RCS Staff

Xiang Ao

Senior Statistician/Analyst

Statistical analysis; data services; consultations; research software support.

Xiang came to RCS in 2004 after 2 years of post-doctoral work at University of Minnesota. His primary research interests are in applied econometrics. He specializes in learning and applying statistical and econometric methodologies for faculty research projects. Xiang earned a PhD in economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2002. Xiang came to the US from China in 1997. He has a BS in Engineering from Zhejiang University in China. In his spare time, he plays tennis avidly.

Bob Freeman

Director, Research Technology Operations, Research Computing Services

High-performance/advance computing support and consultations; research software support; scientific programming; sensitive data services.

New to RCS in 2016, Bob has a long history with research and facilitating research computing. He received his A.B. from Princeton and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He first worked at Harvard Medical School (HMS) to promote effective technology use and analytical methods in research via consulting and training as an in-department resource and school-wide Research Computing Center director. This was followed by a decade of research for the chair of the Dept. of Systems Biology at HMS. Prior to joining RCS, he was lead facilitator for a two-year, NSF-funded project among six universities to promote increased and efficient advanced computing usage among research scientists, and particularly among non-traditional disciplines (biology & social sciences). With a strong background in programming, working with large data sets and high-performance computing systems, and fostering top-notch data & computing practices, he looks forward to working with faculty and their collaborators to accelerate research discoveries. Follow him at @DevBizInfoGuy.

Liz Kernan

Research Computing Operations Coordinator

As the RCS Coordinator, Liz orients faculty, research associates, doctoral students, and guest researchers to the RCS computing environment. She also manages the administration, licensing, and support of all research computing software. Prior to joining HBS in November 2016, Liz lived in Japan and taught English through the JET Program. Liz earned her bachelor degree and master's degree in Applied Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, and was a visiting student of Philosophy and Law at Oxford University. She is now pursuing a Data Science graduate certificate at Harvard Extension School. 

Andrew Marder


Data services; consultations; research software support.

Andrew joined RCS in January 2012. He has worked at the Federal Reserve and Columbia University, and holds an M.A. in economics from Princeton University and a B.A. in mathematics and computer science from Williams College. He is primarily interested in applying econometric methods to address business and policy questions. Andrew is always excited to play squash, tennis, or soccer, and he has occasionally found himself on a basketball court.

Christine Rivera

Research Database Analyst

Christine comes from a biostat/epi background with an MS in Biostat and worked at HSPH as a statistician for a while. To expand her horizons so she could play with different kinds of data, she pursued an MBA with a finance concentration. She has been at HBS for 8.5 years as an analyst- gathering & playing with data. She was formerly at Baker Research Services, but is now expanding at this exciting role at RCS. 

Melissa Velez

Director, Data Services and Project Operations

Melissa joined RCS in 2018 and has over 15 years of experience programming, designing and conducting studies, and analyzing data using advanced statistical techniques. She received her A.B. from Princeton University and her Ph.D. from New York University. Prior to joining RCS, Melissa led teams at a policy research firm in all stages of research, from designing/administering survey instruments and cleaning data to obtaining IRB approvals and designing/executing rigorous studies to assess policy interventions.

Steven Wang

Research Data Analyst

Steven is a seasoned strategist with 12+ years of Fixed Income investment experience on both buy-side and sell-side of the finance industry. Prior to joining RCS, he was Director of Investment Strategies for CYS Investments, a NYSE-listed Real Estate Investment Trust, where he designed various data platforms and delivered quantitative analytics that drive portfolio decisions. Prior to CYS Investments, Steven was a trading desk strategist for fixed income products at Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York City. Steven holds an M.Eng. in Operations Research from Cornell University. He is also a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charterholder. Currently Steven is the Chair of the Data Task Force for CFA Society Boston. In his spare time, he likes playing basketball and golf, and he also enjoys traveling with his wife and kids.

Katie Yosua

Staff Assistant

Katie Yosua joined RCS in August 2015. As the RCS staff assistant, she provides administrative support and handles a variety of back office tasks, including billing and software license management. In addition, she has a master’s degree in music from Boston University and leads a double life as a Boston-area singer and organist.