Paulo Cesar G. Costa

Paulo Cesar G. Costa



Courtesy Affiliations


SEOR Department - George Mason University
4400 University Drive, Engineering Building, Room 2227 - MS 4A6
Fairfax, VA - 22030-4444 USA
Phone: +1 (703) 993-9989
FAX: +1 (703) 993-1521
email: pcosta gmu edu (alternatively, you can use this link)


Short Bio

Paulo Cesar G. da Costa graduated with honors in the Brazilian Air Force Academy in 1986 and started his career as a fighter pilot, having flown nearly 1.800 hours in fighter aircraft such as the Brazilian-Italian made AM-X. During this period, he pursued specialization in the Electronic Warfare field, attending courses in both Brazil and England, acting as Electronic Warfare Officer in the Brazilian Air Force's first AM-X Squadron, and then as an invited lecturer in most of the courses from the BAF's Electronic Warfare Center (CGEGAR).

In 1995, he graduated first place out of 115 students, all in the rank of Captain, in the BAF's EAOAr, a major career course. In 1997, he moved to the USA and started his Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering at George Mason University, where he graduated in 1999. At that time, Dr. Costa also earned the GMU Engineering School's C3I Certificate and became a recipient of the Academic Excellence in Systems Engineering Award.

Back to Brazil in 2000, he served in the Air Force Chiefs of Staff, where he participated in many projects in the IT field. In 2003, he graduated with honors from the BAF's ECEMAR, another major career course, and returned to the USA, where he earned his PhD degree in Information Technology at George Mason University. At this time, he became a leading researcher in the field of probabilistic ontologies and developed a probabilistic extension to the OWL Web Ontology Language, called PR-OWL, which extends the former to first-order Bayesian expressiveness using Multi-Entity Bayesian Networks. He is also a key contributor to the development of UnBBayes-MEBN, an open source, freely available, java-based probabilistic reasoner and PR-OWL GUI that enables reasoning with probabilistic ontologies.

Dr. Paulo Costa retired from the Brazilian Air Force in 2008 and continued his academic career at GMU. As a lecturer, Prof. Costa teaches courses on decision theory, dynamic systems modeling, decision support systems design, and probabilistic reasoning. As a researcher, he became an expert in integrating semantic technologies and uncertainty management, and is a pioneer in the field of probabilistic ontologies. Dr. Costa developed PR-OWL, a probabilistic ontology language for the Semantic Web, and is a key contributor to UnBBayes-MEBN, a Java-based, open source implementation of Multi-Entity Bayesian Networks and the PR-OWL language. His research path also includes work as a W3C invited expert in the area of uncertainty reasoning, and as a leading organizer of the Uncertainty Reasoning for the Semantic Web workshop series, which is now in its eight edition. Prof. Costa’s academic service includes participation in technical program in several academic conferences and journals, as well as members of review boards in NSF, National Academies of Engineering, and others. He also has been actively involved as PI, co-PI, or technical lead in research projects related to his areas of expertise, such as the ARO-funded project on Mathematical Foundations of High-Level Information Fusion and the ISIF’s ETUR Working Group (

Dr. Costa is recipient of the GMU’s Academic Excellence in Systems Engineering Award, and is one of the few people to date to have graduated with honors in all the BAF’s three major career courses.

Selected Courses and Certificates

Academic Special Recognitions

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