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Math Help - Great Tool - DuckDuckgo helps you with integrations and more

  1. #1
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    Great Tool - DuckDuckgo helps you with integrations and more

    TLDR - DuckDuckGo has great math related instant answers like this: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=x^2y''-20y...,%20y'(1)=.


    Longer version:


    Hi my name is Zaahir and I work at DuckDuckGo. We're a search engine with instant answers and real privacy. I've come to tell the good people of MathHelpForum (any web developers out there?) about our math related instant answers and we'd also love to hear any feedback you have. The "instant answer" is the box at the top of the page, above the links, that displays the answer and/or equation.


    If you have any feedback (especially about improvements) please let us know on our forum. Usually these are open-sourced, but this one is still a WIP. Feel free to report any issues here though: https://github.com/duckduckgo/zeroclickinfo-spice.


    Thanks everyone, happy searching
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  2. #2
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    Re: Great Tool - DuckDuckgo helps you with integrations and more

    Is there a point to this? All your site does is use Wolfram alpha to solve the user's DE. Why couldn't the user just use Wolfram alpha directly?

    For that matter, what is the point of "instant answers" in the first place? Doing a person's homework for them, rather than giving hints and suggestions, which is what we try to do here, only prevents them from learning.
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    Re: Great Tool - DuckDuckgo helps you with integrations and more

    Quote Originally Posted by HallsofIvy View Post
    Is there a point to this? All your site does is use Wolfram alpha to solve the user's DE. Why couldn't the user just use Wolfram alpha directly?
    HallsofIvy, you're totally right. They could go directly to wolfram (assuming they know about it) but the point that we're trying to demonstrate is that with DuckDuckGo we take away the extra step of you having to go to other websites, like Wolfram Alpha to get the answer you're looking for. Often when users search for something they might not know what the best source is, and so we're working to find the best sources across all kinds of topics (e.g. math, science, movies, health) so that when you search for something, hopefully we'll have a highly relevant answer from a reliable source. I didn't want to spam the post with tons of examples, but we also have many other useful instant answer for math (as well as a ton of other topics) which you can see here: https://duckduckgo.com/goodies#Math


    Quote Originally Posted by HallsofIvy View Post
    For that matter, what is the point of "instant answers" in the first place? Doing a person's homework for them, rather than giving hints and suggestions, which is what we try to do here, only prevents them from learning.
    Not at all! Apologies if I came across that way. We certainly aren't trying to hinder anyone's learning The point of "instant answers" (again they're not meant to be specific to math -- our Goodies page will demonstrate just how widespread our instant answers are) is that we're trying to reduce the effort on the user. Many people search for something, and then dig through the organic links on the page. Eventually they find a website that has what they're looking for. In many cases, this website will have a data source that we can use to showcase their data above all the links so that the user ideally, doesn't even have to click in order to get what they're looking for. This often creates a somewhat "magical" experience -- when our users are surprised to find a box at the top of the page with a perfect answer. For example, users have been particularly delighted with our khan academy instant answers: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=khan+academy+calculus

    Ideally we want to have thousands of instant answers and our goal is to have a great instant answer for every query. The problem is that we aren't experts on every topic and so we're reaching out to various communities that might be interested in our instant answers to a) let them know they exists and (b) get their feedback and suggestions for other/better sources and answers.

    Are there any great (math) learning resources you guys know about? By the way, our instant-answers are completely open-source so if anyone out there is a developer they can create and submit an instant answer for us to integrate.

    I hope this explanation helps change your opinion about DuckDuckGo, we're really just trying to help!
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  4. #4
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    Re: Great Tool - DuckDuckgo helps you with integrations and more

    I agree completely with HallsOfIvy. The site is not at all in line with policy at MHF. I do not recommend a student that wishes to learn Mathematics to use this except for checking answers. It teaches nothing and teaching is what MHF is about. (Though I appreciate that you came back to make a comment in the thread.)

    -Dan
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