Large context problems (LCP) are useful in teaching the history of science. In this article we consider the brachistochrone problem in a context stretching from Euclid through the Bernoullis. We highlight a variety of results understandable by students without a background in analytic geometry. By a judicious choice of methods and themes, large parts of the history of calculus can be made accessible to students in Humanities or Education.
Babb, Jeff and Currie, James
"The Brachistochrone Problem: Mathematics for a Broad Audience via a Large Context Problem,"
The Mathematics Enthusiast: Vol. 5
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol5/iss2/2