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Life After Wolfram|Alpha: What You (and Your Students) Need to Know

Author(s): 
Gizem Karaali (Pomona College) and Bruce Yoshiwara (Los Angeles Pierce College)

You may have heard colleagues or students discussing Wolfram|Alpha. If you've been wondering what all the fuss is about, this article will try to show you. In particular we will introduce several basic features of Wolfram|Alpha, provide examples, and discuss along the way how this new technology can influence what we do in our classrooms. Some of our examples may not necessarily be immediately relevant for your particular needs, but those same examples may be important to your students in their other classes or in their future careers.

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Disclaimer: Wolfram|Alpha is under continual development, so its behavior may differ in part from what is described in this article. During its first 100 days, its codebase grew by 52%; it classified 54,233 of feedbacks as bugs or suggestions, with 31,006 in the implementation queue; 3,907 people who submitted bugs were told they've been fixed; and the To-do list has grown from 250 per week to 600 per week.

[Note: This article appears best using the Firefox browser.]

Gizem Karaali (Pomona College) and Bruce Yoshiwara (Los Angeles Pierce College), "Life After Wolfram|Alpha: What You (and Your Students) Need to Know," Loci (September 2010), DOI:10.4169/loci003365

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