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Jane Hawkins, Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems Seminar
September 13, 2016 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Benford’s Law: Detecting fraud in business using ergodic theory
Abstract: Benford’s Law is the observation that in many collections of numbers like mathematical tables or real-life data, the leading significant digits are not uniformly distributed, as might be expected, but are heavily skewed toward the smaller digits. Tax auditors and insurance companies use this to detect fraud. We discuss, using simple ideas in ergodic theory, what is behind Benford’s Law, and give a few extensions to mathematical (and other) settings.