Obituary: Arthur J. Nevins

Obituary: Arthur J. Nevins

Arthur J. Nevins, 83, of Decatur, Ga., passed away Oct. 23, 2020.

Arthur J. Nevins, 83, of Decatur, Ga., passed away Oct. 23, 2020. Arthur was born in New York City to Nathan and Anne Nevins and grew up in the Bronx. An athletic, towering 6-foot-5, he was a standout basketball player at the Bronx High School of Science. Arthur graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959, with a degree in mathematics. Arthur went on to obtain a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in economics followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the then Carnegie Institute of Technology. Following this, he worked at the Office of Naval Research in Washington, D.C., and then at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of MIT. During this time, he made significant contributions to the early development of the field of artificial intelligence, including pattern recognition and machine learning solutions in geometric theorems using human logic.

While in his senior year at MIT, he met his wife Diane. A good friend of Arthur’s had met Diane at a mutual friend’s apartment following a Hillel event. After she stood up, Arthur’s friend realized that she was too tall for him and so he suggested that Diane be introduced to Arthur. Arthur knew very quickly that this was the woman he wanted to marry, he proposed to her in November and they were married June 19, 1960. Arthur moved with his wife and two young children to Atlanta in 1974 and was a professor at Georgia State University in the department of computer information systems until his retirement. He was a kind, devoted father, who taught his daughters to think critically, stand up for what they believed in, and appreciate the humor in life. He was very proud of his grandson Tani, who shares many of his interests.

Although professionally Arthur worked in areas related to mathematics, Arthur had a wide variety of interests, which included sports, cameras, travel, and biblical archaeology and history. Arthur and his wife Diane always did things together and loved to travel. In the summer of 1964, after Arthur had submitted his dissertation, they spent five weeks traveling in Europe. This passion for travel continued, and every year that they were able they would spend several weeks abroad, visiting places that included most of the countries in Europe, as well as Israel, Egypt, Russia and China. One of Arthur’s retirement activities was to research biblical history, and he had a manuscript accepted to the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament in 2006. He also enjoyed discussing politics and the Atlanta Falcons with his friends.

Arthur and his wife Diane loved attending lectures, getting together with friends for dinner at each other’s homes, and were part of a weekly Friday night Shabbat group that Arthur looked forward to each week.

Arthur was a gentle person. His fair-minded respectfulness for other’s views, and his intellectual rigor, integrity and sense of humor endeared him to all. He could stand alone and was the embodiment of one who could put forth and maintain his own reasoned convictions without agreement from the “compact majority.”

He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years Diane; daughters Shari of New York City and Neysa (Malkah Binah) of Philadelphia; grandson Tani; loving brother Donald; cousin Susan; as well as many nieces and nephews from around the United States.

The family would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to the caring staff at The Fountainview Center. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Congregation Shearith Israel (Rabbi Kaiman’s discretionary fund) or Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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