Symbolab is a semantic web search engine for math and science. It allows users to search for equations, formulas and expressions using mathematical symbols and scientific notations as well as full text search. The stated goal of the site is to provide the most relevant search results that are theoretically and semantically similar, rather than visually.
This is done, partly, by applying proprietary machine learning algorithms in order to understand the meaning and context of the search queries. Symbolab indexes the full text and equations of online encyclopedias, dictionaries, academic publications, lectures, books and more currently covering mathematics, physics and chemistry.
Symbolab’s story (from its blog)
How it all began…
Great scientific content, that we knew was out there on the web was unsearchable.
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).
How does it work?
How simple it should be to click on any equation while browsing through books, class notes, documents, and instantly getting information without having to type it in (it’s most likely an image) Symbolab Quick Search does just that for you.
What is Quick Search? it’s a smart browser extension that identifies equations in documents and on selection returns computation information and search results. After installing the extension, you will notice a small icon next to every scientific expression on selected sites. Simply press the icon and voilà, instant search results, how simple is that?
Currently supported sites are Wikipedia, Wikibooks, StackExchange, MathOverflow.
You can install the extension from Chrome Web Store or Firefox Addons.
Check out the available sources to search, and more of How-Tos on its blog (here).
Is it good for kids?
Some People ask if Symbolab can hurt children’s ability to solve math problems. They think children should struggle with hard problems over days instead of instantly looking up answers. My answer to that: absolutely not.
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.
Eqsquest is an Israeli based startup that was created with the goal of making scientific content universally accessible by expanding the searchable data space on to scientific notations, expressions, equations and formulas.
- Make Meaning with Wolfram Alpha (classroom-aid.com)