Tired of Google? Try this!

Wolfram Alpha Computational Knowledge Engine

Many people depend on Google to help them find answers to a variety of informational needs like scientific conversions, word definitions, and trivia answers. But Google is basically an intuitive index that still relies on the user weeding through page results to find their answers and also evaluate the source to make sure it is trustworthy.

WolframAlpha, however, is different. It classifies itself as a computational knowledge engine as opposed to a search engine. The difference is that with WolframAlpha you type in your question to get an answer without hopping from website to website. Why is this beneficial? Ultimately, it saves you time.

If you need homework help, this site covers a variety of academic subjects. You can convert a weight in pounds to kilograms, find the atomic mass for hydrogen, solve an algebra equation, or find the mitochondrion sequence length for the gorilla species.

I can’t forget the trivia buffs out there too. Type in a song title to find out the year it was released or type in a TV show to see what network originally aired it. Conduct a search on a book title to see who wrote it.

In the grand scheme of things, there are some informational limitations to this site. The entries don’t link to more and more related information in the way that wikipedia does, for example. WolframAlpha computes short bits of objective data from factual queries so don’t expect to use it to find an analysis of 16th century British politics.

Check out WolframAlpha and see what it can do for you — and then share your thoughts in the comments!

Kelli Smith is a bookmobile librarian who helps bring the library to you. She also works with partners to coordinate community movie events including Movie on the Lawn and Silents in the Cathedral.