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Colloquium talk with Steven J. Miller, Williams College

Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Time: 12:30PM

Location: Rockefeller Hall 307

Title: Benford's Law, or Why the IRS cares about the Riemann Zeta Function 
and Number Theory (and why you should too!)

Abstract: Many systems exhibit a digit bias. For example, the first digit base 10 of the Fibonacci numbers or of 2^n equals 1 about 30% of the time;
the IRS uses this digit bias to detect fraudulent corporate tax returns.This phenomenon, known as Benford's Law, was first noticed by observing
which pages of log tables were most worn from age -- it's a good thing there were no calculators 100 years ago! We'll discuss the general theory
and application, talk about some fun examples (ranging from the 3x+1 problem to the Riemann zeta function as time permits), and discuss some
current open problems suitable for undergraduate research projects.