Interview with Thomas Heale '18

Hi. I’m Serna if you’re new here. She/Her/Hers please. I’m a part of the Class of 2021 and I do a lot fun stuff at Olin. Some of that is Baja (off road vehicle racing), Putnam (math proofs), Midnight Math, Chainmail Club, and this year I’ll be starting a Hispanic club with some other Latinx people (I’m from Texas). Currently doing research at Olin with Alisha Sarang-Sieminski on body armor for self-defense instructors. More on everything later, or read my other posts for more information! 

If you’re a part of the incoming 2022 class: Hello! I’m really excited to meet you soon!

For this article I interviewed a graduating senior around May. (I know it’s August!) The interview was in a very Thomas Heale location (it was his suite). There are some seniors I got to get close to and Tom was one of those! I think I met him during a meal at the dining hall and I have always thought he was really cool. He’s also done some really interesting stuff at Olin which is why I decided to interview him. The questions near the end, the last four actually, were asked9*- this summer!

What is your name?

Thomas Heale

Where are you from?

Grafton, Mass., USA

What did you learn at Olin?

I learned how to leverage empathy really well.

What is your major?


Who will you miss the most?

My friends. I will probably miss most the friends who I don't keep in contact with.

Favorite class you have taken?

I really loved UOCD- it gave me a lot of freedom and taught me a language that transcends any discipline.

Favorite class you’re currently taking?

Partial Diff Equations- Because what I really love about science is those things that are counterintuitive. It blows my mind all the time. The answers are always the opposite of what I thought and it's justified.

What were you most involved in?

Education Research with the ReDes studio. I collected data in the field of the company and spent a lot of time learning analytic techniques to draw meaning from the data and wrote a paper that got published.

Favorite childhood memory?

My parents' wedding was really fun. I got to dance. My cousins were there. I got to ride in a limo. All the guys took me to try out tuxes. I was six and they were giving me recommendations on what to wear.

What was the hardest thing about college?

The hardest thing was deciding what I wanted to do. Not like [my major], but like on a day-to-day basis. There's a lot of freedom [in college], and [you want to] find something constructive that's not just finding fun; it's about knowing what options you want and how you'll respond. It's one thing to know what you want, but it's another to gauge how making this change will affect you long term and to build good models about choices.

What was the easiest thing?

Making friends. It's a pretty "me" thing, not Olin-specific.

Tell me something about yourself.

My legal name is Thomas but I go by Tom but I always wanted to go by Mas.

What was your favorite thing about graduation?

The honesty of emotions people were expressing. There were a lot of little instances, but getting to talk to each person about my future and theirs. People were joyous, relieved, excited.

Did you do anything special to celebrate?

I bought a bunch of nice shoes. I'd never done that before.

What are you doing now?

I'm working as a software engineer at Cognex and reading as much as I possibly can. I have like 4 books going at once.

Long term goals?

Live in exotic (by my standards) places. I don't feel like I've ever really lived anywhere besides Massachusetts, and I want to change that.

Posted in: Erika '21, Class of 2021, Class of 2018