Getting information and learning: google + wikipedia + wikibooks + wolfram alpha


Vinh Nguyen


May 20, 2009

When I want to find information, Google is my #1 resource. The syntax trick I use most which I learned in the research writing class (Writing 39C) at UCI is "The first word is the most important" (the first word narrows the search!). Some other tricks are "- Don'tWantThisWord" and ' "this quote exactly" .' Google usually leads me to Wikipedia, an online collaborative encyclopedia, or Wikibooks, an online collection of collaborative textbooks, for my answers. These three resources are where a lot of my learning/review of statistics are found.

There is Google Knol but I don't use it much (probably because my google search doesn't yield these articles).

For academic articles, I search on google, but to restrict the results to just academic articles, I've been relying on Google Scholar.

Last but not least, Wolfram Alpha was recently released by Wolfram, the maker of Mathematica. Haven't used it much, but it seems promising. The few reviews that I've read said that the search is a little tricky…you have to input the right words. Well, they're not google afterall.