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Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) has become a promising physical layer modulation technology for beyond 3G or 4G wireless communications due to effective inter-symbol interference mitigation for high speed data transmission. However, the timing of the OFDM symbol, i.e., the placement of the DFT collection window in a multi-path time dispersive channel remains an important and challenging issue in OFDM receiver design. An erroneous timing decision creates inter-symbol interference (ISI), inter-carrier interference (ICI), channel attenuation, and channel estimation error, which leads to a penalty on the collected OFDM symbol signal to noise ratio (SNR) resulting in an irreducible error floor. In this paper we quantify such effects and derive an optimal OFDM symbol timing solution in the sense of maximizing the signal to interference ratio (SIR) of the collected OFDM symbol. A practical timing algorithm, referred to as the equilibrium algorithm, is then developed to approximate the optimal timing decision. Compared with existing schemes in the literature, the proposed approach does not rely on explicit detection of individual channel paths or the delay spread boundary and therefore greatly reduces timing complexity. The equilibrium algorithm performs nearly as well as the optimal solution over a variety of channel delay spreads, is simple to implement, and is robust to channel estimation errors.