WolframAlpha: The Answer Engine


When I was studying mathematics at the University of Puget Sound in the early 1990s my professors were extremely excited about a newly purchased, and quite expensive software program called Mathematica.  There were only a few copies available to our department, but when I got my hands on one I immediately recognized the power of Mathematica as a teaching tool.  You could type in a complex function, press a button and voila, there was a graphic representation in two or three dimensions.  Then...

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