Mathalicious: Golden Gatekeepers

Did UC Berkeley discriminate against women?

In 1973, the graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, admitted 44% of its male applicants, but only 35% of its female applicants. As a result, the university was later sued over gender discrimination in its admissions process. In court, however, the university pointed out that most of the graduate departments actually admitted women at a higher rate than their male peers. How could that be?

In this lesson, students use frequency tables and conditional probability to explore Simpson’s Paradox and try to settle the discrimination case once and for all.


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Math Topics
Data, Graphing & Statistics, Probability
High School
9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

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