Lab: Arbuthnot

STAT 20: Introduction to Probability and Statistics

The Goal of Labs

  • Put concepts into practice with real data

  • Follow best practices in reproducible analyses (.qmd)

  • In class we’ll work on the most challenging problems

  • You likely will need to work outside of class to finish the assignment

  • Visit office hours for extra help or ask on named thread on Ed

Lab: Arbuthnot

What is the chance that a child born tomorrow is a girl?


What evidence do we ultimately rely upon?

. . .

Vast amounts of data

Dr. John Arbuthnot

  • 1667 - 1735
  • Scottish physician, mathematician, satirist
  • Interested in the question of what the proportion of girls to boys was at birth

A painted portrait of John Arbuthnot

Arbuthnot’s London

  • 1710, St. Paul’s Cathedral completed
  • Very few paved streets
  • Definitely no google

A painting of London in 1710.

Where could Arbuthnot find vast amounts on systematically collected data regarding births?

The church.

A photograph of a page of a book of handwritten christening records taken a church in England in the 18th century

A zoomed in version of the christening records, where you can identify that each record was a single christening.

What is a christening record?

A Christening is a ceremony/rite in the Church of England where:

  1. The parents bring their new born child to a priest at the church.

  2. As part of the ceremony, the parents give a first name to the child before the child is baptized (inducted into the church).

  3. The name of the child and their parents are recorded in a ledger.

John Arbuthnot tabulated the total count of names in each year that were traditionally female and male names.

Your Lab Assignment

Lab 1.1: Understanding the Context of the Data

  • Learn context
  • Formulate questions
  • Set expectations
  • Submitted as pdf of worksheet

Lab 1.2: Computing with the Data

  • Dive into the data
  • Submitted as a pdf from a qmd.

Lab 1.1: Understanding the Context of the Data