Ferrier received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (1984) and master’s degree in computer science at the University of Alberta (1987). Her doctoral studies, on “control of robot binocular vision systems,” was completed at Harvard University in 1992. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford University (1992-1994) and a postdoc at Harvard (1995), she joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. She became an Associate Professor in 2003 and Professor in 2009. She received the NSF CAREER award (1997), the UW- Vilas Associates Assistant Professorship (1999), and the UW Honored Instructor Award (2009). In 2013 Ferrier joined Argonne National Laboratory as a research scientist and is a Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute, University of Chicago.