Thomas Jefferson Had Girls (a)

2 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017

See all articles by Phillip E. Pfeifer

Phillip E. Pfeifer

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

The A and B cases are intended for undergraduate, MBA, executive education, and MBAExec audiences. They were used as an exam case for “Data Analysis and Optimization,” which is both a first- and second-year MBA elective. They were also used as the first class of an undergraduate business statistics class. The A case begins by explaining that Thomas Jefferson fathered five girls (and one stillborn son) and Randolph Jefferson (Thomas's brother) fathered six boys (and no girls). An author of a 2009 book used these facts to argue that Randolph is more likely the father of Eston Hemings (a boy born to Sally Hemings, who was one of Jefferson's slaves) because “some men have boys and others have girls.” Although 1998 DNA evidence suggested that a Jefferson had fathered Eston, the question remained as to which Jefferson. In the B case, data are provided on the gender and birth order of children from 700,030 Danish families. Students use those data to test the idea that “some men have boys and others have girls.”There is a supplemental Excel file for students (UVA-QA-0797X) that accompanies the B case.

Excerpt

UVA-QA-0752

Rev. Jul. 9, 2012

Thomas Jefferson Had Girls (A)

Thomas Jefferson designed the tombstone that marked his grave at Monticello and left instructions that only the following and “not a word more” be inscribed thereon:

HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON

AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE

. . .

Keywords: hypothesis testing, goodness of fit, binomial distribution, goodness-of-fit, wonka

Suggested Citation

Pfeifer, Phillip E., Thomas Jefferson Had Girls (a). Darden Case No. UVA-QA-0752, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2975124

Phillip E. Pfeifer (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4803 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/Pfeifer.htm

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