Rasio is an internationally recognized theoretical astrophysicist whose research areas include stars, binary star systems, compact objects, gravitational waves, star clusters and planetary systems. He has done pioneering work across a wide range of problems -- from the hydrodynamics of stellar collisions and mergers to the formation of planetary systems -- using large-scale computer simulations. His research has attracted funding from the National Science Foundation and NASA.
Rasio has been widely published in top journals of his field and served as scientific editor of The Astrophysical Journal since 2005. He is an often-invited speaker at prestigious international astrophysics colloquia and conferences and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union and was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2006.
Since joining the Northwestern faculty in 2001, Rasio has been a member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, participated in summer programs at the Aspen Center for Physics and was a visiting scholar at the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at Pennsylvania State University.
Previously Rasio was a member of the faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Joseph Cummings was the fifth president of Northwestern who oversaw the construction of Dearborn Observatory on the Evanston campus in 1888.