Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Use WolframAlpha to Obtain Numbers Data

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Use the WolframAlpha website to obtain numerical information.

The WolframAlpha website (www.wolframalpha.com) describes itself as:

"Wolfram|Alpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers — not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods."

WolframAlpha deals with numbers and computations, but cannot answer every numerically oriented question.  Users input questions to the site and receive answers.  I love numbers!

The home page is very simple:

1)  I entered "how many 10th great-grandparents do I have" and received the answer (two screens):

The answer to the question was not explicitly stated.  It's in the "blood relationship fraction" and is 4,096.

2)  I entered "how many days since 15 October 1911" and saw:

The answer was 37, 270 days.  The system also told me the day of the week for 15 October 1911 (my father's birthday), how many years/days, weeks/days, and decimal years.

3)  I entered "usa population in 1900" and received the answer:

75.2 million people were in the United States in 1900.  Presumably, that is from census records.

4)  I entered "third cousin's great-grandson" and saw:

It showed me a chart showing the relationship and told me that my third cousin's great-grandson is my third cousin three times removed.

5)  There are some questions I tried that WolframAlpha could not answer:

*  "how many people died in 1918" resulted in famous people who died in 1918
*  "how many people were born in 1943" exceeded the standard computational time.
*  "how many persons do genealogy research" gave me world population 

If these types of questions interest you, give WolframAlpha a try.  It's free to use the standard version, and might help you understand relationships better and figure out some of your numerical questions.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

No comments: