CHAPTER 10 What Does a Mathematics Institute Look Like? Alison Conway “Fields was designed for the two things that it has become known for—collaboration and communication.” Long before I went to work at the Fields Institute I had heard about a think tank in Toronto. My curiosity got the better of me and I slipped into Fields one day to see what a think tank might look like. In my mind I assumed I would see a glass-walled fish tank of some sort with people walking in circles, scratching their heads and thinking deeply. What I found of course was a beautiful, light-filled building, with natural wood finishes, a clerestory flooding light into the interior and a wonderful transparency to the whole design. Many years later I understood that the purpose of the building had been misrepresented as a think tank, and ultimately Fields was designed for the two things that it has become known for—collaboration and communication.