The Fields Institute Turns Twenty-Five 170725 Final book with covers - Page 106

84 Barbara Keyfitz to engage the services of a series of talented and wise Deputy Directors, and a revolving group of consultants in its boards and scientific committees, who have contributed immeasurably to its development. An Honour and a Privilege From July 1, 2004 until December 31, 2009, I had the honour and privilege of being the Director of the Fields Institute. During those four-and-a-half years, my life was absorbed into the life of Fields: I moved to Toronto (after an absence of 38 years) and spent most of my waking hours in my elegant office on the second floor, at the southeast corner of the building. But in fact, my relationship with the Institute goes much farther back to the winter and spring of 1993 when, along with my family, I spent a semester at the first location of Fields—in rented space at the University of Waterloo, in a serviceable but much less elegant office. That was the first year of operation of the Institute; leadership was shared between Jerry Marsden (who was based in California but made extensive visits), John Chadam (who was in transit from McMaster to the University of Pittsburgh), and Bill Shadwick (who was, I recall, technically the Deputy Director). The program centred on a dynamical systems approach to partial differential equations. Depending on your viewpoint, it was dynamical systems in infinite dimensional spaces or partial differential equations where you had to explain to outsiders what people in PDE really did. As someone who held the second viewpoint, I behaved in, what I can now see from the perspective of a Director, was a totally irresponsible way. The Institute had also sponsored my postdoc, Sunny Canic, taking over her salary from the University of Houston (which generously continued to pay most of my salary—an arrangement which Fields has