If you are anything like me, you have forgotten a lot of your differential equations material. I have had several students ask me for help in d.e. and I have to get out my old notes and books and try to figure it out. Good news though… Wolfram|Alpha now shows step-by-step solutions to simple d.e.’s and some more complicated ones.

Read more about it at http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2012/01/30/step-by-step-differential-equation-solutions-in-wolframalpha/. Although this is an excellent tool, it does pose a problem. Many students are just going to use these step-by-step calculations to get the right answer instead of learning the process. I suppose that in-class quizzes could help ensure that students actually learn the material.

What are your thoughts on this being available to students?

Also, the Wolfram|Alpha blog alludes to some exciting enhancements to Wolfram|Alpha. Read about it at http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2012/02/01/a-big-change-is-coming-wolframalpha-to-see-dramatic-functionality-enhancements/.