permission. The agorithms, you may find at the bottom of TWO articles re temperature change, say on or
    2) Please note the following: if one searches in search engines for example: “SI conversion”, one may get many entries, say, re his website. However if one searches:
    ” metric conversion”, this side is nowhere. It looks like “SI” is not “metric” or “modern metric”.
    I am bringing it to your attention because I consider it a logical mistake which you may examine.

    Posted by Wacek Kijewski January 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm

i wish wolfram alpha would develop superior stock and commodity market analysis and screening tools such as the 10 fastest growing stocks from one date to another; charts covering various ranges (50 and 200 day moving averages) of all stocks; the stocks that fell in price from 3 digits to 1 digit between these two dates; etc. there are hundreds of important math indicators. which are the 3 most important indicators that seem to presage the crash of october 1987, march 2000 and october 2007? which are the 3 most important indicators that seem to presage the absolute nadir of the market on march 9, 2009? i hope you put these analysis features in soon. all the best, jeff

Posted by Jeff Milman December 28, 2009 at 12:32 am

Dear WolramAlpha Team Members,
Merry Christmas & Happy New year to you all. Wonderful work done by you is greatly appreciated and I am thankful to you. The following suggestions may please be considered for what its worth if not already implemented.
1 Historical dates of major scientific discoveries & inventions specifically in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Medicine and other sciences.
2 Diary of Major Astronomiclal and Celestial events going back to the past as for as possible
3 Record of Major Natural Disasters on Earth; Meteor hits(Siberia-1907), Tsunamis(Dec 24,2004), Volcano Eruptions, Major Floods, Cyclones(Katrina), Major Droughts, Record Rainfalls, Landslides, Detachment of Major Icebergs etc.
4 List of Nobel Laureates since inception and their Discoveries
5 List of World Chess Champions & Challengers from 1880. The number of World Chess Champions and/or Chess GRANDMASTERS the world has produced is less than the number of Nobel Laureates the world has seen since 1900. The scene reversed in 1990s. WolframAlpha may find out when this change occured, if interested.
6 Man made Disasters and Accidents in peace time; Shipwrecks(Titanic), Plane Crashes(US Airways A320 ditched into Hudson River, New York on January 15, 2009; 155 passengers on board had a miraculous escape, Air France A330 plunged into the Ailantic on June 1, 2009, from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when all the 228 passengers aboard met watery graves), Train head on collisions and derailments, Major Road accidents, Major Industrial Accidents(Bhopal, October 30, 1984, Nuclear Reactors out of control, Three Mile Island,USA, Chernobil, erstwhile USSR)
7 Plane Hijackings & Terrorist Attacks (9/11/2001 World Trade Center, New York, Mumbai Terror Attacks, November 26, 2008. I am not sure about your Policy in these matters, however significant they may be. Ship capture by pirates off Somali is the latest addition to these bizare events.
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
Suriamoorthy C

Posted by suriamoorthy December 28, 2009 at 3:04 am

Dear Team Members,
I am not sure whether I have to do precis-writing. I am unable to compress my points. Hence I am leaving it as it is. Helpless. Hope you will bear with me.
Suriamoorthy C

Posted by suriamoorthy December 28, 2009 at 3:15 am

When I last used your service – about 3 months ago – i was not able to find the medical research studies that I wanted. I will try again.


Posted by diane December 28, 2009 at 9:36 am

No doubt you will expand to include Europe under the many headings you already have. I will be looking at the music section when it expands, particularly at jazz.
But the major point of interest concerns the universe and all it contains.
Congratulations on your achievements to date and to come.

Posted by Jaguar December 28, 2009 at 10:08 am

Thank you for WolframAlpha! Awesome engine!
I just want to point to one small bug: no matter what slope I enter in running equation, the reslut calories are always the same.
For example: “running 6.5 km/h 30 min male 31 yr 185 cm 77 kg slope 10” and “running 6.5 km/h 30 min male 31 yr 185 cm 77 kg slope 20” give me the same result: “291 kcal” and that can’t be possible. Could you please fix that?

