CEE 597 – Risk Analysis and Management
2004 Midterm Exam
CECE 597 Midterm Exam 2004 – Page 1
March 11, 2004
Test is open book and open notes. You have 90 minutes to complete this 90 point exam. Show work.
1. (15 points)
We're Eating Ourselves to Death
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Mar 9, 6:02 PM ET -- WASHINGTON -- Americans are sitting around and eating themselves to
death, with obesity closing in on tobacco [435,000 deaths in 2000] as the nation's No. 1 underlying
preventable killer. A poor diet and physical inactivity caused 400,000 deaths in 2000, a 33 percent jump
over 1990, said a study released Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tobacco-related deaths in the same period climbed by less than 9 percent and the gap between the two
narrowed substantially. Like tobacco, obesity and inactivity increase the risks for the top three killers:
heart disease, cancer and such cerebrovascular ailments as strokes. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle
also strongly increase the risk of diabetes, the sixth leading cause of death. Two out of three adults and 9
million children are overweight or obese, they said. [Each year obesity leads to medical costs of $90
billion and 300,000 premature deaths; JAMA, March 10, 2004; 291(10), 1187 -- will add article to 597
Propose 3 quantitative criteria
that can be used to compare different dimensions of the risk to life posed
by obesity, tobacco, and automobile accidents. Your criteria should allow a citizen to contrast three
dimensions of those risks. Describe clearly what dimension of life risk each criterion captures in
contrast to your other two criterion (TSI, RSI, P, E, R-of-A,.
2. (5 points) In not more than 1 page in your exam book tell which
case study in Fleddermann
most profound lesson for risk analysis and risk management in our society? What was the lesson? What
are the implications of that lesson for risk analysis and management in our society? How did both
technical and social/managerial issues contribute to the problem?
3. (15 points) Because of concerns with Anthrax spores in mail sent to government officials, a state
government installed sniffing equipment that seeks to discover suspicious powdery substances that
might be a health risk. The machine that checks the mail runs 10 hours a day, and detects suspicious
letters at the rate of 45 letters per 10-hour day. Detections happen randomly and independently.
a) What is the mean and standard deviation of the number of suspicious letters identified during
the first two hours of a day?
b) What is the probability 2 or more suspicious letter are found during the last 10 mins of the day.
c) When the public knows that such screening occurs and that suspicious letters are investigated,