A seventeen year-old University of Canterbury student has won the inaugural Sir Paul Callaghan award for Young Science Orators with a presentation on artificial intelligence.
Hadleigh Frost, who is in his first year of a physics, mathematics and engineering degree, won the $5000 grant for his talents in science and communication.
He is one of 12 finalists, all of secondary and tertiary age, who Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has said will lead the country's science community in years to come.
Mr Frost says his winning presentation discussed the need for computer systems which better recognise patterns in data, similar to that of the human brain.
The award was initiated by Sir Paul Callaghan not long before his death earlier this year.