Domino is a tile-based game with a simple goal: to make all the dominoes fall in a specified pattern. The basic rules are well known, but the possibilities for creative play are endless. You can build straight lines, curved lines that form pictures when they fall, grids that look like a map or a puzzle, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.

Unlike most games that require more than one player, the majority of dominoes can be played solo. The most common set is called a double-six. It consists of 28 tiles that are shuffled and formed into a stock, or boneyard, and each player draws seven from the stock to create his hand of dominoes. The first player to make a play will usually draw the heaviest domino from his hand. Rules for this vary by game.

A domino is a rectangular piece of plastic marked with an arrangement of dots, or pips, on its two opposite sides. Each pips represents a number from 1 to 6. The two matching ends are either square or rectangular. Dominoes are generally placed so that the open end of the domino touches a matching side of another domino, which is sometimes called a neighbor. A square end of a domino must touch a diagonally adjacent square of another domino; a rectangle can be placed perpendicular or diagonal to a rectangular domino.

When the first domino falls, its potential energy converts to kinetic energy that pushes the next domino over. The energy continues traveling from domino to domino until all of the dominoes have fallen.

Before Hevesh finishes a mind-blowing domino installation, she often test-builds each section and films it in slow motion. This allows her to make precise corrections to the design before the final version is complete. It also helps her ensure that if she or a teammate accidentally knocks over a section, it won’t bring the entire installation crashing down.

Hevesh works hard to create her installations with a high degree of precision. Nevertheless, small accidents happen in every project. To minimize the impact of these mistakes, she begins by building the biggest 3-D sections of the design. Then she adds flat arrangements and lines of dominoes connecting the sections.

Hevesh also uses fractions to help her determine how many dominoes she will need for a particular project. For example, she may want to build a line of dominoes 24 inches long. Using the principles of fractions, she can divide the length of the front edge of a domino into parts to find out how many dominoes are needed to span that distance. This makes her task easier than calculating the number of dominoes that would be needed for a line one-and-a-half times as long, or three feet. The use of fractions is similar to the way a mathematician might divide a circle into equal parts to find its circumference. This method is more accurate than the traditional method of measuring with a ruler or tape measure.