Saturday, May 23, 2009

Taking Wolfram Alpha for a spin - interesting questions, interesting answers

I'm taking Wolfram Alpha for a spin, asking it some pretty tough questions. The first line is my question (call it search query if you want), the next one is Alpha's answer.

Q - how old is barack obama on sept 11 2001
A - 40 years 1 month 7 days

Q - height of mt everest in inches
A - 348 425 inches

Q - when is the next solar eclipse philippines
A - 10:35AM PHT, July 22, 2009 (0.1632 years from now)
* alpha also shows the path of the eclipse, and says that India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China are in the path of the totality. Link is amazing, here.

Q - muhammad ali standing
A - Alpha doesn't know how to treat this query. Instead it offers an entry on Muhammad Ali.

Q - d/dx sin x * log x
A - sin x / (x * ln 10) + log x * cos x /ln 10
* apart from the answer above, it offers plots, alternate forms, numerical roots to 15 decimal places, series expansion, and an indefinite integral! here.
* woohoo! it understands complex math! I wish I was still a student. log = log base 10

A - Development of this topic is under investigation...

Overall, Alpha is very interesting. But don't expect it to replace Google.
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