The Fields Institute Turns Twenty-Five 170725 Final book with covers - Page 130

108 Ed Bierstone active participants in its scientific, educational, and outreach activities. The Fields Institute helps to transform the ways in which mathematics is advanced and communicated by bringing together people with great ideas to share. The period of my tenure as Director was marked both by intense activity and by major financial challenges. I remember several of my colleagues joking that, on the occasion of the Fields Institutes twenty-fifth anniversary, we would likely be toasting its memory in a local bar! There were times when the staff probably felt the workload was completely crazy—when we were running three major programs at once, organizing the Fields Medal Symposium and the Xenakis festival, and at the same time arranging meetings with the provincial government, the University of Toronto administration, the Scientific Advisory Panel, and the Board of Directors. The crazy times were among the periods I felt were the most fun! I was fortunate to have the support and friendship of Juris Steprans, Matthias Neufang, and Matheus Grasselli as Deputy Directors, and of John Gardner, Janet Mason, and Phillip Siller as the leaders of the Board. I tried to learn from everybody and think I got considerable mileage from listening. I had the good fortune that several of our funding initiatives came to successful conclusions towards the end of my term, with commitments by the Province of Ontario, NSERC, and the NSF opening the way to a very bright future for the Institute. Fields Medal Symposium The Fields Medal Symposium had its origin in an unsuccessful bid by the Fields Institute as one of three finalists (together with Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada, Rio de Janeiro, and the Weierstrass Institute, Berlin) in a