Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blog Post 13

wolfram alpha diagram

I chose Option 1 for this assignment, which was created when a former EDM310 student wondered how much the population of China had grown in the last three years after she viewed the Did You Know video. Dr. Strange told her to look up the answer, and she did this by searching the WolframAlfa website. To answer this question, “How much has China grown in the last three years” I looked up the population of China in 2008 and found there were 1.31 billion people. In 2011, the population of China recorded was 1.37 billion people. Upon searching “Population, China, India, United States,” I found that China has the largest population with 1.35 billion people recorded, India is next with 1.21 billion and the U.S. is home to 309 million. Charts and graphs at the bottom of the page showed more interesting information, such as population growth per year, median age and life expectancy. You may be happy to know the U.S. has the highest age life expectancy at 78 years of age; however, that is only 50th in worldwide rankings!

For my personal search, I wanted to find out about crime in Mobile, Alabama, compared to crime in the United States. I searched “crime, Mobile” and “crime, United States,” and found that in 2009, Mobile had 6,547 crimes per 100,000 people, where in the total United States, 3,466 crimes per 100,000 people occurred. This equates to one crime being committed per person every 15.27 years in Mobile, and one crime per person every 28.86 years in the whole United States. Total number of crimes in Mobile for 2009 were 16,117. Total number of crimes in the United States in 2009 were 10.64 million. I have to say, I was shocked by these statistics. It’s a little frightening to think about.

Now to answer the questions posed in the assignment...
1. No, I did not know about WolframAlpha, but I like it!
2. No, I did not know about Google Squared, but I wish I had known about it before it was shut down.
3. The percentage of the population of China (1.35 billion) that is the total population in the United States (309 million) is 22.89 percent. Maybe the question is worded the wrong way though, because when I type the question into Wolfram Alpha, it gives me 439 percent.
4. Again, the question may be worded incorrectly because the percentage of the population of India that is the total population of the United States is 393 percent, according to Wolfram Alpha. But when I calculate it, I get 25.54 percent, which of course is the most logical answer, as the population of the U.S. is only about a quarter of China’s or India’s.
5. I think the facts in the Did You Know video were useful and attention-grabbing. They make me feel like such a small particle on this planet. They make you look forward to the future, to how much we will grow, in both population and technologically. The facts in the video also make you realize how we are, or how we can all be, linked together by the internet, radio, television, text message and by other technological means. The information is this video is staggering, and the figures continue to grow.
6. I think the Wolfram Alpha site could be very useful for students, especially when trying to find statistical information or for solving math problems. I personally had trouble finding answers to questions I was curious about. For instance, I could not find any information about teacher salaries or crime statistics in China or India. I also found that you have to word your questions right and at times you may get conflicting results. This is still a great site to use. I spent hours asking questions! You definitely have to check it out for yourself. But for some questions, Google remains the go-to guy.


  1. Hi Kelly!
    You did a great job on this blog assignment! I chose the option where you had to do a "media fast" because I wondered if I could actually do it, but after reading your post I kind of wish I would have done this one! You did a great job of being informative and showing what you found about the U.S. and China.
    The crime statistics that you found were frightening to me as well! We live in a dangerous world. I always knew that Mobile had a high crime rate, but I never knew that it was that high! Anyways, you did a great job on this assignment!

    Hillary Parmer

  2. I was not shocked about the Mobile crime rates like you were. Perhaps because I'm from a small town with a very low crime rate.
    Good job on your post.