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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Homework day at Wolfram Alpha: Today!

Does Wolfram Alpha sound a little cerebral to you? It does to me, but, well, it is! But it also can act as a plain-old search engine that's especially useful for K-12 (and beyond) homework help. Homework help on steroids, you might say. It's also a "computational knowledge engine," Today, October 21, is Wolfram Alpha Homework Day, a "live interactive Web event [that's bringing] together students and educators from across the [US] to solve your toughest assignments," the site says. I watched the 12-min. explanation of how it works (here) and was pretty amazed. In addition to serious help with math, physics, chemistry, etc. calculations, it also helps with questions around biology, geology, geography, astronomy, and history. A couple of examples in the latter group: the gray wolf's kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species and the nutritional value of a mocha latte (lots more examples here ). Nothing ambitious about all this: The knowledge engine "aims to make the world's collective knowledge more accessible and useable." Check it out.

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