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Math Help - Help with integrals

  1. #1
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    Help with integrals

    I assume many of you have heard of wolframalpha.com

    You may also know that it will integrate whatever you want, but what you might be interested to know is that you can then click "show step" and it will give you a step by step solution

    By step by step I mean it will tell you to make a particular u substitution, or it will show you the integration by parts

    I bring this up because unless you are still confused AFTER using wolframalpha, there's no longer much of any reason to post "solve this integral" questions on the forum

    You don't post the question how many feet are in a mile on a forum because we have GOOGLE

    Well now we have WOLFRAMALPHA, please use it
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  2. #2
    Rhymes with Orange Chris L T521's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artvandalay11 View Post
    I assume many of you have heard of wolframalpha.com

    You may also know that it will integrate whatever you want, but what you might be interested to know is that you can then click "show step" and it will give you a step by step solution

    By step by step I mean it will tell you to make a particular u substitution, or it will show you the integration by parts

    I bring this up because unless you are still confused AFTER using wolframalpha, there's no longer much of any reason to post "solve this integral" questions on the forum

    You don't post the question how many feet are in a mile on a forum because we have GOOGLE

    Well now we have WOLFRAMALPHA, please use it
    I have mixed feelings about WolframAlpha. I do agree its very useful, but to encourage users to become dependent on it when they solve integrals doesn't seem right. What happens when they have to evaluate them on tests? Becoming dependent on this can be detrimental to the student's well being; sure, they may know the process but they won't understand why that process works.

    Plus, I believe its more rewarding to work the integral yourself than having an online integrator solve the problem showing you the steps. It is also better to post questions like that on here because sometimes you may not understand certain steps in the calculations and we have members that can explain what's going on.

    We appreciate your suggestion, but I think they should not just resort to WolframAlpha only.
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  3. #3
    Math Engineering Student
    Krizalid's Avatar
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    If you put \int\frac{dx}{x^2-1}, then Wolfram will use partial fractions (or probably hyperbolic functions), and this can be done by simple algebra too.

    So personally, it will help, but you won't be able to expand your brain much.

    When is useful? Definitely when doing numerical stuff, when having definite integrals, which you already know how to compute, that's routine, there's where it comes handy to save time.
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  4. #4
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    well I do not recommending going there to rattle of your integration homework, but if you get stuck on some integrals thats where you go, just like if you forget a conversion you search google, you dont waste human time when you don't have too

    people should realize that relying on wolframalpha will kill them come test time... if they dont realize this I cannot help them
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