Stephen E. Arnold: Wolfram Alpha Superman of Databases

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Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

Wolfram Alpha Is The Superman Of Databases

Posted: 09 Aug 2013 08:04 PM PDT

Before the better Internet we have today, school children used to have rely on poor search and hacked together Web sites to cheat on their homework. The Wolfram Alpha database did not exist and it made school children rely on their own skills. Wolfram Alpha is a powerhouse database with a snarky attitude that can answer veritably any question. points out “10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know Wolfram Alpha Could Do” and how you can harness the tool to do more than cheat on chemistry homework. Originally built as a computational math engine, geeks have added other and often fun features to Wolfram Alpha. You can upload an image to see how it would look as a comic book, through a dog’s eyes, or via color blindness.

Want a Morse code translator or statistics on everything associated with NFL for the past twenty-five years? Look no further. You can also get a head start on your Christmas shopping by using it as product comparison tool:

“Instead of using filters on any shopping website, you can try an English language query in the search box and see if it helps narrow down your shopping choices. Wolfram Alpha handshakes with Best Buy’s API to source the results, so the results are America and Canada centric. You can also use Wolfram Alpha to make a direct comparison between two products in the same product line by typing in their brand names and model numbers. The results page includes enough details to help you bore down to the right choices.”

Calorie burning calculator, anniversary gift recommender, and medical prescription decoder are yet even more ways. The most artful and mathematical way takes Wolfram Alpha back to its original purpose…almost. The database can take any image and render it into a mathematical equation. What does the Mona Lisa look like in numbers? Play around with Wolfram Alpha and do not forget to ask it a Douglas Adams inspired question.

Whitney Grace, August 16, 2013

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