She was born on October 18, 1921 in Querétaro, Mexico. Her parents moved the family to Toronto when she was eight so her and her bother could have better schooling. She earned numerous awards for math and science in high school, as well as the Governor General’s award. She was also awarded multiple scholarships, and attended Trinity College (a part of the University of Toronto). After school she enlisted in the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) instead. She studied harbour defences, degaussing, and torpedo guidance. She was assigned to the Naval Research Establishment (NRE) in Halifax, and remained in service after the war. She was promoted to Lieutenant in 1945. She spent almost a year out at sea working on a research project on Hull corrosion.
After she decided to leave service, she did a year-long Masters program in mathematics and physics at MIT. Under her mentor Henry Wallman, who was a member of the MIT Radiation Lab, she wrote her thesis “A Mathematical Survey of Computing Devices with an Appendix on Error Analysis of Differential Analyzers”. The paper covered almost every computing machine of the time.