Frank Benford

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Frank Albert Benford Jr.
Frank Benford (1883 - 1948).jpg
BornMay 29, 1883
DiedDecember 4, 1948 (aged 65)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Known forBenford's Law
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical Engineering
Physics
InstitutionsGeneral Electric

Frank Albert Benford Jr. (July 10, 1883[1] – December 4, 1948) was an American electrical engineer and physicist best known for rediscovering and generalizing Benford's Law, a statistical statement about the occurrence of digits in lists of data.[2]

Benford is also known for having devised, in 1937, an instrument for measuring the refractive index of glass.[1] An expert in optical measurements, he published 109 papers in the fields of optics and mathematics and was granted 20 patents on optical devices.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.[1] His date of birth is given variously as May 29 or July 10, 1883.[1] At the age of 6 his family home was destroyed by the Johnstown Flood.[1]

Education[edit]

He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1910.

Career[edit]

Benford worked for General Electric, first in the Illuminating Engineering Laboratory for 18 years, then the Research Laboratory for 20 years until retiring in July 1948.

Death[edit]

He died suddenly at his home on December 4, 1948.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e The Michigan Alumnus. 46. UM Libraries. 1939. p. 81.
  2. ^ Frank Benford (March 1938). "The law of anomalous numbers". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 78 (4): 551–572. JSTOR 984802. (subscription required)