The First Digit 1

“The imagination in a mathematician who creates makes no less difference than in a poet who invents......”



Benford’s Law or The First Digit Law as it is commonly known has been a fascination to many generations. This counter-intuitive law proposes that given a sequence of numbers (usually from a data set like length of rivers, height of mountains, populations of nations or any source of data from real life), the first digit is ‘1’ roughtly 30% of the time. Many mathematical sequences, such as Fibonacci sequences also follow Benford’s Law. Benford’s Law has some interesting applications, especially in fraud detection!

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Correspondence to Tanya Kaushal Srivastava.

Additional information

Tanya Kaushal Srivastava is a BS-MS student at the Department of Mathematics, IISER Mohali and is a KVPY fellow.

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Srivastava, T.K. The First Digit 1. Reson 18, 1073–1085 (2013).

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  • Random numbers
  • unpredictable
  • equidistribution
  • Weyl criterion
  • absorptive property