Wolfram|Alpha: An Answer Engine

Need a change from searching Google?  “No, not really.  I love Google”, would be the most common answer, I’d suspect, to this question.

The next time you have a question that relates to statistics, numbers, or data sets, try your search at Wolfram|Alpha.  Rather than a search engine like Google, think of Wolfram|Alpha as an answer engine.

Launched in May 2009 as the brainchild of Stephen Wolfram, a leader in the field of scientific computing, Wolfram|Alpha is a “computational knowledge engine.”  If you put in words, letters, or numbers, the system begins to formulate an answer that is not something you would find anywhere else in a common search engine, such as Google.

The best way to see Wolfram|Alpha’s impressiveness is to click on either the “Examples” or “Random” options that are to the right above the search box.  The “Examples” link takes you to a list of helpful ways to see how this tool can be used.  Take a look at the Examples topic of Health & Medicine.  For example, type in lung cancer, and you’ll quickly get an extensive set of results that include graphs and tables compiling information on the topic, such as incidence, prevalence, and population.

Here’s how Wolfram|Alpha describes themselves in a nutshell:

Wolfram|Alpha is also now available as a $1.99 app for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android.

Fascinated by Wolfram|Alpha?  Watch Stephen Wolfram’s 2010 TED Talk:

About Josephine

Josephine left UCSF in spring of 2012. Previously, she had been Education & Information Consultant, Clinical Sciences
This entry was posted in Database, Mobile and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply