Although it???s tempting to think of Wolfram|Alpha as a place to look up facts, that???s only part of the story. The thing that truly sets Wolfram|Alpha apart is that it is able to do sophisticated computations for you, both pure computations involving numbers or formulas you enter, and computations applied automatically to data called up from its repositories.
Why does computation matter? Because computation is what turns generic information into specific answers.
And Wolfram|Alpha gets its ability to do these sophisticated calculations from thousands of algorithms and Wolfram’s better-known product, Mathematica, a popular and very powerful mathematical computing platform. In fact, as the article by Theodore Gray concludes,
Wolfram|Alpha is in a sense the ???killer app??? for Mathematica. It is a chance for Mathematica to show off the astonishing range of things it is capable of doing when it is deployed, not against a specific problem, but against all problems.
Wolfram|Alpha looks absolutely fantastic for searching for data and doing complex calculations on data in a wide range of fields. It will be released later in May and, like many other data addicts and math nerds, I can’t wait!