Posted by Tomislav December 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Ok thanks beatiful site hehehe

Posted by December 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm

In the late ’70’s, I replicated without realizing it most of Ted Nelson’s Zanadu, at least as far as the concept. One of the starting points that I thought might be a good stand-alone was something I called “The Personal Knowledge Index.” PKI was based on the idea of building an engine to connect ideas for each individual, such that a student could start recording ideas – personal or from classes, etc. – and creating hyperlinks – that would become a personal reference and mirror of ones mind. I tried to implement it on the C64, first writing my own version of a micro-Prolog in self-modifying Assembly, long before anyone knew what Prolog even was, but got interrupted by life and never finished the project.

Just a thought. People in general are faced with overwhelming amounts of data. A system with an accompanying language – perhaps a variant of LOGO – that allowed new definitions of funtioning objects on the fly to deal with ideas per se could be very valuable. The data and the computational capabilities at WA are really nice, but facilities to put data into use are also needed…

You might want to look at the site that I do for my employer – On the home page as well as most other pages, you will see the option of running a keyword search engine. This is not only THE FASTEST site search engine that I have ever seen, but it also lends itself to other uses.

When I do coding for the 2000+ page commercial site (all hand-coded by me), my techinical reference is a 2 Gig folder of code examples and tutorials with everything indexed to that same site search engine.* There is no reason that a student couldn’t use it to reference course material, or a businessman to reference business data. And, merging data sources is as simple as cut and paste. The search engine is not mine, although I tweaked it a bit, but rather came from the JavaScript Source. So, it’s freeware with the proviso that you include credit to them and internally to the original author.

*Which is particularly fortunate as my paranoid Chinese bosses suddenly about four years ago decided not to allow me any access to the internet at work. No reason. Nothing I did wrong. But once they do something, they can never admit a mistake, as that would involve losing face.
So, my only reference is my database and super search engine, which has worked so far.

Phil Osborn…. (714) 979-9314

Posted by Phil Osborn December 29, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Happy New Year to the entire team, you guys are doing a great job! 😀 <3

Posted by ImaginaryUnit January 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm

God bless you, please keep up the good work. I wholeheartedly support this effort, and think that it is a great service to everyone working in academia.

Posted by Qassem January 6, 2010 at 3:33 am

I really thank the WolframAlpha Team to have consolidated nearly all of the World’s knowledge in a single database doing great service to people all over the world

Posted by gowtham January 14, 2010 at 10:52 am

Your site does something that I have found no calculator will do. It gives math answers to median and mode problems.

Posted by Billy Adair January 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I have been using wolframalpha since it was available on the web and I think it is a great great great effort for you to collect so much knowledge to support the result. Wonderful! When I use it, I just feel like living in the future! I will introduce my friends in China to try this wonderful thing!

Posted by zx February 4, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I’ve been Following Wolfram|Alpha since it launched in May last year. I’m a personal fitness trainer so your Physical Exercise Calculator is something that I really need to take a closer look at for my clients. I can’t even start to imaging the effort that was involved to create software that seems so flexible at the core.

Posted by Brian Garvin May 16, 2010 at 7:27 am

When will wolfram be able to solve word problems like logical reasoning and thinking.

Posted by Sean December 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

I just realize this article was from over a year ago! Gonna have to check and see what the current update is, but looks very cool.

Posted by Ryland February 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm

[…] the holidays we posted “New Features in Wolfram|Alpha: Year-End Update” highlighting some of the most notable datasets and enhancements added to Wolfram|Alpha since […]

I like the steps towards supporting multiple calendars, for example in the Timeline of Systematic Data and the Development of Computable Knowledge (

It does lead to some odd results. Julius Caesar, the creator of the Julian calendar, is seen to die, reasonably enough, on a Julian date, but he is born on a Gregorian date – presumably the default calendar – despite the fact that this calendar was created several centuries after the Julian and as a correction to it.

Posted by Stephen Boyd Davis August 25, 2011 at 7:07 am