I've always had some problem with the usage of wolfram alpha.It computes simple derivates, integrals and solves simple linear and quadratic equations flawlessly.It seems to me that it ignores step by step solution for harder problems.It only outputs the answer and the graph.I even searched this site for some clues, but couldn't make any sense out of these.

Currently I'm trying to solve and plot the following functions.

a) $$y = x^2 − 2x − 1$$ b) $$y =3x^2 +6x +2$$

c) $$y =1+ |x +2|$$ d)$$y = \frac{2}{(x-1)^2}$$

Any recommendations on how to efficiently input these expressions to get step by step solutions?


a) x^2-2x+1

b) 3x^2+6x+2

c) 1+Abs[x+2]

d) 2/(x-1)^2

Directly inputting these into Wolfram Alpha should turn something up. I linked up the first example so you can see what it looks like when entered.

  • $\begingroup$ For the last problem,it showed all the steps and the plot.What about the first three?This is how it always works if you have noticed.For simple derivates and integrals,linear and quadratic equations it shows every possible steps whether it's needed or not.Just to add on i tried inputting y = 2/(x-1)^2 and it shows no steps except the plot. $\endgroup$ – alok Sep 6 '11 at 6:52
  • $\begingroup$ @alok: "All the steps" of what? $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Sep 6 '11 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ Oh.you know what?Those were not solution steps.They were alternate representations of the same functions which i misinterpreted as solution. $\endgroup$ – alok Sep 6 '11 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ Actually I think OP should use solve for x: y=x^2-2x+1 (link) (the others can be treated similarly) because it actually solves for $x$, which I think is what OP wants. Of course W|A's 'show steps' function sometimes includes really stupid maneuvers a human would never bother doing, and anyway these really simple algebraic sorts of problems should be learnt to be dealt with by hand before bothering with Alpha (perhaps OP is just testing these out though). $\endgroup$ – anon Sep 6 '11 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ I forgot the concept of inverse functions.So i entered the function in wolfram alpa and this is all i get.wolframalpha.com/input/… $\endgroup$ – alok Sep 6 '11 at 7:08

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