Monday, November 15, 2010

Google Genius

Am I the last person to know this? Today we were calculating all sorts of values related to polygons and regular polygons and interior and exterior angles of regular polygons and such. As I'm sending the kiddies off with their homework, I thought to mention that if they didn't have a calculator at home, they could just "google" free calculator, and they could use one of the options that showed up.

Then a students said, "well, you could just type in your math equation right into the google search bar". What? So I tried it:

1080/3. Yup.
sin(pi/4). Yup.
log(5.234). Yup.
arctan(1). Yup.
e^(-1). Yup. Yup.

Holy Moly! Genius-ness.

6 comments:

  1. Very handy for unit conversions, as well. For anything more advanced, go waste some time on www.wolframalpha.com . Throw a polynomial equation in and see roots, factors, derivatives, graphs... You name it!

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  2. You know, I'm in my 14th year teaching math, too.

    This works
    In symbols: e^(i*pi)
    or in words: e to the i pi

    So does this:
    square root of a googol

    And this:
    5 choose 2

    Jonathan

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  3. Chris: aye yai yai! super cool, and hopefully the algebra kids don't use it for nefarious purposes.

    jd2718: sheesh! maybe it can do my taxes, too :)

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  4. Wow...I had no clue! My students have never shared this with me. They must be smarter than I think!

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  5. I have my students use Wolfram Alpha quite a bit. It gives them a comprehensive view of the problem. It's also great for collecting other data ... lat/long, populations ... all kinds of real-world data that can be modeled in the classroom. We distributed iPod Touches to our students, making it very easy to use this plus other great apps.

    I'm in Texas as well ... more west than central.

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  6. I keep hearing about Wolfram Alpha ... I have to make it a priority to actually learn it (and what to do with it), or just jump right in.

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