I suppose that Maple 15 is now in the stage of beta testing, but I have not served as a beta tester for a few years.

     Those scientists and mathematicians who apply Maple in teaching mathematics, science and engineering or who use it in their research naturally wonder what will be in store in the next release to complement and to extend the features in preceding releases. 

     I have no doubt that many physicists and chemists, in particular, will hope and expect that Maple 15 will contain updated data in Scientific Constants.  In Maple 14 the atomic masses therein and the values of the physical constants date from the past century, unless I am mistaken.  There was certainly a new release of atomic masses, with increased accuracy, early in the past decade, and two releases of physical constants within that period, which the developers of Maple seem to have overlooked or neglected.

     One might also hope to see an expansion of 'special' functions.  Although most such functions in the compilation of Abramowitz and Stegun have been incorporated years ago, a few functions, such as spheroidal harmonic functions, are conspicuous by their absence.  (The latter seem to have been available in Maxima for many years, so there is presumably no fundamental difficulty in their inclusion.)  Of course we should like those additional functions to be fully integrated so that they appear as solutions of the pertinent differential equations or integrals.  Incidentally, one might well adopt a view that "there is (almost) no special function any more -- Maple and analogous software have made them all elementary".

     Under the banner Education, the home page of Maplesoft indicates 

            Mathematics Education

            Engineering Education

            High Schools and Two-year Colleges

but Science Education is again conspicuous by its absence.  It would appear that Maplesoft company is neglecting a significant prospective market for its major product, because students of science subjects can find great value in applying Maple's capabilities in not only their mathematics courses but also their courses in biology, chemistry, geology, physics ...

     Regarding chemistry in particular, an interactive electronic textbook of title Mathematics for Chemistry with Symbolic Computation, third edition, is available for 'downloading' from www.cecm.sfu.ca; this book requires the use of Maple in recent releases for its operation.

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