21 B
Mathematics Math21b Fall 2010
Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
Exhibit: qwiki
Course Head: Oliver Knill
Office: SciCtr 434


Qwiki is a search engine which produces a movie from a key word. It sits on top of other sites like Wikipedia or Google. Below are some examples pulled on October 30, 2010 from the search engine. There are also some examples with mathematical content relevant for this course. Most current qwiki entries like the determinant entry or Fibonnacci entry are rather poor. The definition of Fibonacci sequences is flawed for example. Information on places or people are surprisingly good even so one sees, where more work has been put in. In the simplest case, the qwiki script scrapes the first few lines from Wikipedia, reads it with a computer voice, grabs some pictures from search engines and puts this together to a slide show.

Added on Nov 7: To the left, you see a self-made "Qwiki" using Text from Wikipedia, and underlying text read by Oliver's computer (November 6, 2010). Compare with the current Qwiki entry (last clip below). Here is ipod,iphone version [15.5 Meg]. [ Music Credit: Teleman Blockflötenkonzerte Allegro (I think it is performed by the Heidelberger Kammerorchestra), Text credit: streamlined and rearranged from this Wikipedia entry. The Harvard endowment numbers are newer than the Wikipedia entry and were taken from here. Pictures were grabbed by hand mostly from Google image sources. The first image and the last movie clip are from here. Unlike "Qwiki", this "KnillKi" needed manual assistance. Only the spoken sound export was automatized with a small shell script.]

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Math21b (Exam Group 1)| Oliver Knill | Fall 2010 | Department of Mathematics | Faculty of Art and Sciences | Harvard University