In "The Running Man," Charlie discusses how Benford's Law can be used to identify a fabricated set of data. Benford's Law describes the surprising fact that in many naturally occurring data sets described by a geometric progression, the leading digit is more likely to be 1 or 2 than any other number. (The leading digit of a number is the leftmost digit of a number, and cannot be zero.) In fact, approximately 30% of the time, the leading digit will be 1.
Before the Activity
Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher page.
During the Activity
Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class.
After the Activity
Encourage students to explore web sites and questions from the Extensions page.