Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wolfram Alpha

This came through on Derek Wenmouth’s blog. The wolfram alpha site is a computational visualisation tool. It is an interesting way to bring information together and especially useful for visual learners. It is at present a good resource for subjects that have some form of statistics or numeric emphasis to them.

A good video provides a series of examples. Examples from subjects associated with stats & numbers include maths, economics, geography (demographics). There are also interesting uses in using the site to calculate nutritional values, medical type measurements, climate and an extremely fascinating area of genetics (enter a gene sequence & see what happens!)

The site is an extension of the work of Stephen Wolfram’s work with mathematica and a new kind of science (NKS) which is to study science using a ‘principal of computational equivalence’ to discover links & synergies between various aspects of applied research in science.

The layout of the wolfram alpha pages allows display on mobiles. Chunks of information are also ‘micro’ providing sufficient information to do further exploration. Hopefully, a mobile version will be available in the not too distant future as some of the applications are imminently suited to mobile uses. For example, I would use the nutritional values one quite often & other ones on demographics / anagrammer/ current weather etc. can be useful when you encounter information that needs to be clarified & a desktop is not available.