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Dr. Politano does research in theoretical astrophysics with an emphasis on interacting binary stars. His interests include stellar mergers, common envelope evolution, and post-common envelope binary systems. He is currently working on understanding how asymmetries occur in the envelopes of planetary nebula stars.
He has had undergraduate students work with him in his research, including an undergraduate co-author on two papers that were published in major refereed journals. As a senior undergraduate, Justin Provance (MU 2013) presented a poster on his research at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach, CA, in January 2013. Dr. Politano's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.
In addition to his research in theoretical astrophysics, Dr. Politano is a consultant for McGraw-Hill Publishers. He has contributed to the development of online materials for University Physics by Bauer & Westfall and College Physics by Giambattista, Richardson & Richardson.
Dr. Politano has served as the Assistant Chair of the Physics Department, a faculty advisor for physics majors and a former pre-major advisor for the College of Arts and Sciences.