Right after Crypto 2006 in Santa Barbara, NIST will hold its second hash workshop. The purpose of the workshop will be to look more closely at the SHA-2 hash function family, and also to start developing follow-on hash functions.
I'm pretty psyched to be co-leading a panel (with Arjen Lenstra) whose purpose is to kick-start the process. The title of the panel is "SHA-256 Today and Maybe Something Else in a Few Years: Effects on Research and Protocols" and, as you can see from the preliminary program, the panel is packed with a lot of hash algorithm heavies: Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, Bart Preneel, Antoine Joux, and Niels Ferguson.
NIST got a great response to the original AES competition, but we are seeing less-than-inspiriing amounts of effort on making a better hash algorithm and on breaking SHA-256. I hope the panel gives the folks in the audience inspiration to try one or both of these. We are now collecting juicy questions; let me know if you have any of your own.