A Q&A with Mike Looney, Vice President of Vertical Markets at Wolfram|Alpha.
Q. For those who don’t know about the company, tell us about Wolfram Alpha and the products that are used in the education space.
Wolfram|Alpha is a “computational knowledge engine” which we sometimes refer to as an “answer” or “fact” engine. You pose “queries” and get discrete answers vs. more URLs as per Google, or community based input as per Wikipedia. It is comprised of hundreds of databases, sitting on top of Mathematica algorithms with graphical output, and initiated with natural language queries. All of this is computed on a super computer, and displayed on a free web site (wolframalpha.com) or on an iPod/iPhone/iPad application. While focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the variety of queries is quite remarkable with literally billions of data items that can be calculated, compared, etc. Continue reading