Google has made their search bar into a graphing calculator. When you type in a mathematical function on Google, the search results will now contain an interactive graph of the function you just entered.
The graphing functions are strongly capable; searchers can enter everything from a simple geometric function such as sin(x) to a wild set of lovable equations. As you'll note in the linked examples, more than one equation can be graphed at once.
The searcher can zoom in, zoom out, pan around on, and gain additional point-by-point information from the graph, all right from the search page. Both standard language (cos of x squared, for example) and the actual mathematical symbols are accepted. Google's graph technology is capable of mapping out "trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic and their compositions," according to the Google blog entry on the topic.
The move may be as much about how the company comes across as it is about offering something that really pulls people in. Still, if I were back in my high school math classes, I'm sure I'd rush to Google to answer all my problems for me – kind of like I do these days.
Do you think this is a fun feature? A wise appeal to students? Something that will wind up in the spring cleaning bin within a year?
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