My guest blogger this week is from a brilliant young man, Michael Kim, who is a pure mathematician and educational consultant. He is able to make complex topics in math understandable to students everywhere. I was fascinated with our discussion and he wrote a great piece on his comparison of math and networking.

The Elements of Networking and Mathematics

There are fundamental foundations that make up mathematics and underlying truths that describe our universe. Euclid's *The Elements* set in stone, the essential building blocks of geometry and number theory. Amazingly, from only five self-evident truths (called postulates, or axioms), he gained tremendous insights into the subject and established geometry as it is known throughout the world today. Euclid’s postulates are as follows:

- A straight line segment can be drawn joining any two points
- Any straight line segment can be extended indefinitely in a straight line
- Given any straight line segment, a circle can be drawn having the segment as a radius and one endpoint as the center
- All right angles are congruent
- If a straight line falling on two straight lines make the interior angles on the

same side less than two right angles, the two straight lines, if produced

indefinitely, meet on that side on which are the angles less than the two right

angles.

Any system of mathematics where these five postulates are taken to be true is

called Euclidean Geometry. This is the system of geometry studied by students

as soon as they can comprehend the idea of shapes and angles. Answer the

following question, “If the three angles measures in any triangle are added,

what is the sum?” If you answered 180°, congratulations, you have successfully

used a proposition from *The Elements*.

The 5^{th} postulate is often debated due to its complexity and is referred

to as the “Parallel Postulate”. It can be equivalently stated in simpler terms as,

“the distance between parallel lines are the same everywhere”. Some

mathematicians chose to ignore the fifth postulate and created mathematical worlds where parallel lines do meet. In these non-Euclidean geometries, the angles of a triangle do not add up to 180°. Though it may seem hard to imagine, they do

exist!

The subject of mathematics and the human aspect of networking have very little in

common, yet the way Andrea explores the topic of networking is similar to those

of classical math texts such as *The Elements*. By first establishing the core elements of networking, Andrea expands upon them by providing timeless

insights into the people we need in our network, qualities and characteristics

of great networkers and techniques to integrate networking into one’s daily

routine. Andrea’s axioms are as follows:

- Meet people
- Listen and learn
- Make connections
- Follow up
- Stay in touch

From these five underlying ideas for networking, Andrea explains that simple things

such as thanking your connections with a handwritten card, and showing genuine

appreciation for those in your network are small but powerful gestures that

will create a strong, lasting impression. Though advancements in technology

changed how people interact, it has not changed why and for what purpose people

network. Her advice on establishing, expanding, nurturing and maintaining a

successful network are so fundamentally sound, that it creates the impression of

self-evident truths on the nature of human connections.

"Michael Kim is a pure mathematician and educational consultant. He has helped make complex topics in math understandable to students and has aided them to be competitive in the modern academic environment. He is currently presently transitioning from the education sector to business to pursue his desire to experience how mathematics and be applied as a solution to practical problems."