He's been the constant in 20 years of equations combining economic variables—consumer confidence, building permits and more—to see what it all adds up to.
Sometimes the addition has revealed a subtraction—an economy in retreat—and Alan Gin, the University of San Diego professor behind a popular monthly economic report, has been there to explain it to San Diego County.
"He's the go-to guy," San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said Tuesday as she and the council proclaimed the day to be in honor of Gin in the city of San Diego for compiling the Index of Leading Economic Indicators monthly report since 1991.
"You bring such cogent information forward and you explain things in layman's terms that the average person can understand," Councilwoman Marti Emerald said, adding that digestible information is important because many are fearful in this down economy.
Gin, who spoke before the council joined by his wife, Theresa, and their two children, said he had "no idea" he'd be in this position when he started the report two decades ago.
Perhaps more forseeable was the love of numbers Gin has seemingly passed down to his daughter.
"Alesa is so hardcore that I had to talk her into skipping algebra to come to this meeting," Gin said of his 13-year-old daughter, who smiled behind him.
Gin, who recently joined the Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council, and his family are part of Councilwoman Sherri Lightner's District 1.
"I'm very proud to have Dr. Gin as a constituent and his family," Lightner said.
Councilman Kevin Faulconer, of District 2, said he has worked with Gin on projects since before he was a councilman.
"You've become a voice of reason," Faulconer said to Gin at Tuesday's council meeting. "You bring a great perspective to it, and often, I think, a common sense perspective."
Council President Tony Young also thanked the professor for his economic work, saying recommendations from a commission Gin worked on helped spur a new council initiative to ease regulations on local businesses to help grow the local economy.