Uncovering the story of the first galaxies

The dawn of the first generations of luminous baryons signaled the beginning of an important epoch in cosmic history. I will sketch-out three likely stages of this extended process. I will interpret some of the current observational evidence at z~6, focusing on high-redshift quasar spectra. Finally, I will discuss the potential of the redshifted 21cm line in probing not only reionization, but also the dark ages which preceded it. However, to interpret such a bounty of information, we need efficient modeling tools capable of exploring the dauntingly large parameter space, such as our newly developed 21cmFAST.