People appreciate the Internet due to the possibility to find answers to many questions in particular.
Search engines offer a variety of web pages that are connected with the query, but sometimes even hundreds of them have nothing common with the required information. That may be one of the reasons why Wolfram Alpha engine has been created.Combining features of a customary search engine, encyclopedia, and calculator Wolfram Alpha is considered to be a computational knowledge engine that gives short answers to millions of questions. Developed originally by Stephen Wolfram on the basis of Wolfram Mathematica or so-called “Wolfram calculator” program it was launched in May 2009. The service provides answers to factual queries. The information suggested in the answers is a result of a painstaking job of website experts, who have submitted it to a detailed check and created a base of knowledge with structured and curated data. The system works on the principles of calculation, statistics, visualization and computation. It provides answers only to particularly-phrased and factual questions.
In general, the service is based on two theories of social constructivism and connectivism. The first theory believes that students construct their knowledge themselves while the second one states that students can access it both socially and independently to construct the knowledge. Students learn new information using technology and credible sources and, without any doubts, Wolfram Alpha is great for that.Wolfram Alpha has set itself a long-term objective to add to any systematic knowledge accessibility and computability. The experts opt for collecting and curating any objective data, create any model, algorithm, and method available for everyone. It is going to be a single reputable source that gives definite answers. The quality of the information is the highest one as it is checked by acknowledged professionals so a broader range of people will be educated.
The main features of the service are a free-form data input and the highest clarity level of the suggested data. There are several components of Wolfram Alpha:
- Linguistic analysis with completely new algorithms;
- Constantly updated curated data;
- Dynamic computation using thousands of the unique algorithms and equations;
- Computed presentation with both visual and tabular output.
Stephen Wolfram has been planning this project for more than 30 years gathering all the necessary information and waiting until modern powerful computers could be released. Today the system is regarded to be the milestone of the new millennium.The website has a rather friendly and simple interface. When you go to a homepage you immediately see the search engine line to fill in. Lower, there are options where you can “browse examples”, learn information about the Wolfram Alpha integral services and website usability pressing “New to Wolfram Alpha” and “About Wolfram Alpha” correspondingly. The page also offers to buy an application on the Amazon Appstore and Google Play Market. You can also take the tour around the website and learn how it works, how to personalize your account or look through the examples.
How to use the basic version of the service? There are several points to be aware of:
- Enter the term or calculation you wish to learn about or solve into the input field.
- The website will offer you several assumptions if there are any for you to choose the correct interpretation.
- If you wish to try filling in the calculations or formulas, the website will offer an additional table and show how the system interprets your data.
- The service also provides links in the results for a query for you to learn more.
- There are also recommended queries related to the topic offered by the service.
- You also can opt for a definition, background information pressing the buttons as well as look through the links to the resources used by Wolfram Alpha.
Registered users get a wider range of functionality including:
- Saving of the queries to your favorite ones.
- Look through query history offered in chronological order.
- Adjust settings to your own preferences.
February 8, 2012, has become another significant day for Wolfram Alpha online as a new Pro version was released. Previously, the system was free of charge for every user, but new version offered additional features for users, who are ready to pay a subscription fee every month. One of the main benefits offered to regular users is an opportunity to upload common files of different formats to submit them to automatic analysis. There are also other features including extended keyboard, an in-depth solution made step by step, possibility to save or customize results, data downloading, CDF interactivity, output zooming etc. Together with additional features, some alterations took place in the free website version:
- A bigger amount of advertisement.
- Options of text and PDF export became accessible only for users with the setup account.
- Extra calculation time is available only to subscribed users.
- A step-by-step solution can be used by free users only in the number of 3 times.
Being one of the most informative websites Wolfram Alpha can surprise you with its capabilities. Here are some examples what you can find or learn on the website or mobile app in a matter of seconds:
- There is information about nutrition facts of almost any product. That is perfect for people, who stick to the diet or wish their organism got all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
- Learn the weather forecast on a daily basis as well as reasons why it is so.
- Find the timetable of airports, railway stations, and buses.
- It can replace special websites that list the events that happen in a particular place and time.
- It is interesting to know about the current capital of the global companies or compare it.
- It is perfect for stakeholders and traders who can look through the history of one or another company or currency.
- You can learn utility and gasoline prices in accordance with the offered region.
- Connect your Wolfram Alpha account with the Facebook page and you will get a full analytics including history, friends, their birthdays, geographic distribution, age activity and many others.
- You can compare the information about networks, sports bets, periodicals and even a poker game.
- Opt for a chance to track the International Space Station anytime as well as learn the sky chart any time and over any place.
- Find out what a doctor can tell and prescribe you in the case of the mentioned symptoms.
- See a professional demographic Wolfram Alpha graph of every country.
- No need to make the market research as everything is available here.
- Solve numerous mathematical equations and calculations.
- You can generate different kinds of maps and a variety of other options.
The capabilities of the service seem endless and that allows it to be called an exclusive one on the Web. There is no need to look for dozens of other websites as most of the info you need you can find on Wolfram Alpha.Experienced users as well as new representatives, who visit the website, always can find out what pros and cons it has. Of course, these viewpoints are subjective but it is users’ experience that makes one or another site better and helps it to develop. Let us see what users say about Wolfram Alpha and what benefits they mention:
- It can easily understand complex queries;
- It’s localization and precision are better than ones of the best search engines;
- Wolfram Alpha math calculation capability;
- Mobile versions and applications available;
- Opportunity to compare many different items;
- Fast delivery of the query results;
- A variety of topics it can cover;
- Simple, organized and comprehensive query results;
- It is a boost for many-sided education in the classroom;
- Useful for investors and other people working with statistical data;
- The information on the website is constantly updated etc.
Though it may seem that there are no drawbacks of the platform, visitors’ experience claims that there are some cons that might be improved by the service developers and administrators:
- Some people can copy suggested answers of calculations being completely unaware of the concept;
- Limited number and time of calculations in a free version;
- Questions are to be specific to get a correct answer;
- Support of English language only etc.
Obviously, Wolfram Alpha is an excellent web service as well as a mobile application for gaining new knowledge. Despite the fact that it deals with only a restricted number of sciences it can be useful for every person. It contains a big amount of credible information that can be referred to general knowledge and helps people to keep up with the constant changes and world development. The greatest value of the service is a free of charge version for every person and only valid sources and information on the website – these are the main features that are appreciated by its users.
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