Teaching statistics to students aspiring to other professions can be both frustrating and rewarding. The frustration arises from (a) having limited time to cover everything from introductory to advanced material, (b) receiving little input from staff in the client profession, (c) the concepts of unpredictability and randomness being alien to students' thinking, particularly for engineering students, and (d) students not having the background knowledge or skills necessary to understand the methods fully. The reward comes from seeing students understand both basic and advanced concepts and methods, and from requests for assistance with later work as former students discover the relevance of statistics. This paper will address some methods used to overcome the frustration and to enhance the rewards in teaching a first course in statistics to engineering students. Although situations vary, these ideas will hopefully provide helpful tools.
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The CAUSE Research Group is supported in part by a member initiative grant from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and Data Science Education