Coming to Princeton from Cranford (N.J.) High School, Dave majored in mathematics. He was on the fencing team for two years, then changed his interests to the Outing Club and the Mountaineering Club, of which he became president. He took his meals at Cloister Inn, where he participated in intramural football. Senior year he roomed with Whitey Blume and Al Kissling.
After college he obtained a Ph.D. from MIT and then joined the faculty of Tufts University, where he specialized in mathematical logic and taught for more than 40 years. He published numerous manuscripts and journal articles in his chosen field but demonstrated broader interests by learning six languages and reading books in all of them. In 1972, he married Karin E. Johnson, and they had two children, Matthew and Peter. As a mountaineer he scaled peaks on five continents, including participation in the 1971 International Himalayan Expedition to Mount Everest.
Dave and his family lived in Cambridge, Mass., for many years, but eventually moved to their vacation home in Vermont. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Karin; and his two sons and their families, including four grandchildren.