Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Mathematical Search Engine?

There has been a fair bit of buzz about Wolfram Alpha and even comparisons to Google, but I don't think I really started to get it until I saw Maria H. Andersen's Picasa Web Album via Teaching College Mathematics.

Now the wheels are turning. How is Math education going to change with tools like these available to students? CAS tells students answers, this tells students questions.


MikeMcilveen said...

Awesome examples! Love the linear examples. Hope it works on hand-helds too. Should help end the debate of "to calculator or not to calculator" and move towards efficency (doing things right) and effectiveness (doing the right things). [Peter Drucker]

Vic said...

Tools need to be taken in context. It is important that students understand the math behind the tools.

That said, any teaching program that does not incorporate this type of power into their cirriculum is doing a disservice to their students and themselves.

Until such time as the 'end of grade' testing allows tools like this to be used, there will be reluctance over widespread inclusion in class.

Maria H. Andersen said...

Stay tuned for more on the topic "how will W|A affect math ed." Wednesday there will be a meeting online and I will be posting some more thoughts.

Personally, based on my analysis of the rate of diffusion for this, it will be faster than anything we have experienced thus far (of course, the fastest rate of diffusion math has experienced is probably graphing calculators, which has taken about 20 years).