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Doing math (and more) in Google Saturday, 27 May 2006 2:15 pm

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week, search engines, What's new at Google?!.
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When I gave the presentation (see my post on this) to Amy's Math Research Group, I noticed the students don't know much about many functions that Google search provide except keywords search, so decide to blog a bit about these tips, such as:

calculator function: e.g. type "1245^3" (without the quotes) in the search box, you'll get the answer in no time. For more about the calculator function, check out this on Google Help Center, or the complete instruction.

units conversion: Those of us that are familiar with the metric system (SI) would go nuts with the units such as inches, gallons. With Google, it's easy. For example, type "5 inches in cm", you'll get

  5 inches = 12.7 centimeters

in less than 1/2 second.

number search: You can type specific numbers (patent number, FedEx tracking number, etc.) in Google's search box. If you type FedEx tracking number, you'll get the latest info on the package that you're tracking (cool, yeah?).

site search: say you're search something related to CofC but found the college's website search just doesn't work that well, you can add "site:cofc.edu" (without the quotes) after your search terms. You can also use this to do domain search, say add "site:gov" to your search will find only those government sites that related to your topic.
Here's a one-page cheat sheet "Better searches, Better results" that you may find useful.

Also remember, as almost any other search engine, Google has an Advanced Search interface that would serve many of these advanced search features and more (and you don't have to memorize these techniques!).

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