Getting started with Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha is an answer engine developed by Wolfram Research. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might.

According wikipedia, Wolfram|Alpha is written in 5 million lines of Mathematica (using webMathematica and gridMathematica) code and runs on 10,000 CPUs!

Wolfram is really powerful. Only disadvantage being, to get most of the it, you’ll have learn the pre defined queries. This is not necessary, however if you know them you’ll have the results right in front of you. Here i’ll show you some of the predefined queries that you can use with Wolfram alpha.

First lets start with my favorite query. IP trace back. Suppose you have an IP and you wanted to know which country it belongs to or where it is located. Just type that IP into Wolfram Alpha, it will give you where it belongs to. Cool isn’t it ? Check it out in action

wolframapha

The following are some predifined queries. Left side describes the query and right one is the actual query. You’ll need to enter this in Wolfram alpha to get results.

Currency Conversion »

Convert between currencies – 1000 rupees in USD

Weather Information »

get current local weather information – weather

get current weather information for a specified location – weather Bangalore

Geography »

generate maps of a specified country – Bangalore map

Distance between cities – Bangalore to Delhi

Mathematics »

do basic arithmetic = 125+324

Bar codes generate a bar code corresponding to an ISBN – 1-5795-5008-8

Time »

get the current time in another time zone – Time in Tokyo

generate a calendar for a month – this month, next month, March 1850

Words & Linguistics »

find definitions and other properties of a word – word march

find the definition of a word – define triangulate

look up synonyms of a given word – synonyms granular

Word Puzzles »

find anagrams of a word or phrase – anagrams trace

find words matching a pattern – _al__la__

find words with a specified ending – words ending with ager

Movies »

get information about a movie – Goodfellas

Genealogy »

compute a family relationship – father’s mother’s sister’s son, grandmother’s aunt

Color Names »

compute properties of a named color – chartreuse

specify an HTML color – HTML green

For more tip & tricks check out examples here These examples are divided based on the subject like mathematics, Statistics, Date and time.

Wolfram Alpha Easter Eggs

The brains behind the Wolfram|Alpha answer engine have an an appropriately geeky sense of humor, anticipating that the crowd would ask some unanswerable questions and those which can only be understood through the prism of pop culture.  🙂

For example check out this

wolfram-chicken

You can find more such Eater Eggs here

Do comment if you have some interesting queries or eater eggs 🙂

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