Do Some Google Math

The other day I was reading an article and I wanted to know what £140,000 was in our dollars. Being alone at a computer, my first impulse is Google. I typed in "£140,000 in American dollars convert" hoping to find some website with a conversion calculator. What pops up is not a page of sites, but the answer: UK£ 140 000 = 282 352 U.S. dollars.

That pleasantly surprised me and sent me looking deeper.

Turns out that I had stumbled upon Google's built-in calculator function. If you simply enter the calculation you want done into the search box, it can solve math problems involving basic arithmetic, more complicated math, units of measure and conversions, and physical constants.

Here are some samples they provide:from the fairly basic 5+2*2 to 2^20 or a square root sqrt(-4) or the practical half a cup into teaspoons to the I-won't-try-this-on-my-calculator and I don't even know what is being calculated of 160 pounds * 4000 feet in Calories or sine(30 degrees) or G*(6e24kg)/(4000 miles)^2 or how about 0x7d3 in Roman numerals or 0b1100101*0b1001.

Though I have always been fascinated by math, I have never been very good at it. I'm sure there are math teachers out there already using this calculator in ingenious ways. (Leave a comment!) For the rest of us, here's another tool for your digital toolbox.

Maybe you can start with the currency converter, but there are plenty of other tools to use on that page too. Then go to Google's complete instructions for the calculator. That will help you build your own and perhaps create some lessons.





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