Symbolab Is A Powerful Search Engine For STEM

symbolab logoIf you’re like me, you aren’t exactly a math whiz. In fact, your experiences in Algebra, Physics, and Trigonometry were the stuff of nightmares. However, some people are quite good at math! (Thankfully)

These people (and other STEM folks) will be excited to learn about a robust new semantic search engine called Symbolab. It was developed as a response to not being able to properly surface a more malleable equation online. In other words, this tool was built because Google and Wolfram Alpha just weren’t cutting it.

How Symbolab Works

It’s quite straightforward as long as you know some math. You can punch in your particular equation and then be presented with some real-time results that you can then pick from. Once selected, you can now start manipulating equations as you need to. It’s all sourced from open source repositories and they’re adding more all the time.

Below are the instant results from just a sample I made up. Elegantly laid out and easy to understand. All this was done in about 2 clicks. Not too shabby!


How It Prevents The Fear Of Math

There’s a great post on the Symbolab blog you should see. The full text is here but here’s what I think is the more important excerpt:

Children are curious by nature, they want to learn, but they want to learn their way.  There is plenty of math on the web, encyclopedias, courses, videos, forums, games, cheat sheets and more.   Equation search can help them (and their parents, teachers, tutors) find the site that’s right for them.

No need to fear math, or not knowing where to start with a simple or complex math problem.  True, it will give you a solution, but also the method to solve such problems, theoretical explanation, similar exercises, games, and discussions; everything they need to learn, improve and gain confidence.  They can embrace math like never before.

Equation Search In A Nutshell

Another terrific explanation that’s far better than what I could do as someone who doesn’t exactly excel at math:

symbolab thumbHow is the scientific language different than other languages?  In English, you can’t just take any three letters and form a new word.  It’s too strict for that.  In mathematics on the other hand, you could take almost any three symbols and form a new, valid expression.  Science is a language with its own syntax, grammar, and vocabulary; it’s a challenging and exciting space.

What happens when equations are processed as a collection of symbols as if they were just like text?  Try using any of the leading search engines to search for (x+y)n   No wait!  you have to type (x+y)^n   At best you get equations containing  x, y, n or just documents about New York  or any other combination of the letters x,y and n.
So what if we try to search for the expression (x+y)n as is including the symbols? That won’t work either. We should also get results for (y+x)n  ,  (a+b)n ,  (x+y)m  , … to complicate things we shouldn’t  get results for (x+a)n  , Why? Because most likely “a” in this context is a constant.

Ok, we really need a search engine that can understand the contextual meaning of the equation.  It would also be nice if we could search by the symbols and notations (using Latex is no fun).
Symbolab gives you all this and more.

Get The Browser Extension

Want to try out equation search while browsing? There’s now Symbolab Quick Search which is an extension that quickly identifies equations while you search and spits back computation information and search results. Simple as that and worth trying out for any math teacher or student! You can install the extension from Chrome Web Store or Firefox Addons.