Benford Applied Mathematics


Mathematical and statistical consulting. Though they frequently don’t realize it, firms and government agencies often have problems whose solutions would be facilitated by some mathematical input. Often the first step toward a solution is to construct a mathematical model of the situation. I have more than 35 years of experience in the construction and estimation of mathematical models. The work I’ve done in collaboration with Robert Buckman of the USDA Forest Service provides a good example. This work is described in a Forest Service report called “Growth and Yield of Red Pine in the Lake States” that’s available here. Bob Buckman and I collaborated to create the model described in Appendix III, I estimated the parameters of the model using SAS, and I coauthored the code in the Excel program RP2005 (available here) that embodies the model. A plot from a typical run of RP2005 is shown below.

Firms and government agencies may also need help with the analysis of data. The field of applied mathematics includes (but isn’t limited to) statistics, econometrics, and time-series analysis. It’s common for real world data to violate some of the assumptions of standard statistical and econometric models. Therefore, some mathematical intelligence must be applied to adapt the standard techniques to the real world situation.

Subcontracting to consulting firms. As noted above, firms and government agencies often don’t realize that mathematical input can help them solve their problems. However, the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" should come as no surprise to consulting firms. The employees of a technical consulting firm necessarily have considerable mathematical ability. There must be times, however, when they realize that they need some extra mathematical expertise to fulfill the terms of a contract. I am available to subcontract in this situation.

Math and statistics tutoring. I have taught a very wide range of undergraduate math and statistics courses. If you’re having difficulties with a math course, I can almost certainly help. Also, I can help you if you’re taking a non-math course (e.g., physics, economics, biology, psychology) with mathematical or statistical content. I can also help with SAT and GRE preparation.

Assistance with theses and dissertations. As an applied mathematician, I’m particularly attuned to the mathematical needs of students in fields outside of mathematics. For example, students of biology and economics commonly find that they must incorporate some mathematical modeling and/or some statistical analysis of data in their thesis or dissertation. (I’ve mentioned biology and economics because these are fields in which I have some professional expertise, but this observation applies to many other fields.) I can help with both model formulation and data analysis.

Benford Applied Mathematics

About Frank Benford

I hold two Ph.D.s: one in Applied Mathematics and the second in Economics. I've worked as a computer programmer (at the Harvard Center for Population Studies), a professor of math, statistics, and econometrics (at several universities), and as an economist (at the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the Forest Service). I enjoy working with people with subject matter expertise to convert their intuitions into mathematical models.

More information about me is available on my LinkedIn public profile:Frank Benford