Jump to content

Recommended Posts

is it just me or does this mathematical principal seem to be something we all should have learn in high school?

also called benfords law.

If you realize the potential of this like I do please comment or argue if you like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lemniskate said:

is it just me or does this mathematical principal seem to be something we all should have learn in high school?

also called benfords law.

If you realize the potential of this like I do please comment or argue if you like.

Why do you find this surprising ?

I don't find it at all surprising, how often does your shopping include 1 pineapple or cabbage and how often 9 pineapples or cabbages?

Edited by studiot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m a physicist, so I’m in the minority of people who don’t complain about having to learn math (no “I’ll never use this!”) and I have used algebra quite often, as well as calculus, differential equations, trigonometry, etc. - basically all the areas of math I learned in high school and college.

I learned about Benford’s law about 20 years ago, and have never had occasion to apply it.  It’s neat, and there might be a few students who would be interested to learn of it. 

What is the audience who should learn about this in high school? I can only think it would be a thin slice of the student population, at best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learnt about this when I was a criminal fraud investigator in the Inland Revenue for reviewing potentially fraudulent invoices, accounts, till rolls etc.

Apparently when someone tries to fake a list of numbers for nefarious purposes they are more likely to either choose a fairly even spread from 0 to 9 or over select 5 to 7 creating a bell curve when the numbers are plotted on a graph.

It's not enough to convict, obviously, but is a useful investigative tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Dord said:

I learnt about this when I was a criminal fraud investigator in the Inland Revenue for reviewing potentially fraudulent invoices, accounts, till rolls etc.

Apparently when someone tries to fake a list of numbers for nefarious purposes they are more likely to either choose a fairly even spread from 0 to 9 or over select 5 to 7 creating a bell curve when the numbers are plotted on a graph.

It's not enough to convict, obviously, but is a useful investigative tool.

I always wondered about that. Does this mean you only have to be smart enough to incorporate this law into your number generator?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dord said:

I learnt about this when I was a criminal fraud investigator in the Inland Revenue for reviewing potentially fraudulent invoices, accounts, till rolls etc.

Apparently when someone tries to fake a list of numbers for nefarious purposes they are more likely to either choose a fairly even spread from 0 to 9 or over select 5 to 7 creating a bell curve when the numbers are plotted on a graph.

It's not enough to convict, obviously, but is a useful investigative tool.

Thank you for sharing that, I found it very interesting.

 

2 hours ago, Endy0816 said:

I always wondered about that. Does this mean you only have to be smart enough to incorporate this law into your number generator?

People have a desire to keep numbers and quantities they are working with to within small number limits.
Very often when the numbers start to get large or spread out they introduce a new unit

1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet or 1 yard.

This is not infallibles since other requirements pull in other directions eg the need for finer measurement 12 innches or 1 foot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, studiot said:

People have a desire to keep numbers and quantities they are working with to within small number limits.
Very often when the numbers start to get large or spread out they introduce a new unit

1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet or 1 yard.

This is not infallibles since other requirements pull in other directions eg the need for finer measurement 12 innches or 1 foot.

Would probably take some meticulous work to get right but I was thinking you could do reverse forensic accounting.

Rather than use purely random numbers or keyboard mashing; set up a program that returns numbers biased to having low value initial digits.

 

Want to say did learn about this law  when I was younger but don't remember many of the details now.  Never had a reason to try to cook some books though lol

Edited by Endy0816

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, lemniskate said:

is it just me or does this mathematical principal seem to be something we all should have learn in high school?

also called benfords law.

If you realize the potential of this like I do please comment or argue if you like.

Speaking as a licensed HIgh School math teacher I would say no-- not something we should teach in High School.  Benford's law is indeed very interesting, but the High School math curriculum is focused on continuing the development of math skills started in lower grades, in a building block fashion, in order to prepare the student for post-HS education.  Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, pre-calc and sometimes early stages of Calculus.  That is, we are still in the process of building connected competencies-- one topic building on the previous.  Benford's law and its implications is pretty much outside the things that have to get done in High School.  The amount of material to be mastered is very large and difficult to do as is-- I would not want to add more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.