The Fields Institute Turns Twenty-Five 170725 Final book with covers - Page 70

48 Alison Conway working opportunities come to fruition in the seminar and lecture rooms where new ideas and new directions in research are presented. Looking back over the past 22 years that the Fields Institute has been in its permanent location provides a moment to consider how well the building has met its purpose as a working research institute and an environment conducive to mathematical activity. Over the years Fields has hosted thousands of conferences, workshops, seminars, and lectures that range from presentations by Fields Medallists to those by young undergraduates in the Summer Research Program. Fellowships have brought new Canadian and International Postdoctoral Fellows to the Institute; assisted researchers, particularly women, who have been on leave from their research; and encouraged partnerships with other institutes in the Fields-Perimeter Africa Fellowship. The Institute has more than fulfilled its purpose in terms of mathematical activity and research—yet to me this is not the complete measure of the building. The measure of the success of the Fields Institute as a building design lies also in its quiet moments. During the 15 years I had the pleasure of working at Fields, there was not a week that passed when I did not see researchers showing a friend or family member around the building, describing where they worked and spent their days. As they toured the building the pride in their voices when speaking about Fields brought home to me how much the building had succeeded in its purpose. The Fields Institute is a world of its own, a welcoming place, a building shaped by mathematicians and in turn shaping them.