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Louis Bachelier: the Founder of Mathematical Finance

On March 29, 1900 French postgraduate student Louis Bachelier successfully defended at Sorbonne his thesis "Théorie de la Spéculation". As a work of exceptional merit, strongly supported by Henri Poincaré, Bachelier's supervisor, it has been published in " Annales scientifiques de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure", one of the most influential French scientific journal. This pioneering study on the analysis of the stock and option markets contains several ideas of great value both in finance and probability. The theory of the Brownian motion, one of the most important mathematical discoveries of the twentieth century, was
initiated and used for the mathematical modelling of price
movements and evaluation of contingent claims in stock market. The thesis of Louis Bachelier, together with his further works, influenced deeply the whole development of the stochastic calculus and mathematical finance.
In the period 1927--1937 Louis Bachelier
was professor of the University of Franche-Comté.

Dates of Biography

11 March 1870 Louis Bachelier was born in Le Havre

October 1888 Graduated from secondary school at Caen

11 January 1889 Father's death

7 Mai 1889 Mother's death

1889 - 1991 He is the head of the family business

1891 - 1892 Military service

1892 Student at Sorbonne

October 1895 Bachelor in sciences at Sorbonne

July 1897 Certificate in mathematical physics

29 March 1900 Bachelier defended his thesis

1909 -1914 Free lecturer at Sorbonne 

1912 The book "Calcul des Probabilités"

1914 The book "Le Jeu, la Chance et le Hasard"

9 September 1914 Drafted as a private to the French army

31 December 1918 Back from the army

10 December 1919 A member of the French Mathematical Society

1919 -- 1922 Assistant professor in Besançon

1922 -- 1925 Assistant professor in Dijon 

1925 -- 1927 Associated professor in Rennes 

January 1926 Blackballed in Dijon 

1 October 1927 Professor in Besançon

1937 Professor Emeritus

1 October 1937 Retired

1941 The last publication

28 April 1946 Died in Saint-Servan-sur-Mer

1996 The Bachelier Finance Society is founded

Bachelier teenager
Vauban's fortress in Besançon
Ancient university buildings
University buildings on
Mégevand street in 1930
One of Bachelier's addresses
Louis Bachelier, professor
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