Charles L. Bouton

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Charles Leonard Bouton
Born25 April 1869
St. Louis
Died20 February 1922 (1922-02-21) (aged 52)
NationalityUnited States of America
Occupationmathematician, university teacher

Charles Leonard Bouton (25 April 1869 − 20 February 1922) was an American mathematician.

He was born in St Louis, Missouri where his father was an engineer.[1]


Bouton studied in the public schools of St Louis. He later received a Master of Science degree from the Washington University.[1] In 1898 he received his doctorate from Leipzig University. His Ph.D. advisor was Sophus Lie.[2]


He taught at the Smith Academy, Washington University and Harvard University.[1] From 1900 to 1902 Bouton was an editor of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society.[1]


In 1902 Bouton published a solution of the game Nim.[3] This result is today viewed as the birth of combinatorial game theory.


  1. ^ a b c d Osgood, William F.; Coolidge, Julian L.; Chase, George H. (1922), "Charles Leonard Bouton (In Memoriam)" (PDF), Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, 28 (3): 123–124, doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1922-03508-2
  2. ^ Charles Leonard Bouton at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Bouton, C. L. (1901–1902), "Nim, a game with a complete mathematical theory", Annals of Mathematics, 2, 3 (1/4): 35–39, doi:10.2307/1967631, JSTOR 1967631

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