The Challenge of Galaxy Formation
The origin of the galaxies represents an important focus of current cosmological research, both observational and theoretical. Its resolution involves a comprehensive understanding of star formation, galaxy dynamics, supermassive black holes, and the cosmology of the very early universe. It is a field that is largely driven by a phenomenology that depends on our accumulating data taken with the largest available telescopes, both terrestrial and in space, both on the most distant objects in the observable universe and on fossil signatures from the oldest stars in our vicinity. In this talk, I will review our current understanding of galaxy formation and describe the challenges that lie ahead.