Sister Mary Kenneth Keller, born in Ohio in 1914, entered the Sisters of Charity in 1932 and professed her vows in 1940. She went on to study at DePaul University, where she received a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Mathematics and Physics. Before this, very little is known of her life; even her birth year is disputed.
In the 1960s, Sister Keller studied at the University of Wisconsin. She also studied at Purdue, the University of Michigan, and Dartmouth College. Dartmouth relaxed the rule barring women from its computer center, which allowed Keller to help develop the computer language BASIC. (Before BASIC, only mathematicians and scientists could write custom software; BASIC allowed anyone who could learn the language to do so, making computer use accessible to a much larger swath of the population.)