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.

Paul DiBello

Senior Director, Research Computing Services

Paul comes to us from Yale, where he has spent the last decade in various leadership roles, most recently as Director of Research Technology Services at the Yale Center for Research Computing. Paul brings a wealth of experience in supporting researchers and finding solutions for their research technology needs, in managing service teams, in collaborating with service partners, and in partnering with stakeholders across the university.

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. 

Victoria Liublinska Prince

Senior Statistician/Data Scientist

Victoria is a statistician with extensive experience in applied quantitative analysis, consulting, and teaching. After earning her PhD from the Statistics Department at Harvard in 2013, she served there as a College Fellow for two years, teaching and mentoring students, and carrying on with her research of methods for handling missing data. She then transitioned into a senior analyst role at the Office of Institutional Research, executing projects that addressed strategic questions for the University. Furthermore, throughout her career she carried out over a dozen of statistical consulting projects in various fields, including business and marketing, medicine, biology, and litigation. She joined RCS in 2019 excited to provide statistical expertise and quantitative support to HBS faculty and scholars. In her spare time, Victoria is an avid runner and world traveler.

Elizabeth Piette

Statistician/Data Scientist

Elizabeth joined RCS in 2019 with enthusiasm for machine learning, big data, genomics, and public health. Prior to joining RCS, Elizabeth was a machine learning scientist at an information analytics company. She completed her PhD in Genomics and Computational Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and her MPH and ScB both at Brown University. In her spare time, Elizabeth loves playing music, cooking, crafting, and traveling.

Christine Rivera

Senior Statistician/Data Scientist

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, Research Computing Services

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.

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.

Ista Zahn

Statistician/Data Scientist

Ista has worked at Harvard since 2011 and joined RCS in 2019. Since earning a Master’s degree in Social Psychology from the University of Rochester in 2008, Ista has worked on suicide prevention for the Department of Veterans Affairs, studied mental health trajectories of war-affected youth at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and supported high-impact research as a data science specialist at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard. His areas of expertise include data visualization, statistical modeling, and data manipulation and management. Ista has expertise in statistical programs including R, Stata, SPSS, and Mplus, as well as experience with general-purpose programing languages including Python and JavaScript.