TY - MGZN AU - Grima, P. AU - Rodero, L. AU - Tort-Martorell, J. T2 - American statistician Y1 - 2016 VL - 70 IS - 2 SP - 138 EP - 142 DO - 10.1080/00031305.2015.1064478 UR - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00031305.2015.1064478 AB - One of the main challenges of teaching statistics to engineering students is to convey the importance of being conscious of the presence of variability and of taking it into account when making technical and managerial decisions. Often, technical subjects are explained in an ideal and deterministic environment. This article shows the possibilities of simple electrical circuits-the Wheatstone Bridge among them-to explain to students how to characterize variability, how it is transmitted, and how it affects decisions. Additionally, they can be used to introduce the importance of robustness by showing that taking into account the variability of components allows the design of cheaper products with greater benefits than if one were to simply apply formulas that consider variables as exact values. The results are quite unexpected, and they arouse the interest and motivation of students. Supplementary materials for this article are available online. AB - One of the main challenges of teaching statistics to engineering students is to convey the importance of being conscious of the presence of variability and of taking it into account when making technical and managerial decisions. Often, technical subjects are explained in an ideal and deterministic environment. This article shows the possibilities of simple electrical circuits –the Wheatstone Bridge among them— to explain to students how to characterize variability, how it is transmitted and how it affects decisions. Additionally they can be used to introduce the importance of robustness by showing that taking into account the variability of components allows the design of cheaper products with greater benefits than if one were to simply apply formulas that consider variables as exact values. The results are quite unexpected, and they arouse the interest and motivation of students TI - Explaining the importance of variability to engineering students ER -