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It may seem too late to shake up the web search market, but Microsoft’s Bing offers an alternative to Google that may surprise you with some powerful capabilities. I bring some latest updates on what Bing offers students which Google doesn’t (so far!).
Solar System Search
Go to Bing and search for [Solar System]. You will get this pretty cool interactive solar system map. The map lets you speed it up, pause it and reverse the trajectory. You can also rotate the solar system and click on the different planets or stars, which show overlays as you play with the interactive map.
Here is a screenshot of the interface:
Here is a picture of placing your mouse cursor over the Saturn:
Bing finds its way into the hearts of chemistry enthusiasts and high school students everywhere with its latest educational resource. The site has added a fully interactive, colour-coded periodic table that shows up at the top of its results for a search on “periodic table.”
The interactive table includes features like the “Physical State,” “Discovered,” “Found on Earth” and “Density” tabs across the top, and it’s own search box where users can enter the name or symbol of an element to locate it.
Other features include a slider on the “Physical States” table to show how the elements change with the temperature and a timeline slider on the “Discovery” tab that quickly shows when elements were discovered.
Hovering over an element will display the element’s individual properties.
Clicking on an element within the table leads to a search for that specific element with a direct answer box listing more detailed information.
Bing announced today a new set of educational resources with the rollout of six new interactive answers for math-related searches.
The new interactive answers are attached to searches for “multiplication table” or “times table,” geometry-related searches, a function grapher, number answers, a “number converter” and a “polynomial equation solver.”
Today is the annual celebration of Pi Day. In honor of this day, and to help students of different ages learn and practice mathematics in an immersive way, the Bing Education team developed a number of interactive answers.
Bing Search Blog
The multiplication table shows answers up to 15 x 15 and includes a quiz function. There’s also a print button so that quizzes can be printed for offline use.
Bing’s geometry calculator works with specific geometry-related searches and solves equations for up to 21 different geometric figures.
Bing’s “geometry shape” tool will display labelled diagrams for two- and three-dimensional geometric figures for searches on specific shapes, along with facts related to the shape and a link to the geometry calculator.
The number converter quickly converts a number from one system to another (e.g., decimal to binary), and the “number answer” tool offers properties for numbers up to 10 million, listing facts like whether or not the number is prime.
As part of its education-related interactive answers, Bing has also built a function grapher and polynomial equation solver.
The function grapher offers an interactive graph to solve for “x” when a user types any function into the Bing search box.
Polynomial Equation Solver
The “polynomial equation solver” determines solutions of single-variable polynomial equations.
“Not only does it show the solutions, or ‘roots’ to these equations,” reports Bing, “The solver rewrites the equation in standard form, factorizes the equation when possible, lists the local min/max points, and displays the solutions graphically.”
Bing says its latest round of educational resources is a new milestone in its aim to create “fun, interactive” tools for students.