Where Are They Now? Jesse Heines '70 - Swimming and Diving

Where Are They Now? Jesse Heines '70 - Swimming and Diving

As part of a new monthly segment, MIT's Communications, Promotions and Marketing team is now bringing you a series titled, "Where Are They Now".  Where Are They Now will highlight former MIT student-athletes from all 33 varsity sports, asking questions that dive a little bit deeper into each individual's time as a student-athlete and how those experiences shaped their current professions.

Name: Jesse Heines ‘70
: Diving
XIIB, which at the time was an undesignated major. I was actually pre-med, but I didn’t get into medical school.  It was very hard to get into medical school at that time because everyone was trying to so because it was the only graduate school program that got you out of the draft, and we were all scared of being drafted and sent to Vietnam.

Current Place of Employment: Retired after spending 31.5 years as a professor at UMass Lowell. 

Why did you choose to attend MIT?
That’s simple: because my brother preceded me by three years and I looked up to him and he said that I should go there if I could get in.

What is your current job title and what does this position entail?
Well, my current job title is Professor Emeritus, but that’s really an honorary title. Before I retired I was a full professor in the Dept. of Computer Science.

How did your time at MIT prepare you for your work as a professor at UMass Lowell?
I took one computer course at MIT: 1.00.  I took no Course VI courses. So the course content didn’t really prepare me for the position I held for most of my career, but the way of learning certainly did. That is, I learned a great deal at MIT about how to learn, and that served me very well in my computing career.  (Before becoming a professor I was at Digital Equipment Corporation for 10 years, and before that I was the middle school science and math teacher at the Anglo-American School in Moscow in the former USSR.)

What piece of advice would you have for current MIT student-athletes?
(a)  Seek a broad education, because you never know where you’re going to end up.
(b)  Have fun. Life is short.

What is your most fond memory of MIT athletics?
Then swim coach Charlie Batterman putting me (a diver) in to swim the first leg of the final relay race in a meet to ensure that we lost! We were way up score-wise, and Charlie didn’t want to run up the score further. I did my job: I had the team so far behind by the end of my swim that we indeed lost.

What would you say is your greatest athletic & academic accomplishments during your time at MIT?
I went from a walk-on to the diving team who had not competed in high school to #2 in New England on the 3-meter board. My proudest moment was the receipt of the Most Improved Athlete Award in my sophomore year. My greatest academic accomplishment was simply surviving the rigors of the curriculum!