This is/was my first electronics project. I had done a ton of research in Adafruit's guides trying to decide on something useful to build when inspiration struck during a trip to the pier:
I had seen a few projects online with LED matrices and I thought that trying to emulate the waves and ripples on the surface of the ocean in a grid of LEDs would look really cool, then decided to put the time over the waves to make something for the computer desk at home. I did some research and found Matthias Müller-Fischer's 2008 GCD slides about height field simulation of a water surface, figured out the pseudocode of the main loop (exercise for the reader: find the error on slide 3), and decided to go for it. As of right now, the jury's still out over whether I'll simulate the height field waves or fake it with a series of sine waves and some random sparkles.