Gerard Awanou, a native of Benin in West Africa, came to UGA in 1998 to pursue graduate studies. He received his doctoral degree in mathematics in 2003 under the direction of Prof. Ming Jun Lai working on multivariate splines and their applications for numerical solutions of partial differential equations. He currently is an associate professor of University of Illinois at Chicago

He is one of only twenty mathematicians in 2009 to be awared a prestigious Sloan Fellowship.