Wolfram|Alpha is an engine that answers computational questions and provides information of all kinds in a clear, concise manner. It’s a long-term project and so they’re adding new information to it all the time.
Here is a cool sneak peak of things that you can do with it:
It’s too bad that the camera person spent so much time focused on the bald guy instead of the engine’s output being displayed on the screen, but so it goes.
Here are some neat things that the engine can do:
1) Calculate nutritional information. If you give the engine a list of foods (for example, 2 oranges + 1 hot dog), it’ll add up the calories, fats, carbs, cholesterol, etc. and give you a read out with the total amounts of these various measures.
2) Tell you more than you might ever want to know about a particular math formula, including what it looks like when it’s plotted, other ways to write it, its derivative, its series expansion, its maximum and minimum points, etc.
3) Gene information. It’ll tell you where a particular gene is located in the genome, the length of the sequence, the base pairs in the sequence, etc..
4) Chemical information. After being fed information on a chemical compound, it’ll provide you with the compound’s structure, molecular weight, density, melting point, etc.
The list goes on and on. If decide to check it out, I suggest starting here. Pick an area that you’re interested in, test out the examples that they provide and then play around a bit. It’s a lot of fun!