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Traditionally, channel estimation and equalization are optimized separately and independently. The channel estimate is simply plugged into the equalizer as if it had no errors. We propose a new method for joint pilot symbol assisted channel estimation and equalization and apply it to the design of the space-time decision feedback equalizer. The explicit solution of this joint approach is obtained with the same order of complexity as a separate design and results in a significant performance improvement. Furthermore, we discuss its relation to robust optimization and regularization techniques for equalizer design.