Today I found out that I won the 2006 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Last year I won Honorable Mention, so the big question is "What did I do differently this time around?" The short answer is, "I wrote awesome essays that addressed the NSF Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts."
I felt like I was writing a somewhat non-technical introduction to my thesis when I was writing the proposed research essay. If I know you and you think that reading my essays (old ones got Honorable Mention and new ones got The Award) will be useful when you are applying for the NSF GRF this upcoming fall, then get in touch with me. NOTE: Only if I already know you or you go to the Robotics Institute at CMU will I help you out. In other words, if you are thinking of emailing me with the hope of getting my essays than don't even bother.
I'm still waiting to hear back from the NDSEG fellowship. On another note (slightly old news):
Alexei Efros(My research advisor) won an NSF Career Award and his other vision student, Derek Hoiem, won a Microsoft Fellowship.