In the mathematical modeling world, a visualization of the data  can be worth a thousand words – and more. With the open theme of the MTFC, narrowing down a project topic requires seeing where there is risk to investigate further. How can seeing a geographic map of data help a researcher inform and narrow down a topic to study further?

The Modeling the Future Challenge is excited to be able to collaborate with Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) and offer MTFC teams free licenses to the ArcGIS software for their MTFC projects and research in the Challenge.

About ArcGIS

What is a GIS?

A geographic information system (GIS) is a system that creates, manages, analyzes, and maps all types of data. GIS connects data to a map, integrating location data (where things are) with all types of descriptive information (what things are like there).

Practice Using a GIS

Not sure if you want to use GIS? Esri has a dedicated MTFC on their website so that you can practice using their system. There are three activities on this page that allow you to see how GIS might be used in your project. You don’t need any previous GIS experience or an account to complete these activities. While the first two activities are ones Esri often uses to introduce students to GIS, the third activity is new, designed specifically for MTFC participants like yourself.


Is the use of ArcGIS required for the MTFC project?

No, it is just one tool that can be used to help you organize and visualize your data.

Should we get all of our data from ArcGIS?

It will likely not be the only data you will use, but it helps to narrow things down.

Do I need previous experience with a GIS to be able to use ArcGIS?

No! ArcGIS is student friendly and you will learn as you go. The math modeling you do in your project is much more difficult to learn.

How to Get a Free ArcGIS License

Email to requests accounts for you and your team with the following info:

  • Coach name and email
  • Team name and team # (found on ICS Team Dashboard)
  • Names and emails of all team members

We will provide up to 6 licenses for each team (1 coach + 5 team members). Teams will be built into a team group on the site for easy sharing of maps and data.