Wolfram Alpha

There has already been a lot of buzz about the online computational engine called Wolfram Alpha (WA). You can check out this article in the Wall Street Journal, for instance.

My main interest in WA is to figure out how to integrate it into the classes that I teach, which range from developmental mathematics to graduate level numerical analysis.

In a summer 09 class I taught in Intermediate Algebra, I told all my students about WA and encouraged them to check their homework answers using it. Here’s a worksheet on lines that I wrote using WA.

The answers are already given by WA – I’d like the students to figure out how they were arrived at. Also, WA automatically ties in the algebraic and graphical perspectives. This makes connecting concepts much easier. I plan to do more worksheets of this sort in the future for material in precalculus and calculus and will be posting them here.

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