The Brachistochrone Problem: Mathematics for a Broad Audience via a Large Context Problem
Babb, Jeff, and James Currie. "The Brachistochrone Problem: Mathematics for a Broad Audience via a Large Context Problem." The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast, 5 (2-3) (July 2008): 169-184.
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.