The long-running debate over whether students should be allowed to wield calculators during mathematics examinations may soon seem quaint.
The latest dilemma facing professors is whether to let students turn to a Web site called WolframAlpha, which not only solves complex math problems, but also can spell out the steps leading to those solutions. In other words, it can instantly do most of the homework and test questions found in many calculus textbooks.
The new tool will be a bane to teaching, some professors say—but others see a blessing.
WolframAlpha was created by Stephen Wolfram, an entrepreneur who invented Mathematica, one of the first computer math engines. His new site debuted last month to much media fanfare and, like Google, provides answers to questions typed into a simple search box. It is free and already boasts millions of searches.A Calculating Web Site Could Ignite a New Campus 'Math War'
by Jeffrey R. Young
I need WolframAlpha for proofs.